Meet Nick Palomba

Candidate for Indian Rocks Beach City Commissioner

I know that the first question you may have is why am I running for City Commissioner. For me, it is a very easy question to answer.  I love our small beach community and would like to be part of making it even better. I believe it is very important that as we make strategic decisions for the community that we do so with great care and balance of not losing our community focus and charm. This is what makes Indian Rocks Beach so special. In every way possible, Indian Rocks Beach changed my life.  It is where I met my wife, Valarie,  where we got married, where I became a stepdad to two wonderful daughters, Ashley and Leah and where we built our first memories as a family. I think I’ve walked every street many times over just taking the girls trick or treating.

To share the history,  Valarie and her (now our) daughters, Ashley and Leah, first moved to Indian Rocks Beach in 2002.   Ashley attended  Anona elementary and when Leah started elementary school she went to Mildred Helms. I met Valarie at an industry conference in 2008 and we were married in 2010.   We made a difficult choice and moved away for a few years for our careers. After moving, we found ourselves coming back at any opportunity because we missed the relaxed and “beach time”  lifestyle.  We loved going to Crabby Bill’s for Stone Crab, to JD's (one of the first places Valarie introduced me to) for the best ranch dressing, events, and sunset walks. Overall, we missed living here and the sense of community. 

We were on our anniversary cruise and while we were sitting on the balcony looking at the water, we discussed moving back. Valarie had just started a new job that would allow her to live anywhere in Florida and I just needed to be close to an airport.  Our initial plan was to buy our “fixer upper” (watched way too many home improvement shows) and work on it over a few years before moving back permanently so our youngest could finish high school in Lake Mary. That was the plan.

We got off our cruise in March, we were in contract on our house by April and closed in May of 2015.  When we make our minds up we act fast!   We made it about six months of commuting back and forth from Lake Mary every weekend.  Everyone was tired of I4 traffic every weekend and we all wanted the same thing, which was to come home. By this time our oldest was in college at UF but the youngest was in 9th grade. It was a hard decision for her to switch schools. She wanted to do it so during Christmas break of 10th grade started at Indian Rocks Christian. We move here full time and sold the house in Lake Mary. It was one of the best decisions we have ever made.

I have been fortunate over my career to have traveled to many cities, states, and countries. With all this travel I have never found a place as special as this town. We have Clearwater Beach, a large tourism beach and well as St Petersburg Beach on the other side of us. Then we have home, this small town of Indian Rocks Beach in the middle. As we grow as a community my goal is to help balance both growths with our community values. I want to keep our small-town feel. We don’t want major developments on the beach or huge commercialization of our city. This is why I’m running for Commissioner.

My almost 30-year career in technology, 25 of those years I have spent at Microsoft, has provided me with the opportunity to work with very interesting people in the public and private sector. I have met people from Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to Congressman and Senators. I have worked with Generals to Privates in the all the major services branches. I have worked with State and Local Governments, Federal and Local Law Enforcement, and Major Universities. I think my background would be excellent for a City Commissioner.

My experience working with so many different agencies and customers has allowed me to see the challenges and opportunities from which decisions are made. I’ve had the benefit of working with customers on strategic technology planning for agencies, cities or states.  I understand the need to keep the community first creative and looking at alternative funding ways through grants. This is why I refer to balance so often. We must find ways to create opportunities for growth, to continue to evolve the community for the benefit of all who live here and those that vacation here. At the same time, we must balance growth while keeping the same model that the communities and visitors love about IRB.  We are so blessed to live here and be a part of this small-town charm, with the events and community activities. I want to keep Indian Rocks beach that small town home we all moved here for and value.

I am asking for your vote so that I could work hard for everyone to keep Indian Rocks Beach this wonderful place we call home.

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The statements [or testimony] I offer today represent my own personal views. I am speaking for myself and not on behalf of my employer, Microsoft Corporation.
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