Bonnie Mott: Focused on helping Gainesville

Published: Tuesday, January 22, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 21, 2008 at 4:43 p.m.

Gainesville is very special to me, and I want to help bring about positive change for our community.

I have lived here nearly all my life, and I have a deeply felt appreciation for our community's history. My community roots and involvement run deep.

I've been a business professional for over 30 years in our community. In 1993, I founded Gainesville-based Prudential Preferred Properties. In addition to my career, I raised my three children right here in Gainesville, all of which are Buchholz High School graduates.

I was married for 34 years to my high school sweetheart, Larry, who was the Pastor of Faith United Methodist Church and Chaplain at the Alachua County Jail, before I lost him to a sudden heart attack in January of 2006.

In 1998, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and decided to fight the odds. After extensive radiation and chemotherapy treatments, I was declared cancer-free in 1999. Since then, I have devoted much time and resources to helping others overcome that very same struggle. I've been very involved in organizations that help cancer patients and raise funds for research, such as, the American Cancer Society, Strides Against Breast Cancer, and Cure By Design.

Gainesville is a great place to live, but we can do better. It is essential to reduce utlity rates and attract new jobs to our community. We must be committed to fighting for what's right, and we must always remember to put people before politics.

My community involvement includes service on the Board of Directors of the Gainesville-Alachua County Association of Realtors, as well as a stint as the association's president in 2005. As president, I focused on helping small businesses succeed and worked to provide solutions to assist families achieve the American dream of home ownership.

I also served a five-year appointment on the City of Gainesville's Citizens Advisory Committee for Community Development, and I had a seven-year presence on the Neighborhood Housing and Development Committee, during which time I spearheaded the loan committee's efforts to secure loans for low income families to use on home purchase and repair. The American dream doesn't just belong to the wealthy; it belongs to all our citizens.

I have a passion for helping families attain safe and affordable housing, no matter what their socio-economic status. After all, everyone deserves a place to call home.

I currently serve on the board of Rebuild Gainesville, a local organization providing emergency repair service to low income families, and the board for the Boys and Girls Club of Alachua County. I am liaison for Kids Count, a new program to work with at risk elementary students, and I was appointed to the GRACE Homeless Commission during its inception by Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan and County Commission Chair Rodney Long.

I've lived here for 43 years, and I believe my extensive professional, personal and volunteer experience in Gainesville will allow me to focus on the people of Gainesville with the perspective of an active citizen rather than a politician.

Bonnie Mott is a candidate for the District 2 Gainesville City Commission seat.

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