The newly selected mayor speaks on a number of topics
On June 13, Commissioner Nate Kilton was officially sworn in as Plant City’s new mayor – a seat he is now holding for the first time. However, he has served as vice mayor before, next to former Mayor Rick Lott.
During the commission meeting that evening, his fiancée Kathleen Hall, and his three children Ethan, Levi, and Adeline, were at his side for support as he took the oath of office.
Here are several things to know about the new mayor.
1. What was life like back in your native town Plainfield, Vermont?
A. It’s a small, rural town in central Vermont. The population is probably around 1,700 people. My graduating class in public high school was 25 students. It was very…rural, but had great public education and I had a very loving family. I went to school at Florida State University.
2. What higher education did you pursue?
A. My accounting degree is from Florida State, but I also have a finance degree from the University of South Florida, and an MBA from the University of Tampa.
3. What sparked your interest in finance?
A. I wanted to find something that I thought would be able to pay the bills and take care of my family, so I started with accounting. Then I was interested in finance. So I do both with my practice. I’m a certified public accountant and a certified financial planner.
4. When did you join what is now called Sedita Kilton?
A. It was formerly Joseph E. Sedita and Company. My former business partner, he started in October 1977 and I joined him in November 2005. We do a lot of accounting work to help people do financial statement audits, tax returns for businesses and individuals, payroll, and basically anything you could imagine that somebody might need for accounting. We also do financial planning, and retirement planning.
5. What intrigued you to move to Plant City?
A. I moved because of family and it would have been February of 2000. Because of where I grew up in rural Vermont, Plant City is huge in comparison.
6. What motivated you to get into public office?
A. I had just wrapped up being on the board of directors for the chamber. I had been the chamber chair. I’ve been involved in helping to start the Economic Development Corporation, and was looking for the next opportunity to volunteer for the community. I really view the city commission as a volunteer position. I just felt like it fit with what my skill sets were and what I had to offer.
7. What is it that brings the unity and comradery among the city commission?
A. I think it comes from our core values, that we’re going to show people the dignity and respect they deserve, even when you don’t agree because we understand where everybody is coming from. I have tremendous respect for my fellow commissioners. We’ve also worked on different projects outside of the commission in different volunteer efforts. While we’re commissioners, we also participate in our churches and in other non-profits.
8. Where do you and your family like to frequent in town?
A. We love just about anything downtown. We love the food truck rallies. We like to go when Norma’s does their Friday nights and have a seat at Tipsy Bookworm or Roots and have food delivered. We’ve come to appreciate Plant City Entertainment. We love the McIntosh Preserve. We spend a lot of time running and biking through Plant City. There’s so much available in Plant City.
9. What are plans for Plant City that you want to come to fruition, whether long term or short term?
A. I think the biggest thing is to maintain the small town feel that we have while we’re growing. That’s kind of the tension that we’ve got. You can see that at some of the recent commission meetings. We’re really trying to be thoughtful about all the growth that has happened so quickly and how we make sure we continue to allow for us to move forward in that area. I’m looking forward to building downtown. I would love to see some of the projects that we have in the works, like the development of the post office. I’m looking forward to seeing more development in midtown. Also, making sure that we continue to take care of our infrastructure – some of the things that aren’t necessarily all that exciting to people, but it’s critically important. Also, really supporting our first responders – our police and our firefighters. They do a great job. That’s the number one priority of a small government. Plant City is a great place to raise a family and we’re really intentional about our Parks and Rec Department, and providing a lot of opportunities for young families and making sure it’s a safe environment for people, a place that has a lot of opportunities when it comes to jobs. I don’t know that there’s a huge initiative for any change of direction that I have in mind. I think the commission has done a great job, and our city manager, our leadership team for really cultivating the vision for where we are right now and continuing on that path.
10. What message would you like to convey to Plant City residents?
A. We are very community and citizen focused. We try really hard to communicate the best we can. We really try to take the customer service-oriented approach to things.