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Ex-Dundee Mayor Wants Back on Commission


Published: Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 12:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, February 15, 2013 at 11:59 p.m.

DUNDEE | Linda Riner-Mizell, former Dundee town commissioner and mayor, is running against Steven Glenn for Seat 2.

She served on the Town Commission from November 2003 until May 2012.

"I felt compelled to run," said Riner-Mizell, 40, after attending the Town Commission meeting Tuesday.

She said she's always wanted to leave something in better condition than she found it, and doesn't think the town is in that condition.

Riner-Mizell said she wants the town to do a better job keeping track of contracts, agreements and partnerships that were set during her previous years in office.

Commissioners who have that knowledge can remind other commissioners of what the town has already done and save discussion during meetings, she said.

The move to have a vision plan made for the downtown area is one such issue, she said. The town already started planning for downtown improvements in 2006 and revisited the plan in 2011, she said.

And since the town signed on as a partner of the State Road 17 Ridge Scenic Highway Corridor after the road was designated a State Scenic Highway in 2005, it should be referencing that plan in any vision planning, she said.

"The Scenic Highway visioning had a lot of large landowners at the table," Riner-Mizell said. "You have to know your partners. You have to make partnerships."

She also would like to see the town establish a community redevelopment agency to improve the downtown area as part of that corridor.

Riner-Mizell said she has been "square in the middle of bad politics."

In 2011, both the State Attorney's Office and Florida Commission on Ethics investigated questions from town officials and residents on whether she misused the town credit card to pay for a trip to the National League of Cities Congress of Cities and Exposition in 2010.

She represented the Ridge League of Cities there as its president.

Both investigations cleared her of any wrongdoing.

Riner-Mizell took out a loan to repay the $2,073 for the trip, although the Ridge League of Cities eventually reimbursed her.

Also, the commission enacted new procedures to restrict use of the town credit card.

When then-Mayor Riner-Mizell said a year ago that she wouldn't run for re-election, she didn't give reasons but said she was satisfied with the projects that were started during her time on the board.

Council members serve two-year terms and receive $275 per month.

Riner-Mizell was born and raised in Dundee. She graduated from Haines City High School in 1990, from Florida State University's John Dailey School of Government in 2004, and from Polk State College's business management and public administration program in 2009.

She was employed by Regency Medical Center from 2003 to 2010 and now works for Winter Haven Hospital in operating room materials management.

Riner-Mizell is married to Kevin Mizell, 47, and has two children: Jennifer, 14, and William, 10.

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