The speaker at the April 15 meeting was Debra Williams.
The Kiwanis Club of Longboat Key continued to get to know the town's new commissioners at their April 15 meeting when they heard from newly sworn-in commissioner Debra Williams.
Williams moved to Longboat Key in 2016 and soon began serving on the Planning and Zoning Board before running unopposed for the commission. Her path to community service began before Longboat Key, when she served on the advisory board of the local library in Rumson, New Jersey. A fellow member asked her to serve on a special planning board to oversee the expansion of a nearby church.
From that, she was appointed to Rumson's planning board until moving in 2016. Finding a way to serve the public in her new town of Longboat Key was a natural.
"I just found that I really enjoyed being in public service, in general," Williams said. "It just gives me the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone a little bit, to meet people I would probably not cross paths with on a daily basis."
Club members asked Williams questions facing most town commissioners, including how the town can deal with the increasing traffic issues and who the new police chief will be. There's only so much the commissioners can do about both of those, especially the latter since that is not up to commissioners. However, Williams said those on either side of Longboat Key need to listen to the island more and she hopes to be a voice for the town.
At the top of Williams' priority list is getting the Town Center Green up and running in some capacity in the next year with open-air exercise spaces or room for a farmer's market. That aligns with the Kiwanis club's goals for the place as well, and they hope to be able to include the space on a list of possible venues for the Lawn Party in the winter.