Sarasota County, FL - Board of Elections

Candidate Statement

Jill Luke

Hi, I’m Jill! I will bring a lifetime of successful business experience to Seat 4 of the city commission, in a large variety of fields. Within 23 years of mid and upper level management, I have worked in the private sector, corporate world, non-profit world, education field, and sole proprietorship. In my last position, as the Area Manager for Patriot Storage, I saw the company from start up, through the recession, to the point of a profitable sale, right here in North Port! Most of the positions I have filled during these years, has placed the full responsibility of the company's success, upon me. I have developed budgets, resolved problems, and overseen the overall operations of the businesses, including up to 300 employees at a time.
I have, also, served on several boards of directors, since moving to North Port in 2009, including the North Port Boys & Girls Club, Tri-County Counseling, Friends of Little Salt Springs, North Port Women's Club, and the North Port Area Chamber of Commerce, where I served as President. I represent North Port, as a board member of the marketing council of Visit Sarasota County. I, also, served on the BEDAB Advisory Board for the city, and currently, am a member of the Waste Water Committee for the city.
I am a member of multiple organizations including the WMSLSSAS, Friends of LSS, Friends of the NP Library, Friends of the Shannon Staub Library, The Suncoast Scholarship Foundation, Charlotte Players, Sistas of Gratitude, Ambassador for Manasota Goodwill, and a member of the inaugural Leadership North Port. I was a Founding Member of the Knight Owl's Kiwanis, the Friends of LSS and the Diva's Masquerade Ball, while I support and volunteer for even more groups and organizations within the community. I was given the honor of being selected as Citizen of the Year, 2012, also. What I have found, is that the greatest asset that the city has... is its residents! They are a caring, giving community with many years of community design ahead of them. With a focus on that future, though preserving the past, I would like to utilize the passion of the residents by reinstating advisory boards and task forces, to assist in compiling information and solutions, to areas of the city's development. I believe in government by the people and for the people, thusly, I believe the people should be informed and inclusive.
To start that concept, immediately, I have foregone the usual campaign manager and have 15 people sitting on a campaign council. Each person represents a different aspect of the community in their specific field. Over a couple of meetings, each person presented an overview of their field, and how it is effected within the city, including any issues. From there, campaign insights were formed. Any campaign stance and insight, comes from the campaign council. I carry their message, to represent them, the residents. I do not believe a candidate should be singly minded or have a personal agenda. A candidate should represent the people and make decisions in their interests, with the residents being more inclusive, in the government, of their city.
As far as the Dias goes, I believe there must be internal respect and acceptance for each other, as well as the staff, if the city wants to have respect and acceptance from other entities in the region. Serving and working with several boards of directors, I have the experience needed to understand how many moving parts, can work as a single entity. I do not believe there should be a unanimous vote every time, as there are varying opinions on a topic. Though I do believe that an answer can always be achieved through compromise, followed by acceptance of what the majority choses, so all can work together to achieve the best result of the decision.
I hold honesty, openness, integrity, and a strong work ethic as characteristics that I can deliver to Seat 4. I would enjoy the opportunity to connect the past to the future, now, by serving the citizens of this city, to the best of my abilities. Given the opportunity to serve, I would be open and accessible, to listen and hear, all people, for any issue that effects, our population. I will establish office hours at city hall for easier access to me, face to face. Those scheduled hours will vary in times of the day, so that those who work during certain hours are not denied the opportunity to meet with me, as well as appointments can be arranged. The future is in our hands, now! Let's work together to further enhance and improve the quality of ALL our lives, here in North Port. I would consider it an honor and privilege to serve the community on the City Commission, Seat 4, if you see fit to vote for me. With a grateful heart… I’m Jill.