Patricia Christensen holds two records in
Port St. Lucie politics: She was first elected
to the City Council in 1990 at the age
of 33 and still holds the record as the youngest
person elected to that body. Then, when she
was elected mayor in November, she became
the first woman mayor in the municipality’s
45-year history. As mayor of the city of
154,600 people and a jurisdiction of 115
square miles, Christensen helps oversee an
annual budget of $675 million.
Q. There were six candidates in the
race for Port St. Lucie mayor. Are the
people in Port St. Lucie more interested
and involved in politics than
in other cities?
A. I don’t know what happens in
other towns, but I do know we have
a growing population that is very
interested in what happens in the
community. My opinion is based on
the fact that we live in an electronic
age and e-mail is how we’re contacted
a great deal by people who normally
would not call or have time to
come to a council meeting. In contrast
to the early 1990s, we are contacted
by a lot more people than we were
back then. We have a lot of vocal people
who want to ensure that the quality
of life in Port St. Lucie stays the
same as when they moved here.
Q. Can you define Port St. Lucie as a
A. Port St. Lucie is a community of
people from many walks of life and
many areas of the country. It’s a
beautiful place to live. It’s enjoyable
and it’s an exciting place because
there are so many new things happening
all at once.
Q. One of the common complaints
about navigating Port St. Lucie is
dealing with the heavy traffic. Do
you think the traffic will ever
A. It definitely will improve as we
rebuild the old
think we’ll see some
improvements in next few years
with the opening of the
Crosstown Parkway, which will
connect the east side of the city
with the west side of the city.
Q. Much is written in the
media about the fractious relations
between the city of Port St.
Lucie and the Martin and St.
Lucie county commissions. Do
you see those improving?
A. First of all, I don’t think they’re
as bad as portrayed by the media,
and I think they are getting better.
Since I’ve been elected, I’ve had
numerous meetings with commissioners
from Martin and St. Lucie.
We are continuing to discuss the
issues relevant to all three local governments.
We’re not going to agree
100 percent of the time, but one of my
goals is to keep communication
lines open rather than
communicate through the
press. I’ve always felt it’s
more effective to communicate
one-on-one than to
air your dirty laundry out
publicly. We’ve been able