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In recent years, the mayor and City Council have used a mix of revenue increases and cuts in expenses to balance the city budget. Do you agree? If not, what would you do differently? I did not support the Mayor when he took that route and would like to see those fees repealed. I believe ad valorem and sales taxes are plenty to fund the consolidated city government. While some of the controversy when he was selling more revenue streams was what he said was Tallahassee’s interference in the ad valorem tax revenue stream. Turned out the Duval Delegation had inserted language to protect Jacksonville but our Mayor chose not to use that protection. We have a spending problem not a revenue problem. 2. Do you support the Jacksonville Journey? Explain your answer. God Bless those that truly participated in that effort out of love for the city. Sadly I saw many people on the panels that work in the nonprofits funded by the city and know their participation was to protect and expand their turf. The city should lead intervention to help kids that are not being raised right. This effort though I think was tainted by not only those participating for selfish reasons but also those that do not even live in the City/County that tell us how to run Duval County without paying the taxes us residents of the county pay. Yes the Journey did some and I emphasize some good but at an expensive price tag. I believe former Mayor Godbold’s initiative about that time to have Summer Camps using our public schools as well as more after school use of facilities to mentor kids would have provided more bang for the buck but sadly his efforts never gained traction.
3. What endorsements have you received? None 4. How much civic activity do you perform outside work? I have served on CPAC, MPOCAC(now TPOCAC), and the Northwest Economic Development Fund Advisory Committee all Mayoral appointments in the early 00s. Served in Leadership positions as an ascending Board Member prior to my Presidency of the Northside Business Leaders and North Council of the Chamber. I participated in their scholarship and other civic efforts to better the city. Currently I am an active Rotarian, serving the community about 8 hours a month. 5. How do you intend to comply with Florida¹s public records and government in the sunshine laws? If you saw an elected official breaking the sunshine law, what would you do? I will follow the law.
What can you do to help support the clean-up of the St. Johns River? Demand accountability from the St John’s Water Management that was created years ago to protect the river but in my opinion has delivered very little for the taxes it receives. We are at the end of an over 300 mile long lazy river and it is estimated almost 80% of the river issues are delivered to us by those upstream. That is why I am so upset with the Water Management’s lack of results. Demand JEA continue to improve its waste treatment. Support the efforts of JU’s new Marine Institute as well as the River keeper and other River stakeholder’s through leadership on council.
7. How can you become engaged in the city¹s high murder, infant mortality and suicide rates? Continue to be the supportive husband of an exceptional lady who is a mentor in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters and advocate for kids in the Guardian ad Litem program. I am so proud of my wife and her unselfish efforts to make a positive difference in kids. We never had any although married 31 years. Otherwise I will support the City’s core functions with Public Safety being the top one. I want to see taxpayers get the most value possible for their tax dollars and lowering those rates more than has already been the case recently will be a goal of mine. Leadership is my first instinct as well as ensuring equal opportunity for all to succeed.
8. Has consolidation been a good or bad deal for Jacksonville? Please explain your answer. Consolidation is the best way for a municipality to go in my opinion. While we are the only ones in Florida Virginia Beach, VA and Davidson/Nashville, TN are other great examples. While I am not going to push hard on this I don’t understand why so many years after consolidation we still tolerate the separate Beach cities as well as Baldwin and Maxville. Seems at some point we should truly consolidate it all or split the Beaches into a separate county (Ocean County) which has been proposed before. Consolidation has been a good deal for Jacksonville in my opinion.
For council candidates: What is the role of a council member? As mini-mayor? Or as legislator? At large members such as myself are legislator’s without doubt. As for the Districts I would prefer they let the Mayor be Mayor and let city department’s do their jobs without heavy handed interference except in cases where the system fails the constituent and intervention is necessary. For a pothole or streetlight as well as many routine matters let’s use 630-CITY and not the Council. Of
course some members want that power but myself I want to empower individuals not government. In my world that prefers limited government I prefer as a constituent Council Members that are part time just as the job description calls for.