SEBRING — Curt Ivy is the first candidate to qualify for the Sebring City Council. He qualified on Wednesday, and Charlie Lowrance, a current council member, qualified a day later.
There are two open seats on the council. Scott Stanley has not announced any intentions of running for office. The qualifying period for the Sebring City Council is from Jan. 8 to Jan. 18.
When asked why he was running for office, Ivy replied, “My wife and I love Sebring.”
In addition to his love for the city, he felt that his background prepared him to run for this position. Ivy’s administrative experience includes both military and civilian service. He spent four years in the Army during Vietnam and 24 years in the Army Reserve, where he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel.
After serving in the military he worked his way up in law enforcement and spent 10 years as the police chief of Homestead and 10 years as city manager for Homestead. He is also the director of the Criminal Justice Academy at South Florida State College, where he was awarded employee of the year.
He feels that his experience as a city manager will help him if he is elected to the council, especially since the city manager and council members work closely together. In addition, in his role as city manager, he has overseen the work of many agencies while in Homestead, including their Community Redevelopment Agency, electric plant, water, sewer and race track.
During Ivy’s tenure as police chief, Hurricane Andrew devastated Homestead. Since he has faced extreme natural disasters, Ivy believes in the importance of preparation. “Sometimes you have to be over-prepared,” he said. “You have to look at a problem, analyze it and target methods to improve it.”
Andrew’s destruction forced him to find creative ways to solve the needs of the citizens. “We had standard hurricane plans, but those plans went out the window [because the devastation was so severe.]” Ivy felt like he had to be MacGyver and think on his feet to face the problems that he faced, including damaged police cars and extensive looting.
Ivy strategized ways to control looting by placing units where stolen items likely would cause the most problems, like gun stores. He prioritized the location of his staff to handle the crisis.
After facing such a severe natural disaster, Ivy believes that preparation and a solid rainy day contingency fund are important to a city.
Ivy has four main goals for Sebring: keeping taxes low, beautifying the city, ensuring that the city has the appropriate infrastructure for strategic growth and ensuring that the city is business friendly.
In order to attract business to the area and have controlled, strategic growth, Ivy believes that the infrastructure of the city must be managed appropriately. Roads and other service would need to be in place to make sure that the city could expand without undue growing pains.
He believes that the best way to combat poverty is through job creation and job training. He also wants to encourage people to earn their GEDs and explore educational offerings at the local college.
“I believe that my experience and desire to serve will allow me to make a positive contribution to the City’s present and future well being,” Ivy said