A tweet this week by U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., has grown into a conversation about the condition of Fort Pierce.
Mast said his family was the victim of theft and is now calling out the mayor of the city.
The congressman posted on the social network X, formerly known as Twitter, a picture of a van without tires, saying “spoke to the City of Fort Pierce about the God-awful condition the city is kept in. If anyone sees my wife’s rims and tires, please contact Mayor Linda Hudson.”
WPTV spoke to Mast by phone Tuesday night where he called for the mayor to leave her position.
“The mayor shouldn’t resign because my wife’s rims and tires got stolen,” Mast said. “She should resign because they have a policy of being reactive, and not proactive, and as a result, she has a dilapidated city that’s ill-maintained.”
Hudson pushed back Wednesday, saying that she’s not going anywhere.
“No, but I appreciate his opinion,” Hudson said. “He is a citizen of Fort Pierce, and he has an opinion.”
The mayor said she and Mast share a common goal.
“I honestly have the same goal that Congressman Mast has and that is to make our city great and as clean as it can be and as safe as it can be,” Hudson said.
Mast who represents the 21st Congressional District, which includes Fort Pierce, said cleanliness and the upkeep of the city are two of his concerns.
“Why are there three grocery carts in the middle of the road again? Why are there garbage bags sitting on the side of the road? Why are kids having to walk in the road because the sidewalk is so overgrown that they literally can’t walk on the sidewalks?” Mast said.
Hudson said she has been proactive in addressing residents’ problems, touting a reduction in crime and the addition of several community programs.
“We have many ways that you can report things,” Hudson said. “We have an app called “See Click Fix” that you can use. You can take a picture of anything in the city, and we will address it right away, and that is the way that we try to keep all parts of our city clean and safe.”
Longtime city resident James Taylor said he’s seen progress over the years.
“I think a lot has been done, and it’s really since probably the 1970s and 1980s that Fort Pierce kind of got that reputation that there was a lot of crime,” Taylor said.
That is a sentiment shared by others, like Fort Pierce resident Juliana Walker.
“You’re going to have bad little pockets, but overall I think people want to be here,” Walker said. “I think for sure downtown specifically. They’ve made so many changes.”