Marion County Commission Candidates Speak Out
"Government does not have an income problem," said Randall Alvord, who is running for District One. "They have a spending problem."
Randall Alvord is a real estate broker and a military veteran. He would like to see local development encouraged, property taxes balanced and county spending reduced.
"We spend millions of dollars a year on the county level and on the city level hiring these outside consultants," said Alvord. "We don't actually listen to our department heads."
Running against him is Mike Amsden, a business man and former Ocala City Councilman of 16 years. Amsden says the county needs to better deal with growth and to focus on only the basics.
"My first thing would be to to identify the core services, enhance them, bench mark the rest and then eliminate some of the services that are provided," said Amsden.
He also sees a need to create an industrial park to encourage businesses to come into the county. Something incumbant District Five Commissioner Charlie Stone agrees with.
"We can offer incentives to different businesses coming in, and tell them, 'Hey if you want to bring your business here you bring a big warehouse or manufacturing company and spend the money to build the building," said Stone. "We'll help you on the back side with your taxes. If you change captains in the middle of the stream who knows where the boat is going to go."
That other captain he speaks of is Ray Strickland, who is running for District Five and is a business owner and military veteran.
"My primary focus will be the economy, bringing good jobs to Marion County, and increasing the average income of our citizens," said Strickland. "People don't understand that when our county sends money outside by purchasing consultants and if you were to purchase it in our economy that million dollars would translate seven times as it goes and works its way through the economy."
You can vote for these District One and Five candidates at the primary election on August 26th and in the general election on November 4th.
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