Kristine Isnardi Says New County Commission ‘Well Equipped To Handle the People’s Business’

By  //  February 10, 2017

'Staff has been extremely helpful'

Space Coast Daily sat down with Brevard County Commissioner Kristine Isnardi to discuss her first few months in office.

Isnardi Represents District 5, Which Includes Areas of Melbourne, West Melbourne, Palm Bay, Indialantic And Melbourne Village

EDITOR’S NOTE: Space Coast Daily sat down with Brevard County Commissioner Kristine Isnardi to discuss her first few months in office.

Isnardi was elected to the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners in November 2016. She represents District 5, which includes areas of Melbourne, West Melbourne, Palm Bay, Indialantic and Melbourne Village.

Originally from Michigan, Isnardi moved to Palm Bay 18 years ago. In 2007, Isnardi was elected to the Palm Bay City Council, where she served that city’s citizens for seven years.

During her tenure, Isnardi was a strong advocate for roads, infrastructure, public safety, and veterans’ issues while promoting less taxation, limited government intrusion, and fiscal transparency.

Isnardi has been a Registered Nurse for eight years and currently works with Hospice of Health First. She is presently completing her Nurse Practitioner Master’s Degree. She is married to retired Army veteran David Isnardi and together they have six children and two grandchildren.

Isnardi and her family have served the community through various organizations that assist our veterans, the homeless, and the underserved.

Q: SPACE COAST DAILY: After your first few months as a member of the Brevard County Commission, how do you feel the current commission is equipped to do the people’s business?

A: KRISTINE ISNARDI: Generally speaking, I believe that we have a strong commission. I feel that the board offers a variety of experience, and is well equipped to handle the people’s business. Finding common ground can be somewhat of a challenge, so it is important that we set aside the things that we can’t agree on, and focus on the things that we can.

Q: SPACE COAST DAILY: So far, what distinct moments of your service on the county commission have been most gratifying and why?

A: KRISTINE ISNARDI: Convincing the majority of the board to change commission meeting times to the evening, so that more people have the ability to attend. Also, working toward ethic reform changes for the board, to bring about more government transparency and accountability.

Q: SPACE COAST DAILY: What are the biggest challenges of being a county commissioner?

A: KRISTINE ISNARDI: The biggest challenge so far has been balancing time between meetings, briefings, constituents, and family. Reading hundreds of pages of agenda documents, along with research, can also consume an enormous amount of time. Having served two terms on city council, well prepared me for understanding zoning, comp plan amendments, and many other of issues brought before the board.

WATCH ON SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Mike Haridopolos welcomes special guest Brevard County Commissioner Kristine Isnardi.

Q: SPACE COAST DAILY: As one of the new members of the county commission, what have you learned so far about how the county is managed? How can that be improved?

A: KRISTINE ISNARDI: Current management is fine. It’s a shame that Mr. Whitten is leaving, but I believe that we have enough talent to keep things afloat until we find our next county manager. Staff has been extremely helpful and responsive to myself and the District 5 office.

Q: SPACE COAST DAILY: What specific plans do you have for tackling the county’s most difficult challenges?

A: KRISTINE ISNARDI: I believe that this commission wants to get things done. We need to set aside politics, and understand that we have a responsibility to our community to act professionally and responsibly while serving.

Q: SPACE COAST DAILY: What things do you not like about how the county’s tax dollars are spent?

A: KRISTINE ISNARDI: County tax dollars should never be expended on cash incentives for billion dollar companies. Community Development Agencies (CRAs) need to be brought under control, so that once they’ve served their purpose of ridding neighborhoods of blight, they are not continuing to accumulate enormous amounts of debt that further extends their existence. The county should not be in the business of donating money to selected charities, as this is not the role of government, nor is it fair to all worthy causes that do not receive funding. When you prioritize needs (public safety, roads, infrastructure) over wants (charities, beautification, special projects), you are expending tax funds responsibly.

Q: SPACE COAST DAILY: Are there things that confound you about being a county commissioner?

A: KRISTINE ISNARDI: Not really. County government is similar in many ways to municipal (where I served), but much bigger, and with more complex issues that have required time and research.

Q: SPACE COAST DAILY: What are the most encouraging indicators for the future of life in Brevard County?

A: KRISTINE ISNARDI: The expansion of space, and the (current) commitment of the majority of the board to address our transportation needs.

Q: SPACE COAST DAILY: What are some things that people might not realize about life as a county commissioner?

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A: KRISTINE ISNARDI: You quickly lose your privacy and anonymity. This has always been a challenging thing for me personally, because I am a very private person by nature. It is a very busy job with a lot of responsibility, not just to the residents we serve, but to our 2,200 employees that serve the community as well.

Q: SPACE COAST DAILY: The vast majority of our readers greatly appreciate what you have brought to the county commission. That said, what are the factors that might lead you to run for a second 4-year term?

A: KRISTINE ISNARDI: It is too early for me to say whether or not I would run for another term. Although I am extremely honored and humbled to have this opportunity to serve, it is a huge sacrifice to family, career, etc. My goal from the beginning, has always been to help make our community a place where my own children would want to stay to raise theirs. If I can have a positive impact, then I would consider running for a second term.