Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

City Council District 11

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

City Council District 11

Article excerpt

TOM BAINE

Republican

Age: 39

Experience in elected or appointed office: None.

Education: Master of Business Administration, Liberty University; Bachelor of Arts, University of North Florida; Associate in Arts, Florida State College at Jacksonville.

Occupation: Aerospace Program Manager.

Family: Wife, Ann-Marie Thompson Baine.

What are the two most important issues facing your district, and how would you address them? Unfair tax/fee increases and various other threats to economic growth in District 11. I would work to reduce spending and create new incentives for investment in the district.

In order to close projected budget shortfalls, where would you cut spending, raise taxes and fees? I would not raise taxes or fees under any circumstances. I would start with a flat 5 percent pay cut from all city employees (except for those who have already received a cut of 5 percent or more in the past five years) and make the necessary changes in employee benefits in alignment with the private sector. I would also trim the size of the city government to assist in reducing the budget shortfalls.

Reader question: What suggestions do you have for pension reform for government workers? Public pensions must be comparable to those of the private sector for sustainability. The private sector has undergone considerable pension reform in the last decade due to increasing costs and reduced revenues. The public sector is not immune to the same issues facing the private sector, yet it is often considerably slower to respond. As organizations in the private sector have a fiduciary to stockholders, the government has a similar, yet often neglected, responsibility to its taxpayers.

RAY HOLT

Republican

Age: 40

Experience in elected or appointed office: Currently serving in the third year of first City Council term.

Education: Graduated 1988 from Ed White High School; Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Florida State University in 1992; Master of Public Administration from University of South Florida in 2000.

Occupation: Family Support Services of North Florida, Community Development Department.

Family: Married for 13 years to Nanette Holt. Three children: Tucker, 11; Natasha, 9; and Liberty, 3.

What are the two most important issues facing your district, and how would you address them? One problem my district faces more than most is planning for growth and development. My commitment has always been that our neighborhoods should grow in a way that's consistent with current land uses and density. I've been able to provide leadership on the LUZ committee, and have protected several neighborhoods in my district from industrial development or dense residential growth. The other problem I face is not so unique to my district - keeping our tax rates low and providing necessary services. …

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