Why I’m Running

Gainesville isn’t just a college town. Yes, we’re a growing community that is home to a top-ten university, a nationally-recognized college and a world-class health-care system, but this is also a diverse and complex city that nurtures children, working families and elders of all backgrounds. All of our neighbors are on different paths and have a variety of needs from our city government, but every person of every age in our community deserves great parks and open wild spaces, clean, abundant water and leadership they can trust.

Every person of every age in our community deserves great parks and open wild spaces, clean, abundant water and leadership they can trust.

From Possum Creek Park to Ring Park, where we can follow the path of Hogtown Creek through a forest in the middle of our city to Northside Park and more than 20 other parks, in Gainesville we take our public spaces seriously. Over the past year we’ve added the amazing Hogtown Headwaters Park and begun partnerships with the Alachua County School system to turn Howard Bishop Middle School and Glen Springs Elementary among others into community schools where the neighborhood can share playgrounds and athletic facilities. Only recently we opened Four Creeks Preserve in partnership with Alachua County –  more than 700 acres of conservation land open for the people of Gainesville to explore. But we’re not done. We can’t be done. Gainesville is growing, and our parks and public spaces have to grow as well. Our neighbors deserve them.

 

Literally nothing is more important to any of us than clean water. Sitting as we do in the middle of some of the world’s best natural springs and on top of the Floridan Aquifer, with abundant water available from our taps via the award-winning GRU water treatment plant, we’ve often taken water for granted in Gainesville. To keep our water safe, we need to take steps to connect the thousands of homes in our community that are currently served by individual septic systems of varying safety to our municipal wastewater system. We need to protect our well fields from the potential of phosphate mines in the counties north of us and from overcrowded development closer to home. Our neighbors deserve our best efforts to protect our water. 

 

Our community has chosen elected officials who have been honest and transparent. But we live in a time when there is good reason for good people to expect better things of government from DC and Tallahassee to our own City Hall. There’s only so much we can do about the state and federal government, but closer to home we can implement changes that keep honest leaders honest and help the people of Gainesville keep and grow faith in city government. I am working on a creating an independent ethics review and training board here in Gainesville as some other cities have done. I am also working on creating a system to provide a level of public financing of our city elections. The ability to fundraise shouldn’t be a barrier to becoming a city commissioner in Gainesville. These are ways we can build – or rebuild – trust in our city government. Our neighbors deserve leaders we can trust.  

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