October 2019 – This month, we’re saying goodbye to two employees at Plan Hillsborough who have been with us for a combined 65 years. Bud Whitehead, Senior Planner, and Pedro Parra, Principal Planner, have been leaders in our agency and in our community. Both will be deeply missed in their retirements.
Pedro Parra | “I began working for the Planning Commission in October of 1987, as a Community Planner I, then as Community Planner II in 1990, a Senior Planner in 1992, and a Principal Planner in 1999.
While being a long-range land use and policy planner, my primary interest has remained community and neighborhood planning, helping communities develop a current understanding of their liabilities and assets and a shared vision of future short and long-range actions. I enjoyed my role as project manager for the development and adoption of community plans in Hillsborough County over the last ten years. The relationships that came from the community planning efforts proved to have great value for me personally, and for the agency.
As a member of the Strategic Planning Environment and Research team, I have developed and assisted in special projects within the agency and collaborated with other departments/agencies. I have worked as the agency’s liaison to the Tampa Innovation Partnership, Hillsborough County Affordable Housing Advisory Board, and on community plan initiatives.
It has been my pleasure for the last three years to work with other staff from the Planning Commission and Florida Health Department – Hillsborough County, Office of Health Equity, and graduate interns in researching Health In All Policies (HiAP) practices in the United States, and assessing existing Comprehensive Plans in Hillsborough County, Tampa, Plant City, and Temple Terrace against these practices. Beginning with the City of Tampa, the intention is to integrate the concept of HiAP.
I could not have had a better work environment or group of people to work with than here at the Planning Commission. What changes we have witnessed. Thank you, my God, for the blessing of this work-life and new life you are offering me as I retire.”
“The future is but the present a little further on.” -Jules Verne
Bud Whitehead | “For 33 years, I had the distinct pleasure of working with the MPO and the Planning Commission. I began my adventure in 1986 as a Planning Technician and will say goodbye as a Senior Planner. During my tenure, I was able to participate in seven long range transportation plans and was fortunate to work with the community during many public hearings. I appreciate the experiences gained from working with other planners and partner agencies. I especially enjoyed my involvement in seeing many worthwhile projects completed. I will miss the excitement of the meetings and hearing from the citizens informing the agencies about changes they would like made in the county. It has truly been an honor serving the residents of Hillsborough County.”