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Incumbent Adkins wants to finish what he started

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Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 05:06 PM

All Jim Adkins said he needs is one more term as county commissioner from District 5 to bring to fruition some of the initiatives he began four years ago.

Then, he said, it will be time to retire.

"Win or lose, this will be it," he said.

Adkins, 63, was one of two commissioners this month to vote against a millage rollback to help balance the fiscal year 2012-13 budget. Adkins said not enough has been done to cut financial corners, and to lay the burden on taxpayers at this time when they are already struggling makes no sense.

It would be especially difficult on small businesses, he said.

"We cannot tax our way to prosperity," said Adkins, citing the woes of the federal government in trying to cope with the economic recession.

Adkins said there are no more cuts possible in the general fund. The employee workforce is down 50 percent and that is enough, he said.

The savings, he said, will have to come from the elected constitutional officers who, he believes, did not do their part to make economic concessions.

One of his main focuses, he said, will be on jobs creation.

During a recent candidates forum, Adkins announced that wireless, high speed Internet service will be available to Hernando County within six months, if not sooner.

The Wi-Max concept has been bandied about for more than a year but had stalled recently. Adkins said he was the one who took the initiative to meet with two wireless providers to jumpstart the project.

Adkins shoots down the common perception that it takes a prospective business owner months to get a permit to work here.

That may have been the case four or five years ago, he said. But since he's been on the commission, permits are issued within one to three days, he said.

Adkins has already lobbied the state Legislature to take action on the growing number of bogus sinkhole claims that he believes is crippling the economy. He plans to continue that fight the next four years.

Adkins and his colleagues have adopted a tough new sinkhole ordinance designed to better track claims and protect prospective homeowners.

But even though the tracking has worked, it has done nothing to curtail the number of claims.

A property appraiser's office official estimated a $150 million loss in market value for 2012 resulting from sinkhole claims in the residential and commercial sectors.

Adkins said he still believes Hernando County would benefit from a charter type government, but the idea did not catch on with his colleagues when he brought it up for discussion.

Adkins said charters must be designed specifically for each county to make them work. Whether the idea gains traction here will depend on the reception it will get from the rest of the board.

Adkins, who retired as chief of the Brooksville Fire Department in 1998, ran for the District 5 county commission seat in 2004 but was defeated in the primary. Democrat Chris Kingsley went on to win the general election.

Adkins ran again in 2008 and defeated Kingsley.

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