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Candidates respond to Times' recommendations

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.

Dan Tipton

Republican candidate Pasco

Circuit Court Clerk

Thank you for this opportunity to remind voters of the differences between my opponent and me. The biggest difference is that I will change the clerk's office to make it responsive to the people of Pasco County. As chief deputy to Clerk Jed Pittman, my opponent has been a part of an administration that has been widely criticized.

We need change in the clerk's office. Until I made an issue about it, when someone called the clerk's office they were answered by a computer. Calls by taxpayers should be answered by a person, not a machine! The clerk is the only constitutional officer without a mid-county location, so central Pasco residents must drive over 20 miles to the office.

I have both the executive leadership and business experience that the clerk's office needs. For four years I served as mayor of New Port Richey and during that time our property tax rate and our violent crime rate both went down.

Since 1970 I have operated a small business in Pasco. For over 20 years, my opponent has been a government employee in one job or the other. I have made a payroll while she has been on the public payroll.

I will end the culture of cronyism in the clerk's office. I will not accept campaign contributions from employees of the office or vendors. It is time for higher ethical standards in the Pasco clerk's office and I believe I am the best person to bring them.

Terri Conroy

Democrat candidate Pasco Commission, District 3

I'm not a disgruntled former employee of the county's traffic division. I'm not a multimillionaire living in an ivory tower in Gulf Harbors.

I am a single, working mother of two daughters and former business owner who has worked hard to make Pasco a better place to live. Through business, my children's education and my faith, I have been involved in our community for almost 30 years because I wanted a better future for my family.

I am running for County Commission for the same reason. I believe the commission should represent the people of Pasco. But commissioners are nothing more than rich land owners and millionaires who are out of touch with the real needs of the citizens.

They don't care that the bus lines are basically useless. They never need to ride the buses. They don't care that our libraries cut services. They ever need public access to computers to find a job, or use a county pool to relax with their kids.

Get involved with your county government and elect me, Terri Conroy. I don't claim to have all the answers, but I am willing to work together with you to find the solutions to the many problems that face our county, and that have faced our county for over 24 years.

Wil Nickerson

Republican candidate Pasco

Commission, District 3

You are right, Ann Hildebrand has the experience of 24 years as commissioner. The question is what she does with that experience and who she really serves. Is double dipping responsible to her constituents? Is allowing uncontrolled residential growth without a planning for the needed infrastructure responsible? I have studied the Urban Land Institute report which gave our county a failing grade. I didn't need to spend $100,000 to know we are overbuilding and our entire system needs a major overhaul.

I strongly take offense to your portrayal of me as a part-time handyman, something I was doing in my immediate neighborhood to help some of the residents while I was a caretaker for my mother-in-law. I have a very diversified background which can bring much insight into being a commissioner.

My wife and I owned a service station during the last energy crisis. I was considered an expert and troubleshooter in my field of pre-stressed concrete high-rise construction and was involved in the bidding process.

As proud residents and business owners here in Pasco, we owned a real estate office during the last economic slowdown of the early 1990s. I pride myself in honesty, integrity and common sense. I have a lifelong commitment to being an advocate for the little guy, most recently as board member of HAC fighting the homeowners' insurance problem. All without compensation.

Despite your comment, I do have a number of ideas on ways to cut wasteful spending in the county. Unfortunately, 250 words are not adequate for me to go into detail.

Candidates respond to Times' recommendations 08/13/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 1:10pm]
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