There is no question that in this current economy the number one priority is jobs and job creation. As a person who runs a successful small business whose sole purpose is to link employers with employees I understand how to work in this economy to create jobs.
Every day I devote my professional life working to get other people jobs. Isn?t it time we had people up in Tallahassee that not only understand that concept but actually know how to do it?
Lots of people play lip service to education but the fact of the matter is this state has a long way to go in regards to education- both in educating our youth and re-training our workforce. High tech and bio tech jobs are the future and in order to get those jobs we have to provide more and better educational opportunities. Without a highly educated work-force, the State of Florida will not be able to compete nationally or globally for the jobs of the future.
We need to pay our teachers more. We need to give bonuses to the best teachers, to nationally certified teachers. We need to get more parents involved and put more discipline in our classrooms.
Florida currently has a drop-out rate that is quite frankly unacceptable. But we can't fix it by constantly cutting after school programs and other outlets for our children. This is not the time to cut library funding as well. We need to give them more options rather than less. We need to encourage a path that doesn't involve gangs or drugs or working on the street.
There is a correlation between kids that drop out of school and commit crimes.
Without keeping our children from dropping out, we can't reduce the crime rate.
We can either invest in schools, libraries, teachers, art, music and after school activities now or prisons later.
For far too long we have been hearing promises to lower our taxes yet time and again we see no end results. As an Elected Official in my home district, we have been able to not only lower the tax burden on our residents (by lowering the milage rate from 1.65 to 1.39 during my tenure) but we have also been able to sustain services at some of the highest levels of efficiency in the county.
You can lower taxes and increase service efficiencies; you just have to fundamentally understand that a government that spends less will tax less. We can be more efficient with our tax dollars.
We have to watch every penny. I have done that in the East Lake/Tarpon Fire Control district and lowered the tax rate. My opponent likes to spend money. I have worked hard to reduce your taxes.
I will support an MSTU- Metropolitan Services Taxing Unit in order for East Lake to keep its library & recreation funds. If the people request it, I will put it before the Pinellas County delegation as my 1st order of business. I also support letting the voters of Palm Harbor decide whether to incorporate as a town. I think however, that it must not be a special election. It needs to be in conjunction with a regular election cycle so as not to over-burden the taxpayers. I am also not in favor of including Ozona, Crystal Beach or East Lake in this process as they have shown no desire to be part of the Palm Harbor incorporation effort.
Drilling in the Gulf
I am wholeheartedly against drilling in our Gulf. At a local level I would not allow areas such a s Tarpon Springs to be put at risk for damages to the sponge, shrimp or tourist industries that the Gulf shorelines provide. I also believe that this idea will put the entire State of Florida at risk for what appears to be little reward. When elected to serve in the House I will stand firm in my opposition to drilling in the Gulf!