A Sun endorsement: City Commission District 2: Bonnie Mott

Published: Saturday, January 19, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 18, 2008 at 7:45 p.m.

The phrase "liberal City Commission" often gets overworked in this town. But there is some truth to it. And when Commissioners Ed Braddy and Rick Bryant leave office, so too will the commission's two most reliably conservative votes and the two most reliably pro-business votes.

That need to maintain a sense of balance on the commission is why we endorse Bonnie Mott for the District 2 race. She is a well respected business person, a Realtor, who grew up in Gainesville. Her record of community involvement over the decades is varied and commendable. She has a hands-on familiarity with many of the challenges that confront Gainesville - affordable housing, the problems of the homeless and youth recreation to name a few.

We are impressed with Lauren Poe, the 36-year old Santa Fe Community College instructor and longtime Gainesville resident who is making his first run for political office. He has shown himself to be a thoughtful candidate with a good grasp of the issues in this campaign.

The other candidate in this race, Bryan Harman, is a relative newcomer to Gainesville. He is a tremendously enthusiastic campaigner who likes to talk about how many doors he's knocked on, but he appears less well versed on the issues and problems that confront Gainesville.

Of the three, we think Bonnie Mott is best suited to help maintain a sense of balance on the commission. She understands the pressures that confront Gainesville's neighborhoods. She will be comfortable grappling with the pocketbook issues that come before the commission week in and week out. "I've owned and managed a business," she says. "I know what it's like to have to meet a payroll."

Mott likes to say "my roots run deep in this community." And she should; her life's history has been inextricably linked with Gainesville's emergence as a modern city.

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