Commissioner Kathleen Peters
2023 Vice Chair
Elected to the Pinellas County Commission in 2018, Commissioner Kathleen Peters is a passionate advocate for reforming the behavioral health system of care, and ending the stigma associated with seeking help for those suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders. Kathleen believes in prioritizing the core functions of local government—public safety, water quality and environmental protection, and sound infrastructure—as a member of the Pinellas County Commission. She currently serves on the following Boards:
- Business Technology Services
- County Attorney Oversight Committee (CAOC)
- Continuum of Care (Formerly Homeless Leadership Board-HHSLB)
- Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority
- Tampa Bay Water
- Youth Advisory Committee – Commissioner Liaison
- Election Canvassing Board (Alternate) (ECB)
Commissioner Peters moved to Pinellas County in 1985 and raised her four sons in St. Petersburg and the beaches. She received her BA in Human Development from Eckerd College and her AA degree from St. Petersburg College. Kathleen has owned and operated a business in St. Pete Beach, and in serving with the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County, the YMCA, and the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce, she has extensive ties to the Pinellas community and businesses.
Serving Southwest Pinellas County in the Florida House of Representatives from 2012 to 2018, she served as Chair of the Energy and Utilities Committee. She also served as a member of the Commerce and Ways & Means Committees and on the Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee. Her legislative achievements include reforming Florida’s mental health system, protecting utility ratepayers from creative billing, securing funding to protect and re-nourish our beaches and waterways and tightening reporting requirements when sewage is released into the environment.
As a State Representative, Kathleen passed several bills that benefit Floridians in Pinellas and across the state, including reducing taxes for apartment and condominium owners. She passed legislation for better boater safety requirements in the name of a local teenage girl who lost her life in a boating accident. She also spearheaded a social marketing campaign, “Who knew” to bring attention to the true face of the homeless population, veterans, single moms and children.
In her role with the Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County, Kathleen coordinated a statewide advocacy group to develop a legislative agenda for positive youth policies associated with juvenile justice. She also coordinated a group of more than seventy youth for developing program criteria and acquiring funding to open a local teen center as a millennium youth legacy project in Pinellas Park.
In 2001, she began work at the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg as grant manager and later as the financial development director. Along with developing numerous partnerships for the YMCA, Kathleen built consensus to identify strategies to combat the elevated rate of school suspensions and school related arrests among middle school students. This research resulted in the development of the award-winning YMCA Youth Enhancement Skills Program, which demonstrated strong positive outcomes. In 2004, Kathleen presented this award-winning program at a Congressional Briefing for the U.S. House and Senate.
- Pinellas Realtor Organization Hometown Hero, 2020
- Girl Scouts Woman of Distinction Recipient, 2020
- Florida Hospital Association Behavioral Health Council, Recognition, 2016
- FMHC, Legislator of the Year Award, 2016
- M.A. Bernstein Award for Mental Health Awareness, 2016
- Association of Counties, County Champion Award, 2015
- Florida Association of Counties, Exemplary Public Service Award, 2015
- Florida Housing Coalition, Housing Champion, 2015
- Florida Partners in Crisis, Legislative Champion, 2015
- Florida Sheriffs Association, Legislative Champion, 2015
- Florida Veterinary Medical Association, Legislator of the Year, 2015
- Osteopathic Medical Society, Legislator of the Year, 2015
- Suncoast League of Cities, Legislator of the Year, 2015
- TASC Innovator Award, 2015
- Association of Counties, County Champion Award, 2014
- League of Cities, “Defender of Home Rule” Award, 2014
- St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, Woman of Distinction Award, nominee, 2006
- Princess of the Queen of Hearts Royal Court for outstanding community service, 2005
- Pinellas Juvenile Assessment Center, Advisory Board, past member
E-mail addresses are public records under Florida law and are not exempt from public-records requirements. If you do not want your e-mail address to be subject to being released pursuant to a public-records request, do not send electronic mail to this entity. Instead, contact this office by telephone at (727) 464-3000, (727) 464-4062 TDD, or in writing, via the United States Postal Service at: Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners 315 Court Street Clearwater, FL 33756