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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Feb. 23, 201112:00 PM EST

City Council District 14


As a reader service, the Daily Record plans to present daily information about candidates on the ballot in the spring election. The information is scheduled to be published in advance of early voting, which begins March 7 in Duval County. The Daily Record sent the same questions to council candidates and will publish their e-mailed responses. Candidates were given a word limit. Responses that exceeded it are edited for space.

What is the single most important issue facing your district? What is the single most important issue facing your district? Would you
support new taxes
or fees to improve
the port and/or
Why should district constituents elect you?
Kendall Bryan Jr.
Public safety. This goes hand in hand with education and job opportunity. If we are not able to educate our children and show them there are opportunities for them, then all of the other issues we face are irrelevant. If we want to grow and thrive, we have to have a motivated and educated work force. Not only would that stimulate economic development, but this would decrease the crime rate. Economic development/financial solvency, education and public safety. In order to grow as a city we have to have the right balance between these three issues. The key is education. Education improves quality of life and if we are reaching out to businesses to relocate to Jacksonville, we have to be able to provide an educated workforce if we are to compete for high-wage jobs. The port is an enormous opportunity for success and job creation. Downtown revitalization has been a generational issue; we should try to find ways to have high-impact, low-cost projects that also change the perception of Downtown. I am philosophically opposed to tax increases. My primary underlying principle will always be to seek efficiency and savings in local government before entering into a conversation regarding an increase in taxes. I was fortunate to be brought up in a family that has called Jacksonville home for five generations. I want to make sure that the opportunities that have made this a great city will exist for future generations. I want nothing more than to be able to pass on to my son a city that is dynamic and exciting, full of opportunities to those that are willing to work hard.
Jill Dame
The downturn in our economy, unemployment, business closures and falling property values have all stopped the growth that historically maintained our City government budget and provided a variety of services. District 14 needs help with roads, stormwater management, park maintenance, increased code enforcement and libraries. The needs require expenditures that exceed our present ability to fund. We must improve Jacksonville’s employment rate, make expense cuts that balance the City budget, support our education system so all children are prepared to succeed in life, address violent and property crime in neighborhoods where residents don’t feel safe and preserve the quality of life in Jacksonville by maintaining infrastructure, improving parks and libraries and protecting the St. Johns River. We need workable strategic plans in place for improvements to the port and Downtown. The plans should demonstrate need, the value of investment and the benefit to the community. With this information in hand, a case should be made to those who would be subject to fees or taxes to obtain their support for the tax or fees. I understand the need to involve all sectors (business, government, nonprofit) in seeking creative, long-term solutions that move our economy forward and maintain quality of life. Leaders must listen, learn, and know when action should be taken. I am a skilled leader who sees the big picture. We must bring the community together to find the best answers. I have the experience, integrity and energy to make this happen.
Shelton Hull
No Party Affiliation
The single most important issue facing my district is public safety. Too many decent people have been hurt and until our streets are safe for working families, we can’t achieve desired levels of growth and prosperity. The most pressing problems for the City, in general, are also public safety, as well as the financial stability of City government and its citizens. We must generate more revenue, while using what we have more efficiently. I will personally not vote for new taxes or fees because I feel that if the City’s resources were¬†properly applied, such hikes would be unnecessary. However, the reality is that it may be unavoidable, even though such methods barely work even in the short term. Voters of District 14 should elect me because our political system desperately needs fresh thinking. If the old methods worked, none of our current challenges would have materialized. I have a comprehensive plan to stimulate the local economy while enhancing our national reputation and bringing in new investment. The people deserve to have me in play.
Jim Love
With extremely high unemployment, job growth remains our most important challenge. As a 27-year small business owner and two-time Downtown Council Small Business Leader of the Year, I feel passionately that small businesses are the key to jump-starting our local economy and creating new jobs. Reducing the costs and obstacles of entrepreneurialism with lower local taxes and less regulatory burdens will help do this. Especially in these tough economic times, the City must learn to live within its means while balancing the budget. While our local crime rate has recently fallen more than 10 percent, we must continue to reduce the murder rate that remains double the state average. Education relates directly to crime and economic development. City leaders must work together to find innovative ways to improve failing schools and raise graduation rates. Dredging the channel to accommodate the larger post-Panamax vessels could result in over 5,000 new and good-paying jobs. If the port is not ready when they start sailing in 2014, then other ports will get these jobs. I could support a sales tax increase for port improvements if return on investment was proved and voters approved. However, Downtown improvements must be accomplished through more public/private partnerships and other means. I am conservative and understand that controlling taxes and regulations will spur economic growth and new jobs. As a retired Naval Reserve captain who flew jets from NAS Cecil Field, I am prepared to help Jacksonville’s largest employer, the Navy, grow and add more jobs locally. As president of the Park & King Area Association I’ve shown how civic leadership and teamwork can help revitalize our neighborhoods and business districts.
Henry Mooneyhan
District 14 is made up of older historic neighborhoods and newer sprawling suburban neighborhoods. In the historic districts, we have major issues concerning crowded streets, limited parking and infrastructure issues like poor drainage and streets with repair needs. In the suburbs, we need certain main streets widened to accommodate increased traffic brought from the recent housing boom, additional traffic lights along those main streets and public transportation expansion. Talking to constituents around the district, the top two concerns are unemployment and the budget. The millage rates and additional fees for services performed that folks feel they are already paying for are next. Last, but not least, is crime. In certain areas of the district and city, people are concerned that there is no control over the increasing crime rate. I would not support new taxes. I would support finding federal and state funds to improve the port. Jacksonville only retains a small percentage of the off-port jobs. Other cities and states that benefit from those jobs should participate financially. Although there are needed improvements Downtown, we have more pressing needs. We don’t need more taxes, we have enough revenue. We just need to prioritize the way we spend it. We need representatives who have solid backgrounds in business principles. I have over 40 years of experience in business management in the transportation industry. I am not talking small business, I am talking large business. I have developed budgets and worked within those budgets. I understand how to cut spending and control the bottom line. I make tough decisions everyday and I will make the tough decisions to help turn our City around.
Greg “Hollea” Rachal
There are a lot of issues facing the district and it is hard to single out just one situation. However, the old underground infrastructure in many of the neighborhoods is signaling failure and continues to cause drainage problems. I feel that balancing of the City budget, City employee pension reform and the local economic divide are among top hot issues in Jacksonville. The port is an important resource and should be cultivated as we move forward with economic development. I do not support new taxes or fees. I am committed to providing our city with limited government, efficient management and essential accessibility. I would like to help restore confidence to the taxpayers of Duval County by providing representation that offers accountability. I am committed to improving our city and providing opportunity and growth for all.

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