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Jax Daily Record Thursday, Feb. 24, 201112:00 PM EST

City Council At-Large Group 1


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 are the most pressing problems facing the City? Would you
support new taxes
or fees to improve
the port and/or
Why should district constituents elect you?
Steve Burnett
No Party Affiliation
Running At-Large, my constituents are everybody in Duval County. The most important issue is our continued inability to live within the revenue stream voters are willing to tolerate. My campaign slogan is to fight for a ‘Bolder, Leaner’ consolidated government. City Council and especially At-Large members must show restraint in committing to new spending and seek ways to improve efficiencies with currently obligated spending, as well as a return to core government functions. We must live within our means but also recognize government should lead and not participate in all things that are good. We currently have a government that ‘picks winners and losers’ through its bloated budget that funds so many nonprofits as well as noncore function line items. In addition, there are efficiencies that can be gained in procurement and motor pool that for some reason elude our current mayor and council. Only if done in the form of a tax increment district or redirection of current revenue to these important areas. The port has sacrificed much of its bonding capacity on the new Asian freight terminals. We must work through that and solve funding for the port. I also am not sure all possible ideas have been looked at to keep our port as an important one on the East Coast. I have been a participant in an advisory role in City government, so I am familiar with most of the ‘players’ and the operation of our government. More importantly, I am not looking to create a political career using the taxpayers’ money, but instead seeking to make our consolidated government ‘Bolder and Leaner.’ I am not an attorney nor have I ever sought City funding for any nonprofit that employed me.
Kimberly Daniels
Ensuring that our City’s government is doing all it can to encourage job creation in Jacksonville. Small businesses and startup businesses are the key to reviving this economy. A special emphasis needs to be placed on creating substantial jobs for our citizens. If our City government can’t help, then it should stay out of the way of brave people who are making a payroll and starting businesses every day. In this stagnant economy, Jacksonville citizens are struggling to support themselves and their families. The Jacksonville Electric Authority (JEA) has a cryptic rate structure which punishes conservation and rewards high consumption. That’s just one example of an area which needs to be reformed and made transparent. Unfortunately, there are too many more. Our City government should be as good as the people it serves. No. Economic growth, not tax increases, will lift Jacksonville out of this hole. Increasing taxes during a period of economic stagnation makes no sense. A Nobel Prize-winning economist once said – ‘Government spends what government receives plus as much as it can get away with.’ We need to take a long, hard look at how we are spending those hard-earned tax dollars before we ask our citizens for more. I was born and raised in Jacksonville. As a local pastor, I come face-to-face with people who are struggling to live productive and happy lives here. Our government can’t guarantee their happiness, but we can ensure that profiteering public utilities like JEA, policies which discourage economic growth and street thugs who attempt to bully our citizens are stopped by a responsible and responsive City Council. I will do my best.
David A. Taylor
As an At-Large candidate, I will focus on global issues facing our city.  My main objective is to grow our economy and reduce government regulations currently hampering small business. The most pressing issue we should focus on is the current economic downturn. With about 11 percent unemployment, we have to focus on ways to lure strong companies to Jacksonville by becoming the easiest city in the state to conduct business. From Downtown to JaxPort, we should ‘roll out the red carpet’ for new CEOs when they come looking for new opportunities for expansion. It is important to look for funding solutions for future economic investment, but our citizens cannot afford any additional taxes or fees at this time. I have a strong economic background. I’ve run several successful businesses in our community and will bring those skills to the City Council. We need business leaders leading our city.

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