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Erhard's spirit, talent needed on city council

Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 06:49 PM

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THE ISSUE: Brooksville City Council, seat 2.

OUR OPINION: Betty Erhard would bring new, fresh perspective to city council.

The race for Brooksville City Council seat 2 features a longtime community activist squaring off against a political newcomer.

Frankie Burnett, 57, and Betty Erhard, 48, have each lived in Brooksville for a number of years and understand the myriad of issues facing city residents. There is no doubt that both candidates have the city's best interests at heart.

While the candidates agree on many issues, one area where they do not concerns fire fees.

Burnett favors the recently implemented fire tax, while Erhard believes the fire fees are not fair and council members should have reduced the overall tax rate by an equal amount that is being collected for fire fees. It does appear unfair to charge taxpayers twice for a service as taxes are already collected for fire services in addition to the new fee.

Burnett also is not opposed to raising taxes in the coming years to help pay for infrastructure projects, while Erhard would like to explore additional cuts, hosting events and promoting the city. Raising taxes during these tough economic times coupled with high unemployment does not seem like a wise course to undertake.

The two candidates also disagree with whether the city should take over Hernando Park. Erhard believes the city doesn't have the funds to operate the park, while Burnett says ownership of the park makes sense because it is located in the heart of downtown Brooksville. Taking over a park when the overall economy remains depressed also makes no sense, especially considering the county is paying for its upkeep and has been willing to let the city use it for special events as needed.

Burnett has served the city well during his six years on city council, but it appears it is time to bring a fresh face to the board. Someone like Erhard with a marketing background who could help develop ideas to promote the city and drive tourism and new business, which the city sorely needs.

Hernando Today recommends voters cast their ballots for Betty Erhard for Brooksville City Council seat 2.

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