JoAnn M. Faiella was elected Mayor of Port St. Lucie in November 2010 after serving eight years in the city’s police department as a criminal intelligence analyst and police service aide.
As mayor, she has been a leading advocate for several important community issues, including economic development and job growth, environmental preservation and improved relationships with governmental agencies at the local, state and federal levels.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., she moved to Port St. Lucie in 1989 after falling in love with the city while on vacation. She began working for the city in 2002 as a police service aide and later as a criminal intelligence analyst. Her husband, Pat, is a deputy with the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.
Mayor Faiella is active with the Lions Club, Harvest Food Outreach, Hibiscus and the College Preparatory Academy of the Treasure Coast. In her role as Mayor of Florida’s 9th largest city, she serves as President of the Treasure Coast League of Cities and Chair of the St. Lucie Transportation Organization.
Other boards and committees include:
Among her most rewarding experiences as Mayor was her collaboration with Honor Flight Network to send 89 World War II veterans to Washington, D.C. to see a special memorial there acknowledging their sacrifices. Mayor Faiella supports other veterans’ causes, such as the National Purple Heart City initiative, and the recognition of the end of the Korean War.
Since becoming mayor, she worked with detectives and state legislators to create a law to help police officers investigate suspects charged with sex crimes before they are released on bond. Through her persistent efforts working with the police department and other elected officials, Brittany’s Law was enacted in June 2013.
Other successes include the recruitment of nationally renowned destination retailer Bass Pro Shops to Port St. Lucie, a Tesla Motors electric car supercharging station, and a Golden Apple award program recognizing excellence in public schools in Port St. Lucie.
Mayor Faiella is proud of the combined efforts of local citizens and the city’s police department, which led to a 19 percent reduction in crime in 2012. It was the third consecutive year the Florida Department of Law Enforcement statistics show that Port St. Lucie had the state’s lowest crime rate for a city with more than 100,000 people.
She also supports environmental causes that protect natural resources for future generations. Those projects include the installation of solar electric panels to help power the Civic Center, the city’s purchase of 3,107 acres of undeveloped farmland for future water supply needs, and a contract with Honeywell Corporation to reduce the city’s energy consumption enough to power 450 homes a year.
Mayor Faiella also supports the efforts of the non-profit Solar and Energy Loan Fund, which helps local homeowners obtain low-cost financing for home renovations that lower their monthly energy costs and consumption.
JoAnn and Pat have three children and one grandchild, and are thankful every day for the opportunities and friendships they have found since moving to Port St. Lucie.
Linda Bartz is serving her second term as Councilwoman, District 1. Linda is a business woman who knows how to balance a budget and manage money.
Linda is active in the community serving with the Port St. Lucie Rotary, Council on Aging, Treasure Coast Crime Stoppers, the Exchange Club, Hospice Ethics Committee, Concerned Citizens, Big Heart Brigade, and the recently formed St. Lucie County Sustainability Ad Hoc Committee.
Whether it’s helping to address important issues in the community such as traffic and roads to ensure that emergency vehicles can get to and from hospitals and accident scenes quickly, working with the Superintendent and members of the St. Lucie County School District to raise educational standards or helping to bring down the high cost of taxes, insurance and living on the Treasure Coast, Linda is dedicated and committed to keeping Port St. Lucie moving into the future.
Originally from New Jersey, Linda and her husband Gary have been residents of Port St. Lucie for 20 years. They have three grown daughters and are the proud grandparents of three grandchildren. In her spare time, Linda relaxes by reading a good mystery.
Michelle Lee Berger was elected to the Port St. Lucie City Council in November 2004 with 60 percent of the voters approving of the fresh ideas and positive message she offered during her campaign.
As the mother of two boys and the wife of a Palm Beach County firefighter, Michelle understands the expectations of Port St. Lucie’s families, and has been a strong proponent of the quality-of-life issues that make the city the destination of so many new residents.
And with more than 14 years of management and small business owner experience, along with a bachelor's degree in business management, she understands the important role businesses play in the city’s stability and development. That’s why she has been a supporter of policies that ensure the city’s growth will include a healthy mix of commercial and residential areas, and that the local infrastructure will be among the best in Florida long into the future.
As a persistent advocate for fiscal responsibility, Michelle urges that taxpayer money be used only for those projects that bring the most value to the city, and her support of a proposal to change the financing plan for construction of the Crosstown Parkway will help the city save millions of dollars on a project that won approval of 89 percent of Port St. Lucie’s voters in 2005.
Perhaps her greatest strength, however, is her contagious energy and her ability to build consensus for the programs and projects she believes in. As a volunteer in several local organizations and committees, Michelle has demonstrated this to the residents and officials who have worked with her, and who now see the positive impact she has had on the future of the city.
Her favorite activity is spending time with her family, and their boating and camping experiences have allowed them to enjoy the best of what the magnificent state of Florida has to offer. She currently serves on the St. Lucie County Scenic Highway Committee, the St. Lucie County Bridge and Expressway Authority, St. Lucie County Tourism Development Council, St. Lucie County/Martin Metropolitan Planning Organization, Florida Atlantic University Advisory Committee, St. Lucie County Habitat for Humanity, North Fork of the St. Lucie River Management Advisory Committee, and as an alternate to the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council. Michelle also serves on the Community Advisory Board for Seacoast Bank, as well as two non-profit organizations’ boards: the YMCA of the Treasure Coast and the Police Athletic League in Port St. Lucie. A major accomplishment recently has been the marriage of resources between the Y and PAL which resulted in a new facility for after school care within the City of Port St. Lucie funded by a Children’s Services Council grant. Michelle was also recently appointed by Senate President Ken Pruitt to a newly formed State of Florida Fireworks Task Force, which has been assigned the task of crafting new state legislation for fireworks sale and distribution.
Councilwoman Shannon M. Martin was elected in November 2010 to represent District 3 and the residents of Port St. Lucie. Shannon and her husband, Aaron, moved to Port St. Lucie in 2006 with their two children.
Shannon is a paralegal by profession, but brings so much more to the table that benefits the residents of Port St Lucie, including experience in land use and legal issues, just to name two. Being new to the political scene has made Shannon extremely sensitive to the needs of her constituents. She is committed to establishing transparency in the residents’ city government, along with a sense of accountability that is second to none.
Shannon plans to focus on ensuring the city remains fiscally responsible and transparent to the residents. Her paralegal background provides her the skill-set to effectively analyze complex issues like the budget, and to prioritize the issues, making more complete and informative decisions. Shannon is up for the challenge and is humbled by the faith the voters have placed in her as their Councilwoman.
One of the many things that intrigued her during her campaign was the desire of residents to communicate directly with their elected officials. Communicating with and educating residents is the key to maintaining the support needed to move the city forward in a positive direction.
“I look forward to serving the residents of Port St Lucie and I am committed to representing the best interests of all residents. Being your Councilwoman will be my full-time job and I look forward to the pleasure of serving you. I encourage anyone that has a concern or needs clarification on an issue to contact me at (772) 871-5159 or by e-mail at District3@cityofpsl.com. Let’s all make Port St Lucie the best city with the best residents.”
“I am your neighbor,” says Port St. Lucie’s newest City Council member, Jolien Caraballo, who grew up in the city and now runs a local business and raises her kids here.
“I am so honored to serve the people I love and the community I call home.”
Jolien has been a resident of Port St. Lucie since 1991, attending Southport Middle School and participating in student government as a Jaguar at Port St. Lucie High School.
During that time, Jolien participated in St. Lucie County’s newly formed Teen Court program, taking the role as “prosecuting attorney.” She says the educational experience helped develop her interest in public affairs and government.
In the mid 1990s, she interned in the city’s Community Relations Department under longtime Director Nina Baranski. Jolien says the position gave her a chance to see local government operations up close, and helped her develop an appreciation for the work of the City Council.
While still in her teens, she met her husband in the Treasure Coast Mall. The couple have been married 14 years and now have two children.
Jolien has seen a lot of change in the community since her days going to movies at the Village Green Theatre, where the Civic Center now stands, but she still believes in Port St. Lucie’s “small town feel” and enjoys meeting new people every chance she gets.
She also attended IRSC and has volunteered in various political causes and campaigns that she believed were good for the people of Port St. Lucie. Her parents say she always wanted to get involved in whatever was going on — even as a toddler — and has always had strong communication skills.
Now Jolien works as a director of operations at a salon and spa in Port St. Lucie, where her experience helps her understand the needs of the city’s business community. Her experience there is a big reason she plans to focus heavily on business growth as a City Council member.
“I want to be a voice for the small businesses of our city because they create most of the local jobs and they provide great convenience for our residents,” says Jolien.
Fluent in Spanish, she wants to establish good communications with residents to hear their concerns and get their input on important issues. And because of her family’s bad experiences in Cuba many years ago (they left the country as it became politically unstable), she has always been aware of the need for citizens to participate in government to ensure freedom and democracy.
Jolien wants to make sure the city always keeps a balanced budget and she looks forward to working on tough issues like finding the best use for the former Digital Domain building, and finding ways to make the City Center area financially solvent.
She and her family enjoy the natural beauty of Port St. Lucie in places like the Botanical Gardens and the St. Lucie River, and they also enjoy going to Mets games and events at the Civic Center.
“However, our greatest assets are the people of the community and the small businesses that contribute so much to our daily lifestyle in Port St. Lucie,” she says.