Other mayoral candidates respond to Lowe
Published: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 10:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 10:39 p.m.
Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe, in the midst of running for re-election, gave the annual State of the City address on Wednesday.
The Sun contacted five other candidates for mayor in the March 19 election as well as the campaign treasurer for candidate Edward Earl Young to offer them an opportunity to respond to Lowe.
Three candidates submitted responses — Ed Braddy, Donald E. Shepherd Sr. and Mark Venzke.
Braddy, a former Gainesville city commissioner, said after Wednesday's State of the City gathering, "There's much to celebrate about Gainesville, but Mayor Lowe's leadership is not among them, Braddy said. "His ‘jobs that create jobs' agenda betrays political favoritism. New jobs from preferred companies don't offset the jobs lost from businesses closing for which there are thousands more.
"Nor would his barn-raising scheme lift the restraints inhibiting small businesses that he seems oblivious to," Braddy continued. "Regardless of rhetoric, the mayor's agenda is an effort to micromanage the local economy from City Hall.
Shepherd wrote that he felt Lowe's speech "was not his own words" but those of the commissioners with whom he serves. Shepherd stated that he knew he can make a difference in Gainesville and that a candidate "must have their own vision, plans, directions, perspectives, and views, and points for the people."
Venzke noted that, "Mayor Lowe accurately reflected on most of our common experience and progress over 2012. However, as our City Commission has failed to do for many years, he failed to identify and propose adequate solutions to the biggest threats to our city: the severe inequity of the biomass electric plant contract and the threat to our water supply and to our residents living around the Cabot-Koppers Superfund site.
"As mayor, I would directly and persistently address those threats," Venzke said.
The field of mayoral candidates also includes former City Commissioner Scherwin Henry, Pete Johnson, a member of the city plan board and a former member of the Gainesville Alachua County Airport Authority board, and Edward Earl Young, the owner of an area barber shop.
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