I firmly believe the focus for Orange County needs be on planting the seeds for sustainable, responsible, growth which can only occur by supporting initiatives known to promote quality of life. As your Commissioner, I will bring a unique perspective to carrying out the duties and responsibilities of this Office by leveraging my expertise, training, and experience as a twenty (20) plus year law enforcement officer along with my training and experience as a Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate – REALTOR®. Economic growth can be cultivated by focusing on adequately funding public safety, instituting meaningful policies to boost education of youth, implementing infrastructure and transportation needs in a timely manner, and providing for social services that encourage personal growth. These areas are not in order of priority; rather, they must be considered in totality and improved upon simultaneously. By primarily focusing our efforts in these areas, I foresee Orange County being able to attract new businesses, increase employment opportunities for higher paying jobs, retain our local graduates for employment, encourage entrepreneurship, and provide a pathway to home ownership. Likewise, residents will be able to enjoy livable neighborhoods and their families well into the future. The ultimate result will be a safer and prosperous Orange County.
It is no secret that economic growth increases when crime is down, when social services provide solutions, and children start their academic rigor early on in life. By collaborating with members of our local law enforcement agencies; the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Orlando Police Department, Belle Isle Police Department, Edgewood Police Department, Orange County Corrections, and Orange County Social Service agencies, crime can be reduced substantially in Orange County and specifically in District 3. Specifically, I believe leveraging technology in a proactive manner can greatly reduce crime overall and can have a significant impact in reducing the frequency of gun violence. Please see my article about ShotSpotter for a full explanation and my observations of this technology in use in cities around Florida.
As your Commissioner and the son of a retired Orange County Public Schools teacher who observed the hurdles teachers endure on a daily basis, I will support the Orange County Public School Board in their endeavor to plan and construct schools in a timely manner by amending outdated policies that require a certain amount of acreage for constructions, support our public school teachers in their quest for better wages; both of which will promote sustained learning for our youth. Sustained learning must be present from preschool all the way through to college graduation because it has an exponentially positive impact on economic growth. Otherwise, a distracted student will choose counterproductive activities that affect their level of education, which in turn may lead them to criminal activity. Criminal activity, in turn, can impact the degree upon which growth occurs in a particular area.
Infrastructure and Transportation
As someone who grew up in District 3, I watched traffic congestion increase to the bottleneck traffic we experience every morning and afternoon while commuting to and from our homes. Every aspect of our infrastructure and transportation in Orange County needs to be evaluated using a cost-benefit analysis to include road improvements, traffic congestion, transit-oriented development, mass transit, and our multi-modal transportation corridor plan. By maximizing efficiency in our county government and utilizing windfall funds from the re-capture of unpaid or fraudulently exempted property taxes or from those failing to pay taxes, your government can pay for long-overdue transportation projects in addition to selling bonds without raising your taxes.
I have personally seen the pitfalls and failures of social services in Orange County; both as a law enforcement officer and personally by watching friends endure making difficult decisions when help wasn’t available through services that are supposed to be available. Fortunately, my friends sought me out for guidance, knowing I would keep their problem in confidence and help them get the necessary medical treatment. My friends are healthy now but I shudder to think what would have happened if they had not reached out to me. As your Commissioner, I will be in a position to work with the leadership of Orange County agencies to coordinate the use of existing Orange County assets and resources for the purpose of supporting programs involving the treatment of those diagnosed with mental illness, finding solutions for those who may be homeless, and targeting those involved in criminal activity.