As you probably know, I’m considering running for public office in the city of Jacksonville within the next three years. I’ve received tons of advice and comments about these plans. Some of these comments have said “you have plenty of time” to run for office. Basically saying wait until I’m older. And while I understand why they say that I’m not so sure they’re correct in saying that.
I’m worried that our country, our state and our city has been making monumental mistakes in policy that is bankrupting our governments. And the more I think about it the more I realize we need people in office who are willing to tackle the tough issues and not demagogue their way out of making difficult decisions. This is what got us in this position in the first place. And if something is not done about this sooner than later and we may be looking at a more dire situation by the time most would say I should run for office.
Above all, we need to get the city back to its basic roots of providing high-quality emergency services/public safety and improving infrastructure. And this needs to be done almost immediately. Unfortunately, most politicians think that bribing big businesses to come Jacksonville is the way to grow the city. Same thing even happens at the state and national level. But that simply won’t work for the long run. Personally, giving out money in return for jobs seems like a desperate move of a city that has nothing going for it and that’s not where we are.
When you have a state-of-the-art infrastructure, businesses will naturally want to be a part of it because it will allow them to take advantage of the infrastructure in their business processes. Jacksonville has a lot of advantages that, if marketed correctly, would entice many businesses to move to the city. We have perfect access to the Atlantic Ocean. We have CSX and a railroad system built in our city. We are the most Western coastal city on the East Coast (about as far west as Cleveland). We have two major highways going straight through Jacksonville in I-10 and I-95. And an international airport that, in my opinion, is not being fully utilized. We have a lot going for us!
I’m looking at all this and not seeing very many on the Council bringing up the subjects. However, I do see the Council throwing money around like it’s game. I’ve seen the budget and we’ll have extra might be throwing around. The city needs to prioritize and in need to do it without delay. People are tired of paying more taxes for less services.
And this is why I’m sticking with my decision to move back to Jacksonville at the end of the month to begin building the foundation of the campaign. After looking back at my doubts, it’s easy to see why I would question myself to make such a jump. But I think it was necessary for me at least question myself to make sure that I was in this for the right reasons. It’s go time now!