Meet Your Planning Commissioners

The Planning Commission, the official local planning agency for all jurisdictions in Hillsborough County, provides consolidated planning services and makes independent recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners, Plant City Commission, Tampa City Council, Temple Terrace City Council and other agencies regarding smart growth and development of Hillsborough County.

Led by ten citizen appointees from all four jurisdictions and two ex officio members representing MacDill Air Force Base and the Hillsborough County Public School District, the Planning Commission provides innovative leadership and long range vision that contributes to the creation of a thriving, prosperous community that offers opportunity, fairness, and choice in how we live, move, learn, work, and play.

View the Guiding Principles of the Planning Commission.

Mitch Thrower, Chair - A fifth generation Hillsborough County resident, Mr. Thrower is currently the Deputy Director of Administration at the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority. He has served as Chairman of both the Hillsborough County Charter Review Board and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners Citizens Advisory Committee, and President of the Pine Hollow Special Dependent District. An...
Bowen A. Arnold, Vice Chair - Mr. Arnold has degrees in finance and law, with 25 years of experience in real estate and development. He is the President of DDA Development Company, Inc., a full service real estate development firm, and is a member of the Florida Bar, Florida Real Estate Commission, Westshore Alliance, Greater Tampa Realtors Association, the Coalition of...
Gary Pike, Member-at-Large - Born and raised in Elmira, New York, Gary Pike has been actively involved in charitable and community activities since he moved to Plant City in 1995.  Commissioner Pike is a Trustee of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce and current President of the Clubhouse Woods Homeowners Association. Appointed in 2012 by: City of Plant...
Matthew Buzza - A resident of Hillsborough County for more than 20 years, Mr. Buzza has more than 20 years commercial banking experience. He brings 12 years of direct experience having served on the Plant City Planning & Zoning Board, the last two years as its Chairman. Currently a Senior Vice President at Platinum Bank, he graduated from...
Derek L. Doughty - A member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Mr. Doughty has focused on the development of hydrologic and hydraulic modeling of stormwater conveyance systems and management facilities with extensive experience in Land Engineering and Planning, Roadway Design, DRI and Stormwater Projects, and commercial and multi-family site development engineering. A resident of Hillsborough County for...
Christopher Farkas (Ex-Officio) - Mr. Farkas is the Chief Facilities Officer for Hillsborough County Public Schools. He supervises the Construction, Planning, Real Estate, Maintenance and Transportation departments for the eighth largest school district in the country. Appointed by: Hillsborough County Public Schools
Theodore Trent Green - Theodore Trent Green brings 25 years of experience in architecture and urban design as well as extensive community involvement in planning and development to the Planning Commission. A 20-year resident of Temple Terrace, Commissioner Green is a Professor at the University of South Florida’s School of Architecture and Community Design. He has also served as...
Nigel M. Joseph - A resident of Hillsborough County since 1990, Mr. Joseph has a Bachelor of Design Architecture from the University of Florida, a Master of Architecture with Distinction from Lawrence Technological University, and is a current Ph.D. student at the University of South Florida. With professional experience in both architecture and planning services, he plans to apply...
Karen Kress, AICP - Karen Kress serves as the Director of Transportation and Planning at the Tampa Downtown Partnership. A true advocate for transit and transportation, Ms. Kress leads the Partnership’s Transportation and Urban Design Committees and its Parking Task Force. She is an avid biker, a champion for safe walking and bicycling, and has actively volunteered for the...
Michael Maurino - Michael Maurino advocates for policies that benefit children and families in his role as Director of Public Policy for United Way Suncoast. A graduate of the University of Florida with a B.A. in Political Science and a B.S. in Telecommunications-News, Mr. Maurino has previous experience as a legislative aide and as an advocate for Tampa’s...
Tony Rodriguez, AICP (Ex-Officio) - Mr. Rodriguez is Base Community Planner. He brings with him more than 25 years of public and private sector experience in policy, management, planning, and engineering. Mr. Rodriguez previously represented MacDill as an Ex-Officio Planning Commissioner from 2005 – 2007. Appointed by: MacDill AFB Appointed by: MacDill AFB  
Jacqueline S. Wilds - A resident of Tampa for more than 38 years, Ms. Wilds holds a Masters of Administration from the Universityof Tampa and retired as a school teacher and department chair after 37 years of experience. An avid community volunteer, she has held numerous offices in community organization and has served as President of the Hillsborough County...
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