By Agrippina Fadel
Candidate for District 2 commission seat Joseph Lanouette hopes to bring collaboration and confidence to the dais.
“We have a lot of disfunction in our city and the lack of confidence in the commissioners in the community. I want to turn that around,” he said, adding that he planned to run for the commission seat in 2018 but did not register in time.
“I want to bring back that confidence, change the way things are done in the commission and start communicating in a professional manner. We must work together towards a common goal – to support our community in the best way we can, and work on areas that need improvement,” said Lanouette.
A military man, Lanouette joined the Air Force Reserve in 2010. During his active duty from 2012 to 2015, he was a part of humanitarian missions to South America and served in Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, and Djibouti – under Operation Enduring Freedom.
He is currently in reserve status and works as a Quality Assurance Specialist for Defense Contract Management Agency and a professor at Kaiser University, teaching Economics Business course and Computer Science.
Lanouette began his education in trade school after graduating high school and received commercial diver training in underwater construction from The Ocean Corporation.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Westfield State University, an associate degree in Aerospace Maintenance Technology from the Community College of the Air Force, a Masters of Internet Technology Leadership from Keiser University, and an MBA in Project Management from Endicott College. He also has completed of Masters in Sustainability and Graduate Certification in Sustainability Cities and Communities at Harvard Extension School.
Moving to the Woodlands community of Tamarac in 2018, Lanouette is recently divorced a has a good relationship with his former spouse, co-parenting their 5-year-old son.
He was re-elected to the Tamarac Police Department Pension Board and serves on the city’s Veterans Affairs Committee.
“There is an X amount of money for all the retirees. And just like the city, we have a budget, it is approved every fiscal year, and we either add to it or move items, but the main drill down is that we want that money to last for the entire year,” he explained, adding that a background in economics and an early interest in city politics have inspired him to run for office.
Growing up in Pennsylvania, Lanouette saw his stepfather navigate commission meetings as a city worker. “I grew up understanding how election cycles work, how the city operates, how the Parks and Recs programs and new infrastructure projects are improving the community,” he said.
When asked about the 13th Floor development plan of the former golf course in Woodlands – one of the most divisive issues the city commission has to decide on – Lanouette said he “has to see how the things will play out.”
He said he understands that a percentage of the community will want him to vote a certain way, should he win the election, while the other residents will desire a different vote.
“I will have to look at who is the leading percentage; I want to vote for what is best for the city and the community,” Lanouette said, adding that should the project be approved, he is best fit to deal with the contract between the city and the 13th Floor, having dealt with projects worth from $50 to $1 billion in his career.
Lanouette says Tamarac city commission needs a better management style and effective communication and believes he is the right person for the job.
“I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience, but also understand how government works on the city, state, and federal level. I know how the community speaks to the city and have experience in union negotiations,” he said, adding that he wants to be a voice of reason in the city commission and use his background to make good decisions, not just “‘vote to vote.'”
Lanouette hopes for a “clean” campaign from all the opponents.
“I don’t want to participate in traditional politics where candidates go back and forth and speak about each other negatively. For me, it is not professional, makes us all looks bad, and does not serve the community well.”
Lanouette’s campaign page is www.joey4d2.com.
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- Agrippina Fadel grew up in Siberia and received her master's in journalism from Tyumen State University. Agrippina is also a writer and editor at Draftsy.net. She has been a US resident for over ten years and speaks English and Russian.
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