BROOKSVILLE - Natalie Kahler, operations pastor at Victorious Life Church in Spring Hill, has filed to run for Brooksville City Council Seat 5.
Kahler, 42, joined the race on Monday. A Pennsylvania native, Kahler and her family moved to Hernando County in 1999, and have lived in the city of Brooksville since 2002.
Kahler, who studied English and journalism at Grove City College (Pa.), previously worked for Jostens, a yearbook publisher. She taught at Hernando Christian Academy before joining Victorious Life Church, where she oversees church staff, events and daily operations.
Kahler's husband, Jason, is campus pastor for the same church. They have four children: one in college, high school, middle and elementary school.
"We definitely have a family philosophy for serving the community we're living in at the time," Kahler said.
Kahler, who has been active in local schools and the Hernando Youth Football League, said she has been "paying attention" to Brooksville City Council for a long time, and recently decided to get involved.
Kahler said she believes the "small town, family feel" and "distinctness" that convinced her family to move here are being jeopardized by recent city council actions. She cited the proposals to disband the fire department and asking the county to pitch in for city events.
"Brooksville is a special place and it needs to stay that way," Kahler said.
Kahler said she'd like to see a more formulaic approach to fee waivers and "not allow groups to expect city to foot the bill for all those things."
"What makes it hard is the case-by-case decisions. It's difficult not to look like favoritism," Kahler said. "If we establish the right system we don't have to apologize later on."
As for the ever-contentious red-light camera issue, Kahler said she's "not fully decided."
"I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the privacy aspect of video cameras taping people all the time," Kahler said, adding she's "not opposed to lawbreakers getting tickets."
Seat 5 is held by Councilwoman Lara Bradburn, who cannot run in 2014 due to term limits. Hernando High volunteer Vi Coogler joined the race for Bradburn's seat last August.
Former assistant city attorney, Robert Battista, is running for Councilman Joe Bernardini's Seat 1. Bernardini cannot run again due to term limits.