OKEECHOBEE — Lisa Feltenberger is running for city council. Born and raised in Indianapolis, Feltenberger and her husband, David, moved to Okeechobee after passing through the town while on vacation in 1999. Her husband had retired in Indianapolis and the couple went to Key West to ride motorcycles. As they passed through Okeechobee on their return trip, they saw a piece of property for sale on Berman Road, and her husband fell in love with it. They bought it and then flew home to pack up the kids. “We have loved Okeechobee from the first time we saw it.”
Feltenberger’s interest in running for city council was sparked when she and her husband had some issues with code liens on several houses they purchased. Her husband buys old houses, rehabilitates them and then sells them — mostly in the city. “It raised questions about fines, fees, city attorneys and what they charge.” When she asked questions, she found the answers were available, but not quickly, and this is something she would like to see improved on.
Checks and balances are her top priority. “I like to know that everything the city council is doing, somebody is watching.” She went on to explain that there are minute details the public does not know about. They see what is on the agenda. “I feel like the city of Okeechobee needs someone who is FOR them sitting on that council.”
Feltenberger feels she relates well to the general public, the ordinary people on the street. She owns several businesses and deals with a lot of people every day. One of her biggest pet peeves is when language is used in meetings that only those in that field would understand. She believes they should speak in terms a layman can understand. “I feel we need to communicate more in ways the general public will understand. Instead of saying there is a charter review board meeting, maybe say, ‘Hey, do you know that right now the way the city gets run is being rewritten?’” She said people need to understand it affects them directly. It affects their children, and it affects their grandchildren. “We need to relate more on a people level and less on a council level.”
Although she feels the city council does a great job, she believes she can help them do an even better job. “I want citizens to have a voice, because ultimately, that’s what council is there for. I’m not a politician; I’m a mom. I feel like I am good at empathizing with people which is not a skill a lot of people have. I like to know what they are feeling. I like to know what they are going through, and I like to know how it will affect them. There’s always more to the story than just black and white numbers.”
Feltenberger has always run the businesses she and her husband own and is very good with bookkeeping, finances and checks and balances. “I’m a numbers person.”
“I believe the city council is doing a good job, I just feel like I can add something that isn’t there now, and I’m excited to be a voice for the people.”
Feltenberger has three children, one daughter and two sons and wants to ensure Okeechobee grows but in a way that allows Okeechobee to remain Okeechobee. She expects to have grandchildren living here one day.