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HomePrimary 2018: Hernando County Commissioner Candidates District 2
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Primary 2018: Hernando County Commissioner Candidates District 2

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The primary election ballot is a full one for republican county commissioner races. There are no primary races for the democrat candidates since there is only one democrat candidate in each race.  County commissioner candidates run for a certain district based on where they live in the county. The county is divided into five districts.  Candidates vying to represent either District 2 or 4 are in the 2018 election cycle.  Party affiliation aside, all county residents are able to vote in each district race. 

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In District 2, incumbent Wayne Dukes is facing two formidable opponents in Charles D. Greenwell and Beth Narverud in the republican primary.  The winner of this primary will run against the Democrat candidate Deborah Salvesen in the general election.
 
The Hernando Sun sent questions to the candidates, which they have graciously answered.   

Wayne Dukes (Incumbent)
 

Wayne Dukes

Candidate Bio (provided by Candidate):

Commissioner Wayne Dukes is a native of Hernando County, born and raised in Brooksville and a graduate of Hernando High. He is a proud veteran of the US Air Force, Vietnam-era. He has been married to Silvia Dukes for 32 years. 

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Commissioner Dukes’ educational background includes a Bachelor of Science Degree and two Associate of Applied Science Degrees. He earned all three degrees while working a full-time job. 

Mr. Dukes retired after a 32-year career working as a Federal Civil Servant for the U.S. Air Force in Civil Engineering and Fire Service. During his career, he accumulated extensive experience in contract management, budgeting, construction review, space allocation, and infrastructure. After his retirement, he returned home to Hernando County. 

Commissioner Dukes was elected in 2010 to the Hernando County Board of Commissioners and has served as Chairman three times. 

His educational and professional experience work hand-in-hand to serve the needs of the people of Hernando County and as a long-time Hernando County resident, Commissioner Dukes has an unique insight into the very issues that are important to his fellow Hernando County residents. 

Commissioner Dukes represents the interests of Hernando County citizens in numerous organizations and committees such as Chairperson to the Metropolitan Planning Organization, member of Gulf Consortium to the BP Oil Spill, Withlacoochee Regional Water Supply Authority, and Local Emergency Planning Council, Liaison to the Building Department, Port Authority, Fine Arts Council, to name a few. 

Q & A with WAYNE DUKES:

1. Describe up to three ordinances that need to be modified/changed/added?
 
In 2017, the current BOCC voted to review the current ordinances looking to reduce and simplify the County ordinances. Examples of ordinances that have already been repealed include Fuel Code, Coastal Construction Code, Natural Gas Code, Storage and Handling of LP Gases, Solare Energy Heating & Cooling Devices, Amusement Device Code, Bingo Ordinance, Accessory Structure Ordinance (amended), Flood Ordinance (amended) and Marine Construction Code (amended). 

2. Do you feel that next year’s budget should be increased, decreased and by how much.

The Commission has been working on the budget for the next fiscal year and there is an increase of approximately 6% overall over last year’s budget which reflects the County’s growth since last year. As it stands now, we have a balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year. 

3. If you are in favor of increasing the budget, how do you recommend paying for it?

Increases in the budget will be absorbed by the current growth the County is experiencing, higher property values, and the increase in the tax base. I am not in favor of increases in the budget unless the projected revenue for the budget year will be sufficient to cover the increase. 

4. If you are in favor of decreasing the budget, how do you pay for obligated salary increases, cost of living increases and other inflationary costs? 

Not applicable. Our budget is directed by the growth the County is experiencing. If there is no increase or a decline in growth, the size of government will need to stay flat or be decreased as it has happened in the past. 

5. Describe up to three county projects that are most important for the county and why?
(Example: Kass Circle revitalization, additional recreation, airport development etc… )

RESTORE Act – As a member of the Gulf Coast Consortium, Hernando County is working on its list of Gulf and waterways related projects including the areas of tourism, education, and as they pertain to Gulf and waterway restoration. First installment of funds from the RESTORE Act will be available in March 2019.

Economic Development – expand tax base by attracting more industry and recruitment of higher paying jobs. For example, FrigiTech is a new company coming to Hernando County building a 200,000 SF cold storage facility and employing 80 employees with a starting salary/wage of $37,500/annually. Another company, Alumi-Guard is currently expanding their facilities adding 100,000 SF of space and 20 additional jobs. The additional projected revenue to the County from these two companies alone will be $270,000/year. 
 
Airport Infrastructure – Expansion of the airport will require improvements to the current infrastructure at the airport for roads, sewer, water, and power. These project are currently being worked on. 
 
6. Describe up to three top issues facing the county (Example: opiate epidemic, flooding, managing development, etc…) 

Springs Protection – This includes ongoing efforts to decrease nitrate levels in the Springs, 
 
Infrastructure to Match Growth – as the County is growing, the infrastructure will need to be improved and expanded to meet the growing demand for roads, water and sewer line, and storm drainage. 

Job Creation is always an ongoing concern. Hernando County together with Pasco and Pinellas Counties and the State started an apprenticeship program that teaches people high level skills to prepare them for high tech jobs that are needed to attract the industries and high paying jobs that Hernando County desires. 

Beth Narverud

Beth Narverud

Candidate Bio (provided by candidate):

Beth and her family began visiting Hernando County back in 1970 when her Great Uncle, Fred Kirshy, opened Luigi’s Pizza in Brooksville, Florida.
In early 1987, Beth Kirshy along with her father and family, finally made the big move to Spring Hill opening Kirshy’s New York Deli & Catering. Today Beth Kirshy is now Beth Narverud having married her best friend Marty.  Together they have owned and operated a multi-store pizza franchise for over 30 years throughout Hernando and Pasco Counties.

Being a small business owner has taught Beth the importance of giving back to the community.  Beth has been active on dozens of civic boards and is a graduate of Leadership Hernando and previous executive director of the Hernando County Education Foundation. Elected in 2014, Beth currently serves on the Hernando County School Board. 

Beth believes being responsible with tax dollars is critical to the success of our county.  Steadfast in our need to grow business not government. Beth is not a career politician.  She is a woman dedicated to seeing her community succeed by creating opportunities for our families and small businesses.

Q & A with Beth Narverud:

1.  Describe up to three ordinances that need to be modified/changed/added?

I don’t have three “specific” ordinances, however, I would look to repeal any ordinance that doesn’t make sense or puts unnecessary burdens on small businesses or families.

 2. Do you feel that next year’s budget should be increased, decreased and by how much.

There are some items in the county budget that go up every year regardless, such as insurance and health costs. So, the county budget requests will increase. The key, and what I will advocate for, is making sure our budget is lean and we not wasting money on frivolous or unnecessary projects. I will look to cut out the waste and abuse.

3. If you are in favor of increasing the budget, how do you recommend paying for it?

I will not raises taxes on the hard working people of Hernando. Ad valorem revenue (property taxes) and sales tax revenue will go up on its’ own because of the rise in property values, new homes being built, and the rejuvinated local economy. Regardless of what government says, the county will have more revenue. It is this organic growth that should pay for the organic growth within the budget.

 4.   If you are in favor of decreasing the budget, how do you pay for obligated salary increases, cost of living increases and other inflationary costs?

The organic growth will pay for these unless the revenues we are bringing in, because of our economy, far exceed the need for those taxes. I will not tolerate taking extra revenue and expanding government. I will look to cut any proposed budget that looks to do so. That is why, unlike both of my opponents, I am in favor of the extra $25K homestead exemption. Commissioner Dukes had been on record stating that we would have to raise the millage rate (property taxes) and user fees to cover the cost of government.

5. Describe up to three county projects that are most important for the county and why?
(Example: Kass Circle revitalization, additional recreation, airport development etc…)

1) Securing our schools against violent attacks from disturbed individuals looking to do harm to our children.

2) The Cyril Dr. project that alleviates flooding and egress concerns on the east side of the county.

3) Any project that increases capacity on major roads to accommodate for future growth.

6. Describe up to three top issues facing the county (Example: opiate epidemic, flooding, managing development, etc…)

Economic development / diversification/ educated workforce: through

• Infastructure:  Roads, congestion

•  Keeping Hernando county affordable

Charles Greenwell

Charles Greenwell

Candidate Bio (provided by candidate)

Charles D. Greenwell lives in District 2. He is a Vietnam Combat Veteran (1969-70) with a Bronze Star and Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. Mr. Greenwell has a Juris Doctorate cum laude in law from the University of Louisville (1973). He is a business attorney with over forty-five years experience in trial and appellate practice. He is admitted to practice in multiple state and federal courts including the U.S. Supreme Court. He has represented clients from across the country. From 2009-13, Mr. Greenwell was trial counsel for the Commonwealth of Kentucky in conjunction with other counsel and attorney generals in a forty-six state national arbitration of a multi-billion dollar dispute with the tobacco companies under the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. Over the last three years, Mr. Greenwell has attended virtually every meeting of the Board of County Commissioners and has successfully advocated on behalf of the Citizens of Hernando County on many issues. He also frequently attends meetings of the Planning & Zoning Commission, Port Authority, and the Emergency Management’s Local Mitigation Strategy meetings.  Mr. Greenwell has never run for public office but he has the qualifications and experience to immediately assume the job of County Commissioner.

Q & A with Charles Greenwell:

1. Describe up to three ordinances that need to be modified/changed/added?
                                                            
Restore supermajority rule for amendment of the comprehensive plan to protect the certainty and reliability of “property rights” and to prohibit future repeal of the supermajority by anything less than a supermajority vote.

Workshop and Public Hearing reform to ensure that all five Commissioners have the opportunity for public collaboration and interaction and to make County Government more accessible to Citizens who work.  Also, the reform should ensure a more informed public and a level playing field for hearing parties affected. 

Specific qualifications to serve as a Commissioner should be established.  Local government is becoming more demanding each year. We need to raise the restore public respect for the competence, vision, and leadership of the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners. 

2. Do you feel that next year’s budget should be increased, decreased and by how much.

No change should be made until further information is available to me and the rest of the public. It appears that for the past several years, the County has allocated more for expenditures than the County has received in revenue. Consequently, there is a current budget shortfall reported to be as much as $14 million. The County has just recently disclosed a proposed budget for FY 2019 which is $426,761,106 versus the approved FY 2018 budget which was $452,859,776.  Accordingly, the $26,097,670 cut in allocations is necessary to have a balanced budget without raising taxes. The choice between decreasing the budget or raising taxes should be fully disclosed to the public and corrective action must be taken consistent with the will of the people. When you are in a hole, you have to stop digging.

3. If you are in favor of increasing the budget, how do you recommend paying for it?

N/A

4. If you are in favor of decreasing the budget, how do you pay for obligated salary increases, cost of living increases and other inflationary costs?

Substantial costs and potential duplication of  services and administrative cost 

5. Describe up to three county projects that are most important for the county and why?
(Example: Kass Circle revitalization, additional recreation, airport development etc… )

• Utilizing our airport in more creative ways to attract businesses with higher paying jobs.

• Working with the County School Board to educate and train for jobs we want to attract. 

• Defining a vision for Hernando County’s future that will inspire proactive engagement in building for what we want to attract.

6. Describe up to three top issues facing the county  (Example: opiate epidemic, flooding, managing development, etc…) 

•  Demand and supply of water. 

• Defining the balance between protection of the County’s environmental assets and development for stronger economic growth

•  Public Safety.

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