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Home2022 ElectionNov. 8 General Election: Candidates for Brooksville City Council Seat 5

Nov. 8 General Election: Candidates for Brooksville City Council Seat 5

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Residents of the City of Brooksville will be electing a representative for Brooksville City Council Seat 5. Candidates for seat 4 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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PAT BRAYTON (NPA)
(Pat Brayton in the Incumbent for Seat 5.)

Pat Brayton

BIO:
I was born and raised in Brooksville and graduated from Hernando High in 1963. I attended Jones College of Business in Orlando where I received my degree in Accounting. While in Orlando, I met Judy, my wonderful wife now for 57 years.
After serving a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, and Judy finishing her Nursing School in Orlando and becoming a Registered Nurse, we made Brooksville our permanent home in 1969.
I was employed privately until 1972 and then became an employee of the City of Brooksville beginning as Asst. Finance Director and working my way up to City Clerk/Finance Director at the time I left in 1980.
After working with my family at the old citrus plant for two years, I started my own accounting business in 1982 and am still in business today after 40 years.

What inspired you to run for city council?

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I was requested to run for office four years ago because of my financial background along with my history with the City. I am currently running for re-election. It is for the love of my City that I continue to offer my services and my experience.

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

There is one main project which I feel needs additional funding and that is the City’s infrastructure. Some grants are available for these projects, but eventually our citizens are going to have to contribute more via assessments, taxes or increases in water/sewer rates.

Do you see any areas where the city is overspending?

The City has been able to maintain its millage rate for the past two years and has adhered to their annual budget very well. Therefore I don’t feel that there is any unnecessary appropriation of funds. There has been some concern about the funds budgeted for Brooksville Main Street but these funds have brought a much needed positive economic impact for our downtown small businesses.

What city projects are most important and why?

As mentioned before, I feel that the most pressing project that the City needs to approach is our aging water and sewer system. A large portion of our underground infrastructure is well over sixty plus years old. The City needs to come up with a solid plan to begin rebuilding/replacing the existing system. As the City has done with its road revitalization project, we need to look at this same idea for our sewer/water system. By committing a set amount of funds for the enhancement and repair/replacement of the water/sewer system on an annual basis, we ensure the health and safety of our citizens.

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

One important issue which has been addressed properly by the City is its roads. By budgeting a set amount each year for the past three years the City has been able to revitalize a fair number of roads. This project should be continued by all means. Another item that needs to be addressed is our lack of downtown parking. Now that the Good Neighbor Trail is coming through town, the City will lose even more parking spaces. Parking availability will only assist in the economic development of the downtown area.

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

Being involved with the City in different ways over the past years, I feel that my understanding and past knowledge of the City, along with my financial understanding of the multiple funds of the City, has been and will continue to be a benefit to the City and also to the Council.

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

The main responsibility of this office, in my opinion, is to listen and to take into account the concerns, safety and welfare of our citizens and to keep the City in a fiscally responsible position.

THOMAS BRONSON (NPA)

Thomas Bronson
Thomas Bronson

BIO:
I was born and raised in Brooksville—my family goes back seven generations in this town. My siblings and I all grew up going to Brooksville schools. At Hernando High, I served as Chief of Staff for the student government and helped lead my football team to victory under those Friday night lights.
Following high school, I received a scholarship to Appalachian State University to play football. It was there I received my degree in marketing while also providing crucial maneuvers as defensive tackle for the Mountaineers.
Soon after graduation, I came home to Brooksville to start my career. I entered the trade I knew well….mining. You see, my Dad and his Dad before him worked in mining—it is a professional we are proud of.
It was in the mining business, that I learned from my Dad and Granddad the importance of hard work, determination and perseverance.

What inspired you to run for city council?

I was born and raised in Brooksville. My family goes back seven generations in this town. I was raised to give back to my community and this is one way I can do that. I have watched over the years the City head in the wrong direction. Over the last two years, things have been turning around but I want to be part of the team to see the City continue moving forward in a positive direction that is pro-business, family friendly and a positive community.

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

As a City, our focus on funding should be on basic municipal government spending: maintaining roads, providing quality water, ensuring safety of our people and improving infrastructure. With that, our City infrastructure needs a lot of attention. I believe there are areas of the budget that can be reduced to make up for the necessary functions of government.

Do you see any areas where the city is overspending?

The City has held its mileage rate at the same level for the last few years—that is positive. However, I would like to do a deep dive into the budget when elected to see if there are areas where the City isn’t being as fiscally responsible as we should be.

What city projects are most important and why?
Rebuilding our infrastructure and revitalizing our Downtown Brooksville. We are an old city—with a lot of good history. But that means we have an old infrastructure. The City must address infrastructure needs. Also, I am a huge supporter of turning the lights back on in Downtown Brooksville. The City must be a partner with non-profits and businesses to work to revitalize our historic Downtown.

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

The safety and security of our people. As more people flock to Florida, we are seeing an increase in the homeless population and also crime rates rising. As a City, we must seriously address both of these issues. While supporting our law enforcement, I would work as City Council member to take on crime and make sure our streets in Brooksville are safe.

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

I am a leader not afraid to get in and fight for the town that I love. But, I am also a great listener and learner. These qualities will help me in being a leader for the City of Brooksville.

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

Listening to the people. This is a position decided on by the people of the City of Brooksville. I report to the voters and will listen to each of their concerns and then being a voice for you. That’s why I am asking for your vote on November 8th, Thomas Bronson, for Brooksville City Council.

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