My priorities as a County Commissioner will include:
- Reducing crime.
- Increasing the number of high-paying, high-quality jobs in District 3 and throughout Leon County.
- Restoring trust and credibility to our local government.
These three areas are, I believe, some of the key issues for which Leon County voters expect tangible results. Fortunately, over the years I have developed public policy expertise in each of these subjects. In addition, my previous work in government has helped me gain real-world experience in how local government can and should address these issues. I believe that my experience and qualifications make me the best choice for the Leon County Commission.
1. Reducing crime
We should help law enforcement keep our neighborhoods safe by giving them the personnel and tools that they need. Law enforcement staffing shortages over the past several years have contributed to Leon County’s high crime rate. We’ve been asking deputy sheriffs and officers to do too much, with too little. Our next County Commissioner must be committed to working with LCSO and TPD so that deputies and officers have the personnel, equipment and training they need to do their jobs. The federal COPS program of the 1990s proved what already seems like common sense: placing more law enforcement on the streets and earning the trust of neighbors leads to a reduction in crime. Fortunately, in FY18 the LCSO received a 4.5% funding increase to create 13 new positions.
We must also improve lighting in and patrolling of troubled neighborhoods so that would-be criminals are deterred from committing crimes.
Finally, we should create more opportunities for our young people. Crime is often a symptom of a lack of opportunity. I’ve collaborated with the leadership of FSU, FAMU, TCC, and Leon County Schools on past projects, and as a County Commissioner, I’ll work with them to help our young people obtain the education and training they need to have successful careers here in Leon County.
2. Increasing the number of high-paying, high-quality jobs in District 3 and throughout Leon County.
Our next County Commissioner should have an in-depth understanding of the business world. I believe I’m the candidate with the broadest, most relevant business experience and I also have a history of working with the Tallahassee Chamber and local business leaders to promote Leon County’s economy.
I spent 9 years at Accenture, a global IT/business consulting firm, working on projects throughout the United States as well as in Germany, South Africa, Hong Kong, Denmark and the Canadian Maritimes. I’ve also run the financial operations of a small business, managing cash flow and making payroll.
Later, as Chief of Staff, I developed the concept of Local Business Saturday, a ‘buy local’ marketing campaign, and worked closely with the Tallahassee Chamber on its public launch. For an entire year we partnered with more than 200 local businesses to promote the benefits of shopping locally.
As a County Commissioner, I’ll work with the Office of Economic Vitality, FSU and others to recruit specialized businesses interested in the MagLab’s research. By doing so, we can establish in Leon County a high-tech magnetics industry cluster that generates new, high-paying jobs and benefits our existing local businesses as well.
Over the next several years, Domi Station, the FAMU SBDC, and the Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship will transform our entrepreneurial sector. Our County Commission must explore ways we can leverage those investments to maximize their benefits.
Finally, as someone who has helped run a small business, I know businesses won’t invest in expansion unless they’re comfortable with the local business environment. Our County Commission must always be aware of that and help create a stable, relatively predictable business environment. We should constantly seek ways to help businesses reduce costs. The commercial utility deposit rebates that were offered by the City of Tallahassee a couple of years ago are an excellent example of how a local government can help.
3.Ensuring that our local government performs at the highest ethical standards.
The ongoing FBI investigation has damaged Tallahassee’s reputation and continues to undermine our ability to attract investment. While there’s little we can do about the investigation itself, we can continue to push for stronger ethics policies and practices in our local government.
Our County government has a decent ethics policy on paper, but that doesn’t matter if our elected and appointed officials don’t LIVE by it. That’s why we also need comprehensive accountability, with checks and balances, so that unethical behavior can be identified and addressed. We should also expand the content and frequency of ethics training for our local officials, so they are continually reminded of their obligations to the public.
Currently, the Leon County Charter has no reference to a code of ethics. I strongly support the proposed ethics charter amendment that was unanimously approved by the County Commission in April and which will appear on the Nov. 6th ballot. The amendment will insert into the County Charter an explicit requirement for a Code of Ethics.
Thank you very much for reviewing these ideas. I'll be posting additional issues and policy positions in the coming days, and I'd like to hear from you. If you have any questions or suggestions, please email me by clicking here.
We live in a great community but we're facing serious challenges, and our next Commissioner will need to hit the ground running. I believe I'm the most experienced, best qualified candidate in this race, and I humbly ask for your vote on August 28th. Thank you very much for your consideration.
All the best,
Candidate for Leon County Commission, District 3