EDITOR'S NOTE: The Times offers candidates not recommended by the editorial board an opportunity to reply.
Ty Mullis, County Commission, District 2 Republican
My proposal to make commissioners more accessible to all potential business owners only seeks to encourage involvement of our elected officials in a process that they ultimately oversee.
The intent of this proposition is to educate commissioners regarding the process in hopes of reducing redundant or counter-productive policies, ordinances and procedures. I do not agree with their concerns of elected officials interfering with the process, they are already required to work with and learn from staff. If they can't do the same with the departments involved in permitting new businesses without becoming obstacles themselves, my proposal would only serve to highlight this problem, not intensify it.
How could I have overstated the savings of charter government when the charter is not yet developed?
I note the editor's reference to me as pro-development even though we discussed numerous projects, including another very large project in the Spring Lake area that I am actually opposed to due to its insertion in a rural area. I suspect my non-opposition to the proposed Quarry Preserve has played a large part in their choice for endorsement. I do wish they could appreciate the distinct differences between a true pro-development and pro-property rights position.
I would like to thank the editor for making the effort to inform the voters of Hernando County, even if their endorsement is, in my opinion, driven more by their agenda than their observations.
Nilsa Colon-Toro, School Board, District 1
Ethics, accountability and transparency are vital components to develop and maintain the public's confidence. For four years this district has had to endure favoritism, personal agendas and decisions that have been premature or changed after a round of golf. The public's confidence with the board's ability to function in a fair and reasonable matter has been obscured with a tumultuous climate favorable for selling more newspapers. The Times needs John Sweeney more than the hard-working citizens of Hernando County.
Budgetary issues, cuts and/or change must come after all options are clearly examined. Spring Hill was greatly impacted by the school start-time issue, a budgetary necessity. However, failure to provide an adequate and meaningful opportunity to alleviate hard-working parents' concerns and assisting them with the life-changing event was sorely missed.
Ramming change down someone's throat violates the district's mission statement of being "sensitive to the needs of others." How many public forums has John Sweeney held in the last four years? None! There have been many hot issues during his tenure.
I am an hourly-wage employee. I understand that safeguarding the image of the district should not come at the expense of the public's confidence. We can not wait another four years for something that should have happened in the last four years. The community has the right to be represented equally.
Dianne Bonfield, School Board, District 3
I am disappointed in not getting your recommendation. A recommendation is an opinion of a small group of people. Citizens should note my record and reasoning for my stances and not be fooled by others' campaign rhetoric.
They can choose me, who views the School Board as a full-time job, or choose a person who is seeking a second job. I have served on the board for the past four years and I have worked very hard to provide our students with the best education possible. I have had to make some tough decisions, but they were all made with the safety and welfare of our students in mind.
I have tried to be a good custodian of the taxpayers' dollars. I feel we have a great school system, and it will continue to get even better. Our hard-working students, teachers, administrators and staff have made us an "A'' district for the 2009-10 year.
My platform contains real issues with real solutions. Space does not permit me to elaborate, but I will be glad to discuss these issues with anyone at any time.
I am honored to have served on the School Board for the past four years and look forward to continuing to serve the students and taxpayers of Hernando County.
Cynthia Moore, School Board, District 5
Moving to Brooksville in 1964, I began my teaching at Brooksville Primary School, moved to Mitchell L. Black Elementary and ended with my retirement at Spring Hill Elementary. I taught for a total of 40 years in Hernando County. After taking a year off, I began volunteering at Brooksville Elementary in 2005. My years in the classroom, summer school administrator and senior volunteer have allowed me the opportunity to see the system from many points of view.
Being active in the community as a candidate for School Board has and continues to be an important part of my life. I have been active in the following: Beta Sigma Phi; Juvenile Justice Council; St. John's Episcopal Church; and the Enrichment Center of Hernando County, serving as its secretary.
My goals and objective are as follows: Consolidate district office, re-establish the full printing department; work toward proving instructional staff with meetings and staff development time outside of student contact hours and continue removal of portables and the establishment of permanent classrooms.
Sandra K. Nicholson, School Board, District 5
When you decide who you want to represent you on the School Board, I ask you to remember Sandra Nicholson. I have worked in our schools for many years before (and after) becoming a board member as a volunteer. I have saved taxpayers dollars on construction costs due to direct purchase. I was the member that pushed for the K-8 schools to make teachers work together to help the struggling sixth-grade students. I also pushed for two- and three-story buildings to save money. I have made suggestions to utilize solar and wind power to save energy, still working on that.
My services also include work outside our county. I have been very active in the Florida School Board Association. I serve on many committees and have served as chairperson several times. By working together we are able to buy items using group savings. I was chosen to be the only School Board member to review the middle school math adoption by the state of Florida last summer. The list goes on, but this space is limited. Be assured that I will continue to look for ways to improve all aspects of the complex school district.
This paper seems to like swing voters, so please let me remind you that it takes three to make that swing work. In business, when you have a hard-working, dedicated worker, you keep that person. I am that worker.