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Home2022 ElectionNov. 8 General Election: Brooksville City Council Seat 4

Nov. 8 General Election: Brooksville City Council Seat 4

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Residents of the City of Brooksville will be electing a representative for Brooksville City Council Seat 4. Candidates for seat 5 are also on the ballot.
Each candidate was given the opportunity to provide a 150-word bio and respond to our questions within 800 words.

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Casey Thieryung (NPA)

Casey Thieryung
Casey Thieryung

BIO:
I was born and raised in Brooksville. I am a proud graduate of Methodist School Center, Hernando High School, PHSC, and University of South Florida. I hold a degree in American History. I am a small business owner and a lifelong Conservative. I am invested in our community through my membership in the Brooksville Rotary Club, volunteering for Brooksville Main Street, and sponsoring many school and community events. I am looking for long-term solutions because my wife and I intend for our children and grandchildren to grow up in the Best Small Town, in the Best State, in the Best Nation in the world.

What inspired you to run for city council?

First, I love our city. Brooksville is a small town with heart and the people are all like family.
As a small business owner, I feel that the current council is not in a position to understand the needs of businesses in the community. Small businesses provide services and jobs to our town and need some representation on the city council to help ease the burden put on us by government.

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Do you see any areas where the city needs to increase funding? How could this be paid for?

Our infrastructure, mainly water and sewer systems, need investment. Many of the pipes under our city were installed around 75 years ago. At that time pipes were made of cast iron, which not only corrode, rust, and fail, they can also cause problems with the water quality. I truly believe that most of this funding can be found if the Council reviews budget line item, by line item. Every government over spends, and everyone knows that is the case. I am certain funds can be found to devote to our critical infrastructure.

Do you see any areas where the city is overspending?

I think that our contract/bidding process needs to be reviewed carefully. Large dollar items go before the Council and are reviewed, smaller dollar items are not and those are areas which need to be looked at for waste.

What city projects are most important and why?

As above stated, lack of previous investment in our infrastructure is the biggest problem facing the city. If we are expecting our city to expand and to draw smart investment, we must have excellent services all around, especially in roads, sewer, and water.

What are some top issues facing the city that need to be addressed?

Population growth in our state and our county is increasing at a pace never seen. Brooksville is surrounded by other large and growing areas. If we do not prepare for the increasing population wisely, we will end up like Pasco County.

What qualifies you to hold this office besides your experience/education?

You will find no one who loves this city more than I. I was born and raised here. I spent a lot of time in Tampa going to college and I know, firsthand, what the unrestrained and unplanned growth can do to a small, charming town. I know the people and I know why they live here; I speak to the public every day. No one wants us to lose the charm of our city, so we must plan and control the growth to keep Brooksville the amazing place that it is today.

What do you believe are the core responsibilities of this office?

We are here to represent the citizens of our city. We need locals with the city’s best interest at the forefront. To keep the decisions about Brooksville in our citizens’ hands and not in the hands of the county at large.

Both sitting representatives and candidates for office hear many personal stories from the residents of their district. Is there a story that you have heard that you found particularly touching, memorable, or impactful?

Every day I speak to people that live a street or two outside of city limits or they own a business in city limits but live three miles from town. These people’s lives and livelihoods are affected by the decisions of the city council, but they have no representation at all. They are very invested in Brooksville but have no voice. Many of these residents want to be included, and some even assume they are included in the city, but they are not. I believe a responsible, practical, and voluntarily annexation policy is needed to round off city limits and, at the very least, give a voice to those seeking representation.

CHRIS KINGSLEY(NPA)

CHRIS KINGSLEY
Chris Kingsley

BIO:
Experience
Chris is a father and grandfather
Veteran, Viet Nam era veteran 1970 -1974 United States Coast Guard
Retired firefighter, City of Clearwater, Florida
Former State Certified teacher
8 years as a County Commissioner Hernando County
32 years as a resident of Hernando County and Brooksville

Education
MBA St. Leo University, Dade City, Fl
BA Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Fl.
AA and AS St. Petersburg JC
University of South Florida: teacher certification

What inspired you to run for city council?

I have lived in Hernando County and now Brooksville for a total of 32 years. For eight years I worked in Downtown Brooksville. I have seen the City’s luster and value to the public rise and fall. The dependence on housing tax revenue is becoming overwhelming. Some diversification of the economy is occurring but not as much as needed to pay for the costs of a deteriorating infrastructure. To be a desirable location to live or open a business the city needs to provide more desirable services. I have in the past and believe now that I can be an integral part in the development of those.

Do you see any areas where the city needs to increase funding? How could this be paid for?

Like all cities and counties, the needs outweigh the ability to pay for them. Many streets are deplorable. Although the brick streets are historically valuable, they will be very expensive to redo as they are. For this type of historic restoration to preserve the charm and value as a road there will need to be a public/private partnership to provide that service and to pay for it.
The city needs to increase funding/efforts towards increasing the appeal of the area for commercial and manufacturing activities. There needs to be more higher paying jobs. Some of this could be paid for by grants and co-operative efforts with the county.

Do you see any areas where the city is overspending?

Personnel. I understand the need for sovereignty of the city. But when the needs outweigh the ability to pay for them governments turn to raising the taxes. That is not an option with me. Annexing newer communities and taxing them to death is not the answer either. Consolidation of services could be a financial resource. If someone is providing an excellent service and you are not and they can provide it cheaper, why wouldn’t you look to utilizing that provider?

What city projects are most important and why?

One of the most important city projects is the maintenance and replacement of the core infrastructure, the water, the sewer, the roads and lighting. With substandard infrastructure the ability to attract new housing and diversified economic development is severely hampered.
Economic growth is important to the viability and growth of the city. If, as it seems, housing becomes the core growth factor for the city, economic vitality will not follow. Housing growth costs money and often costs more than the taxes from it provides. Cost effective and cost-free growth is necessary.

What are some top issues facing the city that need to be addressed?

Taxes. Taxes are going up every year and there seems to be no end in sight. Having the tax rate the same for three or four years is the same as raising the taxes. The value of housing and businesses is going up dramatically. That means the taxes on that property are going up.
Geographic limitations. The location of the city creates some logistical hinderances to economic development. Growth centers are being developed more around transportation corridors that provide access to services and jobs. The city may need to provide some zoning changes, and land usage opportunities that could off set the transportation advantages of other areas.
The issue of affordable housing is still a top issue within the city. Dealing with this issue helps by not only providing better housing but also with the overall appeal of the city to others.

What qualifies you to hold this office besides your experience/education?

My honesty not only distinguishes me for this position but also distinguishes me from my opponent.
My integrity is vital to good leadership.
My compassion helps me see and understand the needs of those I serve.
Competency. My experience and education have provided me with the tools needed to make competent fair and successful decisions.
Conciliatory/Flexible. I practice tolerance and a willingness to see and hear both sides. This allows for decisions that are made by consensus.

What do you believe are the core responsibilities of this office?

Provide for the public safety and health
Direct and authorize public improvements – infrastructure
Determine the need for and levy taxes as needed
Determine the budget
Appropriate spending and borrowing as needed
Provide direction for the City Manager to administer

Both sitting representatives and candidates for office hear many personal stories from the residents of their district. Is there a story that you have heard that you found particularly touching, memorable, or impactful?

As a member of Kiwanis and as a teacher I have worked with others to provide meals for disadvantaged families at both Thanksgiving and Christmas. These families would not have had meals without those provided by these groups. One family lived in a small unit in a very rural area. The inside of the house was as clean as it could be. There were three kids and a mom inside. One of the children knew me from school. There was a sense of embarrassment at first but then the joy from the mom and the other kids erased the embarrassment and lifted the child to come over to me and express her appreciation. It overwhelmed me.

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