POLICY POSITIONS

Jump to a Policy section using these links:
The Budget
Education
Open Government
The Environment
Health Care
Economic Growth

The Budget

The County Budget has doubled twice in the last ten years, and your taxes are going up despite record economic growth.

Special interests have dominated our local government and they are robbing the public trust. Where has this money gone? Teachers, Cops, Firefighters, Clerks, and Technicians haven’t had big raises. We aren’t seeing twice as many roads being fixed and built. There aren’t twice as many buses, there’s not twice as many people getting treatment for chronic illnesses and addiction. Instead we are seeing twice as many sewage spills. Twice as many scandals. Twice as many handouts to businesses who are not earning them.

I will be going through the county budget line by line to determine where we are wasting money and I’m going to bring you-the voters, taxpayers, and residents of our County-into the discussion as to what our priorities should be.

There are over 50 advisory boards within our Commission, and they are largely empty. This is what lobbyists need in order to funnel your tax money to their friends and clients. Instead of getting rid of these boards, we need to fill them with constituents who are interested in helping us come up with policies that save money and work for EVERYONE.

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Education

Investing in our public education system is the number one thing we can do to lay the groundwork for a sustainable future.

Tomorrow’s community is built today:

I am a believer in public schools, and I will fight to improve our schools any way I can. As our county grows our school system must grow with it. This means building new facilities, closing old ones, and providing the resources needed to have a 21st century school system. While the school board handles matters related to curriculum, teachers pay, and so forth, the county has numerous responsibilities related to ensuring that our public school system is equipped to meet those challenges. I will be an advocate for ensuring that those resources are available, that we are getting the best deal for our money, and that we are doing everything we can to create a safe and friendly learning environment.

Funding for public schools should go to public schools not private schools, and teachers need a raise!

My stance on guns in schools is simple: Guns don’t belong in schools.

When I was 17 and attending school in Melbourne a young man walked in and shot at several students. This shooting was related to gang violence, it wasn’t a lone-wolf shooter intent on killing as many people as possible. However, I can tell you that if someone had been there and started shooting back, the result would have been fatal for bystanders. I’m not on expert on how that would play out in a live school shooting, that’s just my one personal experience. I do not support the government training and arming civilians to carry concealed weapons on school campuses. The studies are done, the risks outweigh the benefits. There’s no question that these individuals care about the kids they are charged with protecting, but it’s an outrageous waste of money, and because of accidents and occasional abuse, it creates a statistically more dangerous environment, not a safer one. Militarizing our schools is dumb. It’s not a second amendment issue, its a common sense issue.

Having School Resource Officers in every school is something I support.

It more closely involves the police in the community they work in, it gives kids a sense that the police are here to protect them, and they bring real world experience with them as they openly carry a firearm in the line of their duty.

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Open Government

The Sunshine Laws mean that government business is your business. However there remains several areas where that light doesn’t reach.

Right now we have 5 commissioners who are not allowed to discuss government business outside of official meetings-which is good-but they can still all talk to the same lobbyist or party official off the record. I will be fighting to change this.

Contractors who do work for our County are not required to disclose what they are spending your tax money on, and bidding on contracts is handled by a third party private company which is not accountable to you. This means that we have no way of knowing if we got the best deal for your tax dollars, and we have no way of knowing what your tax dollars were spent on.

This is the number one thing that we can change to bring our budget back into line.

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The Environment

The lagoon has died, we are developing into the St. Johns River where we get our drinking water, and our natural resources are under assault like never before.

This MUST change.

Our Lagoon:
We need to support the Save Our Lagoon plan. This is done by working to get matching funds from the state, ending the sewage discharges, restoring natural shorelines, educating the public, and reducing our own footprints. While it will take some time to fix our estuaries, we should not be complacent or ignore the attacks on a plan which is restoring our beloved waterway.

The St. John’s River:
We need western Urban Development Boundaries to curtail the destruction of the wetlands and wilderness which form the headwaters of the St. John’s River. This is where we get our drinking water, if we allow this resource to be exploited and degraded by irresponsible real estate development, we mortgage our own future.

Our Beaches and Ocean:
Brevard County has a natural reef which runs along it’s shoreline. I believe it should be protected and not buried. While beach nourishment is good where it is needed, the Mid-Reach Shore Protection project has been using dirt instead of sand and now there’s a plan to bury this reef in the name of ‘Beach Widening’. This is irresponsible, destructive, and a waste of money. Instead of using Tourist Tax dollars to bury our natural reef, we should be using them to fix the lagoon.

Clean Energy:

Solar Power is the future of the Sunshine State. I support the efforts to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. These are the jobs of tomorrow, and our government has already taken the first steps by setting up a sustainability board to look at ways to incorporate clean energy into our government operations. I believe we need to aggressively build on this progress. I will absolutely fight any attempts to open our shore to drilling or to bring a refinery into our lagoon.

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Health Care

The Opioid Crisis:

Our County and our Country are dealing with an opioid crisis that is killing tens of thousands of people every year. In addition to this it is destroying families, turning good people into criminals, and causing our health care costs to skyrocket. Addressing this crisis at the county level means developing a local rehabilitation program where people who want to heal themselves can find the medical treatment they need.

Right now the County has a bare-bones set of services it can provide to those suffering from addiction to poisonous substances, these services need to be expanded to meet the crisis.

In addition to this, I will continue to advocate for a health care system that doesn’t let people die because they are poor. Health care is a right, we are the richest country on earth, we can afford it and it needs to happen.

Cancer in Satellite Beach:

This is a unique and pressing issue, and it demands the county’s undivided attention. Decades ago toxic chemicals were dumped near the south end of Patrick Air Force Base. These chemicals have seeped into the ground water, and after a cover up decades ago quieted the issue, a renewed effort is underway to determine where these chemicals remain. South Patrick Shores is the area most affected by this, and it doesn’t fall within the bounds of any municipality. It is unincorporated county land, and the residents of this area deserve to know that their neighborhood is safe, and victims of rare cancers caused by these chemicals deserve treatment and compensation from the Air Force.

I am working to ensure that testing is done properly, services are provided where they are needed, and as a County Commissioner I will be using all of the tools available to resolve this problem once and for all.

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Economic Growth

Sustainable Economic Growth:
This is the opposite of what Florida has always known. Changing our patterns from boom and bust real estate speculation, and ending the wanton exploitation of our natural resources is the most important things we can do to ensure that our economic growth becomes less bi-polar and ensure that our natural resources are protected for future generations. This involves supporting clean energy initiatives, supporting plastic reduction initiatives, developing a more efficient infrastructure, and protecting our environmental resources which add billions to our economy every year.

Growth Incentives:
Where we can entice the businesses of the future with economic incentives, we should. However this does not mean giving away the house to businesses who can afford the best lobbyists. Instead we should prioritize investing in our local businesses, while continuing to work with our economic partners and job creators across the spectrum to create high-paying jobs for the residents of our County.

A New Comprehensive Plan:
While we have grown outwards for decades, we are beginning to grow up. Developing our urban areas is important to reducing the excesses of sub-urban sprawl, bringing in visitors, and creating the jobs and communities of the future.

  • Instead of focusing high density development on our beaches,and sprawling neighborhoods in our wetlands, we should prioritize projects which bring development to our historic downtowns.
  • We need to double our investment in public transport. Reducing transport costs, empowering our seniors, and enabling those unable to drive to get to work is vital to sustained economic growth.
  • Developers need to pay their fair share. The level of tax breaks we give to land developers is insane. Balancing our budget depends on it.

Wage Growth:
Our public servants are the glue which hold it all together. The Cops, Firefighters, Teachers, Public Workers, Clerks, Technicians, and Maintenance employees of our County government are among the lowest paid in the nation in their respective jobs. They deserve a raise.

  • I believe in raising the minimum wage. This is a hotly debated topic, and it draws its fair share of criticism, but the studies are done. The benefits outweigh the costs.
  • A higher minimum wage creates real wage growth across the spectrum as employers are forced to compete for good workers.
  • It gives our local residents more buying power as consumers.
  • It makes it so young people can afford to attend college here and earn the skills they need to become responsible taxpayers.

Many of us share this vision for sustained and balanced growth in Brevard which saves money, protects natural resources, empowers citizens and businesses, and gives the next generation a reason to invest themselves here. This is the vision I will be pursuing.

Clean Energy:

Solar Power is the future of the Sunshine State. I support the efforts to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. These are the jobs of tomorrow, and our government has already taken the first steps by setting up a sustainability board to look at ways to incorporate clean energy into our government operations. I believe we need to aggressively build on this progress. I will absolutely fight any attempts to open our shore to drilling or to bring a refinery into our lagoon.

Get Involved!