The Times offers candidates not recommended by its editorial board an opportunity to respond. Here are some of the responses to recommendations for the Aug. 26 primary races.
James E. Adkins
Republican candidate Hernando
Commission, District 5
I find it very strange that you recommend a candidate in one district because "he has maintained a volunteer involvement in a host of community organizations that dwarfs his opponents, all the while running a successful small business," and yet never mention the fact that I serve on the Citrus/Hernando County Farm Bureau Board of Directors, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Hernando County Citizens Ordinance Advisory Team, Citrus/Hernando Waterways Restoration Council, Hernando County Republican Executive Committee, and belong to the Hernando County Cattlemen's Association, Hernando County Fair Board and Sunshine State Muscle Car Club, and have my own successful business.
I also graduated from Hernando High School and like the country song by the Bellamy Brothers says, "I went to Vietnam on my senior trip." I have continued my education and have a list of degrees and certificates.
I served the citizens of Brooksville for 25 years as a firefighter and then fire chief.
In 2007, I joined a group that successfully lobbied our Legislature in Tallahassee for the $25,000 tangible property relief enjoyed by all businesses, including yours.
I have the desire to serve the citizens of this county as the best qualified, most knowledgeable, most educated candidate in District 5.
Republican candidate Hernando Commission, District 5
I am reminded of the words of President Reagan, "There you go again."
Voters are not seeking a moderate candidate that mirrors the current commissioner. Tax and spending days are over! People are hurting. People are losing their homes or have. People have lost their jobs, while others have drained their savings.
It is apparent that you will endorse the current commissioner in the November election by the subtle way you ended your remarks about the candidates of District 5, "that the three Republican candidates are unremarkable." The shame is on you. It reeks of elitism.
You stated the Republican candidates were overshadowed by their lack of substantial ideas, not accurate. Once elected, I will vote to have a charter commission appointed. This charter will be placed on the 2010 ballot. People can vote on how their government will operate.
Eighty percent of Floridians live under a charter government. It gives the people the power, not the politicians and the movers and shakers.
I am ready to adopt a plan to assist our citizens with foreclosures. It involves financial experts, the county and the courts. The city of Philadelphia has this program. It is the first in the country and a role model for other local governments to follow.
Reorganization of the administrative level of county government to half of what it is today. We'll save over $1-million in this area alone. There were other projects and plans that I addressed but apparently it all fell on deaf ears and/or political bias.
School Board, District 4
The time is now for new leadership in our schools. Over these next few years the challenges our schools are going to face play right into the strengths that I have developed during my 21 years as a Human Resource and business professional, namely:
• Creative and successful budget work. I have been adept at managing and reallocating budget dollars where they need to be spent.
• Management and coaching of senior managers. It is common knowledge that we currently have a morale issue in our district. I have successfully coached and managed senior level managers for years and will bring that to the board and our superintendent.
• Policy development. As a human resource professional I have developed, implemented and enforced far too many policies to count. I have honed this skill by gaining insight from those who are affected most by the policy and I now hope to bring that skill to the board.
While certainly not a requirement of the position, I feel it is important to note that I have three children in the district. They will be my nightly "focus group" on the issues the board is addressing and how it impacts our students and their families.
I value that your recommendation is the opinion of the Times editorial board and appreciate that we live in a country where we all have the right to express each of our opinions.
School Board, District 4
My reference to coordinators was about setting up a role/position on a local school level to assist in coordinating efforts for training, a communication point of contact, scheduling meetings, etc.
I brought this topic up after talking to a member of Hernando County Teachers Association as a needed item. It was simply an idea that could be looked at. As far as it being a full-time position, it would most likely be an additional role for a teacher to step up to, ideally though, a compensated role.