City of Treasure Island

Two seats on the Treasure Island City Commission were scheduled to be on the March 14 ballot, but only one of them is being contested. The two candidates for that seat responded to a questionnaire from The Gabber.

Ashley Dochinez is challenging incumbent Deborah Toth for the District 1 seat.

Dochinez has lived in Treasure Island with her husband for nearly three years. For the past nine and a half years she has worked for the City of South Pasadena as the building services coordinator in the Community Improvement Department.

I chose to run because I genuinely enjoy helping people and want to be more involved in my community,” she stated. “I want Treasure Island to continue to be a place that residents enjoy living in and tourists want to continually visit.”

This is her first time running for office. Along with her experience in local government, Dochinez believes her background in sustainability would allow her to help Treasure Island continue to improve in that regard. She has a master’s degree from the University of South Florida in global sustainability with a concentration on water.

“I want to be an active listener for the city’s residents and hear what their concerns/issues/suggestions are and be able to take them in front of the mayor and other commissioners and see if there are possible solutions we can come up with,” Dochinez said. “I’m extremely concerned about the erosion of our local beaches and want to help preserve them for not only us and future generations to be able to enjoy but to help maintain a healthy environment and ecosystem within our city and the surrounding areas.”

Toth is a 45-year resident of Treasure Island and an RN clinical coordinator with the Bay Pines VA facility. She ran for the first time in 2017 “to promote sensible development,” speaking out against the taller buildings proposed in the city that were voted down by an 80-20 margin in a referendum.

Toth also listed sustainability as a focus of her agenda, to “preserve the quality of life that we know and love in our community,” she stated.

I feel strongly that the city of Treasure Island needs to continue our pathway of sustainability to protect our area for future generations,” she said, citing several recent initiatives to protect the environment such as repairing city sewer lines, putting in a living shoreline behind Treasure Bay, and securing a $1.7 million grant for a new sewer pump facility.

Toth said she wants to see ADA accessibility in all of the city’s parks for mobility-challenged children as well as adults. She noted that she was among those who spearheaded the addition of the John Maroni Memorial Dog Park, which has become a popular gathering spot in the Isle of Capri community, and that the city has recently been named a “pet-friendly community.”

Among her ongoing goals is a desire to increase employee satisfaction, reduce turnover, and improve customer satisfaction. She wants to continue tuition reimbursement programs to assist employees in achieving their educational/career goals with the hope that they will stay with the city.

“I would be honored to be a driving force to ensure that we continue to grow but not lose the ambience of what we have,” she said. “We are truly the ‘Gem of the Beaches.’”

Winners for this race will be chosen solely by voters in their own district.

Saleene Partridge, the incumbent in District 3, is running unopposed for re-election and did not respond to our inquiry.

The Gabber reached out to each candidate at the email address provided on his or her qualifying documents at the city clerk’s office.

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