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County Commission | District 1

Former state Rep. Janet Long, a Democrat, is challenging Republican incumbent Neil Brickfield for the District 1 seat. Much of the campaign has focused on Brickfield's vote to take fluoride out of the drinking water. Long says the vote was "totally lacking in common sense and embarrassing to our county" and has vowed to help reverse the decision if elected. Brickfield says he sticks by his vote but also supports a referendum that would allow citizens to decide whether fluoride should be added to the county's drinking water. Anne Lindberg, Times staff writer

Neil Brickfield, 49

Pinellas County commissioner, consultant

Janet Long, 67

Consultant

RepublicanPartyDemocrat
Brickfield is running for his second term on the Pinellas County Commission. He's a former Safety Harbor city commissioner and past vice chairman of the Pinellas County Republican Party. He owns Brickfield & Associates, a public affairs consulting firm. Experience Long is making her first bid for a commission seat. A a native of West Stewarts-town, N.H., Long has lived in Seminole since 1972. She worked as deputy insurance commissioner for the state Department of Insurance from 1987 to 1998. She served on the Seminole City Council from 2002 to 2006 and in the state House of Representatives from 2006 to 2010. She owns a consulting firm, JCL & Associates.
Graduated from Providence College in Rhode IslandEducationAttended Nasson College in Springvale, Maine; Eckerd College, St. Petersburg; St. Petersburg College. Received the certified public manager designation from Florida State University
First, remove any capital cost from the operating budget ( Pinellas County is currently paying $10 million for a chiller plant from operating funds that could be paid for from Penny for Pinellas funds), continue to consolidate functions of government, one 911 call center instead of two, stick to our core functions and partner where possible. Safe Harbor (the homeless shelter) is an example of a good money-saving partnership.How do you propose to balance the county's budget in the coming years?The easy things have already been done. Now we need strong, effective leaders who will work diligently to further streamline county government. There is no question that we are not receiving the same levels of service as in the past. A very strong commitment to partnering with other governments as well as the private sector in order to reduce duplication ... will allow the county to move forward, balance the budget and position our county to once again be a leader in the region, state and nation.
Only the citizens of Pinellas County can authorize an additional 1 cent sales tax for transit. When a plan is completed I support the opportunity of the citizens of Pinellas to decide if this is the transit system that they want.Do you support putting to referendum a 1-cent sales tax increase for transit improvements, including light rail?Yes, because currently there is no funding for transit improvements. The transportation trust fund will be depleted one year from now. This question begs for thoughtful deliberation and a lot more information. An improved transit system will not be viable if it does not have connectivity to the rest of the region as part of the proposal.
I don't think the current light rail concept is the best option available for Pinellas County. I think the voters will reject it. I believe express buses, dedicated lanes and a reconfigured bus system will better serve Pinellas County.One of the big proposals that seems to be floating around right now is the light rail project. Is light rail the best system?The county did a long range plan (study) to determine what the future of Pinellas County might look like. The current plan that has been discussed in a preliminary way has no connectivity to the region. To be viable, the plan will need to include all of the county and have routes that take us across the bay to Tampa, the airport, International Plaza, etc. Our public transportation is very antiquated and needs to be upgraded. I believe there are many options available and they all need to be explored. We have to start somewhere with this discussion because we are lagging further and further behind.
I support the efforts currently under way to explore five different ambulance service models including fire-based transport (allowing firefighters to take patients to the hospital). We need a model that gives great response times, high survival rates and is affordable long- and short-term.How should the county handle the increasing costs for emergency medical services?The first priority should be to completely implement priority dispatch. Pinellas County is the smallest county in the state and is also the most densely populated. We have 24 municipalities and 18 fire departments. A firefighter is a firefighter and they are all trained to the same standards. They all have the same equipment. I am not convinced that the commission has explored all of the options available. The commission has now approved spending $300,000 to study the whole service delivery system and when those recommendations are made, the county will have to authorize yet another study to determine the cost to implement the recommendations. When the studies are all completed, it will take common sense, leadership, courage and the political will to make a decision that is in the best interest of the taxpayers.
Home, carsAssetsHome, timeshares on Anna Maria Island and Paniola Green, Kona, Hawaii
Mortgage, credit union, business line of creditLiabilitiesMortgage, credit card
Brickfield & Associates, Pinellas County Commission salaryIncomeJCL & Associates, Social Security, retirement from the state of Florida and the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg
Married to Kelley Brickfield, three childrenPersonalMarried to Richard Long, a retired Seminole firefighter; three children and three grandchildren
votebrickfield.comWebsite janetforpinellas.com
votebrickfield@gmail.comEmailjanet@janetforpinellas.com

About the job: Pinellas County commissioners serve staggered four-year terms. They are responsible for setting countywide policy and budgets. They are paid $90,429 a year. District 1 is elected countywide.

Pinellas County Commission District 1: Janet Long (D), Neil Brickfield (R)

Former state Rep. Janet Long, a Democrat, is challenging Republican incumbent Neil Brickfield for the District 1 seat. Much of the campaign has focused on Brickfield's vote to take fluoride out of the drinking water. Long says the vote was "totally lacking in common sense and embarrassing to our county" and has vowed to help reverse the decision if elected. Brickfield says he sticks by his vote but also supports a referendum that would allow citizens to decide whether fluoride should be added to the county's drinking water.

Pinellas County Commission District 1: Janet Long (D), Neil Brickfield (R) 10/17/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 3:42pm]
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