Time for diversity in local government

Time for diversity in local government

Letter to the Editor, as published in the Citrus County Chronicle July 11, 2020:

For too long, we have been voting for people just because their names sound familiar to us, maybe because they are incumbents, maybe because we’ve seen them in the newspaper. If you keep voting for the same people, you’ll get the same tired, outdated results. Are they really working for us or just doing the bare minimum, the easy stuff and collecting a paycheck. Do they even know what today’s residents in Citrus County really want? We have an opportunity to vote for new commissioners who will make the changes we have been waiting for.

Four amazing women have come forward to create a vision for our county that is something more than just trying to get the roads maintained. Holly Davis and Ruthie Schlabach have stepped up to run for Citrus County commissioners. They are both business owners, intelligent and educated women with a comprehensive plan for our county that will move us forward to make Citrus County a better place to live, play, shop and dine.

The Suncoast Parkway extension is coming to our area and we need officials who can formulate a strategic plan that preserves our beautiful Nature Coast and yet invites shops and restaurants, so that we aren’t always having to drive 30-40 minutes to Ocala or Brooksville to find decent shopping and dining. If we made an effort to attract some retail and light industry businesses, it would increase our tax revenue which could pay for many of the improvements people would like to see. Businesses do pay taxes too and they are often substantial.

Sandra “Sam” Himmel is the obvious choice for superintendent of schools due to her vast experience in that field and the amazing job she’s done. Maureen “Mo” Baird has been second in command at the well-run Supervisor of Elections Office for years and can step right into that job without missing a beat.

For too long we have had a total lack of diversity in our county commissioners’ board and I believe this has stifled the energy and potential of Citrus County. I endorse the four women listed above, and yes, it’s partly because we need more women in office and a different, more up-to-date outlook.

Jan Bailey