Gutierrez The Serious Problem Solver Over Stabins The Jokester
In the District 1 Hernando County Commission race, the incumbent Jeff Stabins has an obvious advantage in name recognition. That, however, could turn out to be a negative in the final analysis.
His opponent, Ramon Gutierrez, is a 24-year resident of Hernando County. While he might not have a great deal of political experience, he has practical and business experience. He has had several businesses in Hernando, so he understands what it is like trying to pay bills and make a payroll. He has real estate experience and a financial background, having held a Series 7 license, which is very tough to get. Gutierrez also seems serious about supporting County Administrator David Hamilton in solving the problems of county government.
The incumbent, on the other hand, has no such business experience unless you count his tutoring students, for a fee, in his county office. Stabins then went on to say he didn't think using his government office was a problem. His methodology on the BOCC is to use the "can't-we-all-get-along" school instead of standing up for principle even if out voted. He was also part of the "Gang of Three" that in 2007 pushed the county employee across-the-board pay raises, disregarding the employee evaluations done by the staff and county administrator. If Stabins' HELP program to get the construction industry back to work is his crowning achievement then, for the present, it looks like he will be graded "F" for it.
While no one doubts his good intentions, his judgment is clearly flawed. Stabins seems to lack problem-solving skills and appears to mask his weaknesses with humor.
Hernando Today recommends Ramon Gutierrez for the District 1 County Commission seat.
Druzbick's Good Judgment Over Rowden's Passion
The District 3 County Commission race has two people well known to Hernando County voters. Diane Rowden and John Druzbick have both been in the political arena for some time.
Rowden, a two-term incumbent, and John Druzbick, a multi-term member of the Hernando County School Board, are facing off in the District 3 race. Rowden epitomizes the populist politician, taking every advantage to promote herself along with popular causes.
Rowden typically puts her finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing. Her actions during the April 2007 hearing regarding the Spring Hill Fire Rescue District were a major reason for the demise of former County Administrator Gary Kuhl.
Druzbick, on the other hand, has shown he can think outside the box and understands the role of a policymaker. He is a successful business owner, who has run a business for more than a decade in Hernando County. The board needs members who understand the plight of the business community that provides jobs to our friends and neighbors. He has shown that he is a reasoned person who exercises good judgment.
While we applaud Rowden for her passion, she generally is zealous on the wrong side of the correct vote. For example: Rowden was the third member of the "Gang of Three" who voted for the across-the-board pay increases in 2007 against the staff and county administrator's recommendations. Another flawed vote was to approve the policy of compensated absences that are costing the taxpayers dearly.
It is for these reasons that Hernando Today recommends John Druzbick for the District 3 County Commission seat.
To Serve Or Be Served! Adkins Over Kingsley
After eight years as a county commissioner, Chris Kingsley still does not seem to understand the meaning of public service.
Kingsley was turned out of office once before. Many believe it was because of his attitude, and it seems he may be risking the same fate this election. His obvious lack of any attempt at being contrite when he was made to repay the taxpayers' tuition money that he did not legally deserve indicates his lack of good judgment. By continuing to insist that he deserved the money in spite of what the law says shows a certain air of arrogance.
While Kingsley has generally voted as what some would call a moderate, he has changed position on certain important issues. He voted for an across-the-board pay increase in 2007, disregarding the fact that evaluations had been done by the county administrator and staff. This waste of staff time and taxpayer money showed poor judgment.
Kingsley's opponent, on the other hand, Jim Adkins, a former fire chief of Brooksville, definitely knows and understands his role as a public servant. He has been consistent in his advocating for the taxpayer and pledges to do the same if he is elected. Adkins understands the budget process and also understands the plight of the everyday taxpayer. He has attended county meetings and is active on several important committees.
It is for the above reasons that Hernando Today recommends Jim Adkins to serve for District 5 County Commission seat.