My platform is simple and has been informed by my long experience working with government and the private sector. I’ve spent a great deal of time listening to people and trying to find out what people want out of their government. I want to be an open, listening and responsive leader, while at the same time, I want to stay true to my principles and beliefs. Through this process, I have developed the following platform, please feel free to email me your thoughts as I am truly interested in hearing what the people of Alachua County think.
The first point in my platform is my commitment to expanding economic opportunity. I think Gainesville, along with the University of Florida and Santa Fe, as well as other organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, have made huge strides in improving the economic situation in the county by attracting businesses and creating jobs. This is an excellent priority, and I intend to continue this forward momentum as a County Commissioner by looking for every opportunity to support the growing innovation economy.
But we need more than just high-tech jobs in Alachua County. There are many people looking for work who may not be qualified for a position at MindTree or Prioria Robotics. Our county needs to make sure a variety of employment opportunities are available for our residents. I support the expansion of job skills training and vocational services which can further help to make Alachua County’s workforce one of the most educated and most valuable in the country.
Alachua County’s beautiful environment contributes to our high-quality of life. As a commissioner, I am committed to protecting our natural resources as a long-term investment in our economic future. We do not need to choose between protecting our environment and growing our economy.
Right now, this means conserving our precious water supply. I was glad to see that our municipalities are doing what they can to encourage further water conservation and as a Commissioner in Archer, I would always support such conservation efforts. As a County Commissioner, the same would be true. Our water is too valuable a resource for us to irresponsibility use and deplete.
Investing in Public Transportation
Our county is already home to one of the most recognized public transportation systems in the country with Gainesville’s Regional Transit System. This is a great service which takes millions of trips off our roads each year, which lessens traffic, as well as our environmental impact. I would like to see expansions of service into areas like East Gainesville, to reduce the service time and make the buses a more reliable and feasible option for the residents in the area.
While it is one of my top priorities to fix the deteriorating roads in our county, I also am interested in the next generation of public transportation options. Bus Rapid Transit may be that future, but before fully supporting the project I would have to see the completed Alternatives Study and make sure that the time is right, fiscally, for such an expensive endeavor. In the meantime, it is my opinion that we continue to improve upon the system we have and focus on economic recovery and expansion.
Over many years, I have built up the types of experiences and skills that I believe are necessary to being a productive leader. Whether it was working in the private sector at Eastern Airlines or with government as a Community Relations Director, bringing people together to accomplish lofty goals has always been a part of my DNA. I want to bring that approach to the county commission. I know how important it is for a leader to be open and to be listening to the people he or she represents. I will always listen to concerns, and will never disregard the thoughts and opinions of a constituent.