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Q & A

ALISON "AL" DENNINGTON

Town of Melbourne Beach Mayoral Candidate

About my family...

I've been married for 17 years to my wonderful husband, Lephiew Dennington, who is a local radiologist. We met while I was a law student in Arkansas and he was finishing his medical residency in Nashville. We were married in 2006 on the beach in St. Augustine and we have two wonderful boys, Holland and Waters, who were born in Arkansas. 

My family is my greatest pride and we have instilled strong values of honesty, integrity and hard work in our children. As a family we have built amazing memories together and we love spending time going on adventures, whether it be fishing and snorkeling in the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, exploring Wyoming, or enjoying our beautiful community here in Melbourne Beach.

Where was I born and raised?

I am a proud fourth-generation Floridian, born and raised in Central Florida in a small middle-class household with a close and happy family.  My mother was an elementary school teacher and recently retired after 30 years of teaching in the Lake County public school system.  I have always had a strong sense of ethics and fairness, which were gifts that my mother, grandmother, grandfather, step-father and uncle bestowed upon me as early as I can remember.

I graduated from Leesburg High School as an Honors Student and was very active in a variety of varsity sports and extracurricular activities.

What is my educational background?

I graduated from the University of Central Florida; majored in political science, with a minor in philosophy.

 

I graduated summa cum laude (and on Law Review) from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where I received my Juris Doctor degree. 

 

In law school, I clerked at several large firms, as well as at the Attorney General's Office, where I was tasked as the lone law clerk to research and draft an Original Action in the US Supreme Court (called an Original Bill of Complaint) for the state, Arkansas v. Oklahoma, which was a dispute regarding migratory environmental pollution coming into the state from outside, and the regulatory impacts upon the state.

 

I also took courses abroad in Rome, Italy as well studying international treaty law and negotiation in Italy, through a joint program with Hamline Law and newly graduated Italian lawyers competing in mock negotiations (where the Americans Law Students crushed it!).

 

My last semester of law school, was spent taking business, tax and natural resources law courses in Denver at the Denver University Law School.

What is my professional experience? 

I am a retired corporate and commercial litigation attorney. I was once an attorney at a private law firm in Arkansas, specializing in complex and high-profile transactions and litigation, mergers and acquisitions, large land-development matters, antitrust, some class-action litigation, oil and gas, and all kinds of corporate and contractual disputes and transactions.

 

I also worked as a staff attorney in the six-lawyer department of the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, where we handled all legal issues for that large government agency.

What is my political, government & civic experience?

Prior legal experience as internal in-counsel in the legal department at the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality, including various regulatory law, rulemaking and human resources work I did there. My prior private practice, representing public finance corporations in Arkansas in state bond Issue. Prior practice suing public entities on behalf of newspapers in public records cases. Vast experience reviewing, drafting and enforcing environmental permits and private contracts. Going to all the town meetings the last couple of years, reading the town code, charter and all the Florida statutes applicable to municipalities.

How long have I lived in Melbourne Beach?

6 years

What is my vision for Melbourne Beach?

I understand many of the issues that all of us face, and I have empathy, compassion and respect for the trials and tribulations, large and small that confront us daily.  I also understand the need to work hard, be prepared and do your homework, and to be informed before making decisions on issues or people.  I understand and respect the importance of consistency and continuity, as well as the importance of not becoming complacent. That is why if I am elected, I don’t plan on making sweeping changes of any kind, (other than significantly improved transparency and accountability).  

 

I think we have a wonderful community, and I don’t intend to tinker with that or mess it up.  Instead, I have a lot of ideas on how things can be improved using what and who we already have, and working professionally and respectfully while doing so.  

 

I also know that many of my ideas might not be able to come to fruition, but I plan to prioritize the ones that are necessary and that can be implemented successfully so that I can contribute to making things better. I intend to watch the budget with exceptional detail and to exercise independent judgment and appropriate oversight, so that we can save and spend on necessary items and infrastructure without having to constantly raise taxes. Careless spending must be reigned in.  

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