By ABBEY KUNKLE
Special to the PRESS
Originally from Houston, Texas, Councilman Sam Listi has been a member of the SPI community for 16 years. He spent his college years as an Aggie, earning his Bachelor and Master Degrees in Architecture from Texas A&M University in 1967. The Councilman has used his 43 years of private architectural practice to benefit the City by offering pro-bono services for the layout of the new city park as well as for the future community center and library. With 10 years as a high school drafting teacher and golf coach, he still enjoys golfing, in addition to reading and fishing whenever he finds the time. Above all else, Councilman Listi is the proud grandfather of eight children.
- How do you balance personal life with your busy job?
My day starts at Yummies or the Grapevine with coffee and conversation. I then visit my job sites, break for lunch, then do paperwork in the afternoon. I stop at about 6 p.m., cook dinner then read or watch TV. I like to cook different dishes and I am working on a cooking-for-one cookbook.
- How did you become interested in politics, and what inspired you to run for city council?
I am an architect and I saw areas where I could serve the City. I believe in giving back to the Community. I served two years on the P&Z board and two years on the Variance Board and now six years on the City Council.
- What are some changes that you have contributed to during your time on the Council for SPI? Any memorable or humorous moments?
Mayor Pinkerton first appointed me to a committee to remove the billboard on the Island. This was completed in 6 months. I was responsible for the non-smoking ordinance. The City owned the property next to the Travelodge and I saw a need for a bigger City Park. I did the layout and planning pro-bono and now we have funding for a park. There was a proposal to demo the old city hall, I looked at the building and determined that it would work for a community center and library. Again, I did the architectural work pro-bono and we have started the renovation incrementally. There was a community need to control the architecture and design on Padre Boulevard. I and other council members including Alita Bagley were successful in getting the Form Based Code passed. We need to control parking on Gulf Boulevard, and I sought out various options. We are currently waiting for a pay-by-phone approval from the GLO. My last action was to get the City Council to put license scanners for the causeway. The project was funded and we are waiting for the State to approve the installation. I worked with Chief Randy Smith to get this accomplished.
An un-humorous moment was stepping off the podium and dislocating my shoulder.
- What is your personal agenda of issues you would like to resolve?
I do not plan on running for office in November, so I would like to see construction started on the new park, completion of the old City Hall for a community building and a final plan for paid parking on Gulf Boulevard in place. I intend to keep working toward these goals.
- What is your long-term goal, and what kind of legacy would you like to leave in the community?
Long-term, I still feel that the City needs a Convention Centre banquet facility. Also, the City needs to keep refining our Form Based Code and continue Padre Boulevard improvements (i.e. sidewalks, medians, lighting).
My last long term goal is to spend more time with my wife.
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