That Trish Pfeiffer will be one among their ranks, current commissioners are looking forward to working with her.
“I think she’s got some interesting ideas,” said Commissioner Pat Huff, who is also currently vice mayor.
Huff added there is a learning curve and one aspect will be exactly the scope of power is. “She’ll learn how much we can do and what we can’t do as commissioners.”
While it probably won’t be too difficult for Pfeiffer to grasp, given her years of active involvement in the community, Huff said, it will take some doing.
“It took me about a year before I began to get a grasp,” he said.
Pfeiffer won Tuesday Bartow City Commission race and will take Seat 4 on May 5. She will replace Wayne Lewis who did not run for re-election.
Hopes and expectations are also high on the part of Commissioner Adrian “A.J.” Jackson, who is in his third and (declared) final term.
“We welcome her to the commission. I think she’ll do a fine job,” Jackson said. He also did not foresee any problems once Pfeiffer takes over for Lewis. “It should be a smooth transition.”
One of the areas Jackson addressed as he spoke on Pfeiffer joining the commission revolved around the city budget.
“(It’s) just a case of understanding the budget and how to get the most bang for the buck from our limited resources,” he said. He offered some advice he believed will be of enormous assistance. “Listen and learn and get updates from the city manager on initiatives and goals.”
Mayor James Clements believes Pfeiffer will make a good commissioner and pointed to her previous role on the county planning committee.
“I’ve been to enough county planning committee meetings to know it’s not unlike the city commission,” said Clements. Of course, it still will take some orientation for Pfeiffer. “As with all newly-elected officials, it will take some time to get up to speed on things.”
One of those will be working on the upcoming budget, which will be in May and June.
Clements had a suggestion for Pfeiffer.
“Spend a fair amount of time riding around. Look at the streets, the parks and other areas,” said Clements. He also added a bit of advice.
“Expect phone calls from residents,” he said and suggested Pfeiffer do what he has learned to do from his years of experience as a commissioner when those phone calls do come in.
“The best way to handle those is to go to George with it,” he said referring to George A. Long, Bartow’s city manager.
Without question, exiting Commissioner Lewis was most effusive about the prospects of Pfeiffer joining the commission, who had actively campaigned for her.
“I don’t see her doing anything but hitting the ground running,” said Lewis. “I don’t see her missing a beat.”
A good part of that, he added, is due to her active role through the years in numerous events, not just her participation, but also her leadership role in many of them.
Lewis also cited his belief that Pfeiffer’s enthusiasm will bring a fresh perspective to the city commission. He also praised her ability to be open to the thoughts of others while still sticking to her principles.
“She’s the type who will mesh well, yet she’s also not afraid to say what’s on her mind,” he said. In addition, he said Pfeiffer is someone almost always prepared. “She does her research and her homework.”
As for any advice, Lewis offered but one which he also stated Pfeiffer already was well aware of.
“Listen and be involved, which she already does,” he said. “She will do well.”
(Several attempts to reach Commissioner Leo Longworth were not successful.)