Joanne "Cookie" Kennedy is the first female to be elected Mayor of Indian Rocks Beach. She previously served on the city commission for 13 years and was Chairperson of the Planning and Zoning Board and Finance Budge Review for the city. A Pinellas County native, Mayor Kennedy is a business owner in Indian Rocks Beach for over 30 years. Kennedy is recognized as a tireless advocate for the Gulf Beach cities and served on the Florida League of Cities Criminal Justice, Ethics, and Personnel Prevention Board.
Locally, Mayor Kennedy presently serves on the Executive Board as Treasurer of the Pinellas County MPO, Forward Pinellas, and the Tourist Development Council as the Gulf Beaches representative. She has championed enhancing beach access, and safe modes of transportation while maintaining our economically vibrant communities.
As Mayor and a member of the Barrier Island Governmental Council (BIG-C) Kennedy has lobbied at the local, state, and federal levels supporting continued beach renourishment and against off-shore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. She continues to advocate the importance of environmental and economic measures championing waterborne transportation, bicycle and pedestrian friendly lanes, and mixed use development along the Gulf Beaches.
The most significant issue challenging Mayor Kennedy is the Legislature’s preemption of Florida cities to regulate "Short Term Rentals" and the hardships the issue presents to residential neighborhoods and local governance.