It was interesting to watch the debates between the candidates running for our city council and mayor in Bradenton. It seemed they all had different ideas on the best ways to proceed if elected to office. Although the positions sounded good on the surface, the incumbent candidates explained why several ideas floated by the other opponents were unrealistic or illegal.
In both city council debates, a common theme emerged. The incumbent candidates had to school the other candidates on Florida law as it pertains to governing cities. As an example, one candidate stated, if elected, the leadership role of the city council over the CCRA would be severed. Unfortunately for that candidate, the established relationship is irrevocable under Florida law.
Watching the banter in all three debates made it quite clear Mayor Wayne Poston, Mr. Gene Gallo and Mr. Harold Byrd Jr. were able to expertly describe their vast knowledge of running a city government with a budget of over $100 million. Running for office in city government requires a deep understanding of the rules and regulations attached to those positions.
The city of Sarasota continues to be compared to Bradenton, especially in the area of growth. Bradenton is the sixth fastest-growing city in Florida and is now higher than Sarasota city proper. Bradenton continues to grow, while the city provides quality services to its citizens without raising taxes. The mayor and council must be doing something right.
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Watch the debates and decide for yourself. We are on the right track in a fiscally conservative manner and, in my opinion, the mayor and council are doing a great job! They have certainly earned my support.
Kristopher Bayer, Retired School Administrator