Paul Rhodenizer: Running to represent the people

All candidates are welcome to submit statements. Email to info@alachuachronicle.com.

We all deserve to be represented and to have an opportunity to be part of our city’s future.

Diversity needs to be more than just about race, gender, and religion–we need diversity of ideas on our city commission, and I believe that I am the best candidate for the job.

I am Paul Rhodenizer, and I am running for the City of Gainesville At-large Seat 2.  All registered voters living in the city of Gainesville are allowed to vote in this race.

I am a husband, a father, a former local business owner, and a veteran.  My years of experience running Jays Bridal (no, I’m not the Tall Paul who ran a bar downtown!) right here in our hometown of Gainesville gave me the opportunity to get to know my fellow residents better, along with their needs and desires. In addition, this experience taught me how to set realistic goals and manage money.

Yes, I love my city, but it’s the people I enjoy the most, and they are the ones I am running to represent.

City commissioners have mismanaged our city and utility for far too long, leaving GRU with a mountain of debt now surpassing two billion dollars and saddling GRU customers with the highest electric rates in the state of Florida. High electric rates are regressive and hurt the very people they proclaim to be helping: hard working people, lower income people, and the elderly.  This all could have been avoided with good governance.

Meanwhile, we have city and neighborhood streets and sidewalks in disrepair, a police department that is understaffed while city commissioners continue to give pay raises to highly-paid charter officers and management.

I welcome all these challenges and pledge to work with my colleagues to begin to set priorities on spending while working on solutions to repair the financial damage that has been created over the past ten years.

City Hall has been lying to us, and I will stand up to the lies.

I decided to run because citizens need to be heard and considered more, not dismissed as they have been in recent years.

 Citizens keep telling the city commission they do not want high-density development in, and adjacent to, their single-family neighborhoods. I will not dismiss them.

My platform is based on citizen input, fiscal responsibility, open government, transparency, supervision, and accountability.

I will be your voice, unlike what has happened in the past year with commissioners failing to implement former City Auditor Carlos Holt’s meaningful recommendations that would have dramatically reduced waste, fraud, and abuse.

Residents of Gainesville concerned with how elected officials have managed the city’s finances have prompted state lawmakers to launch an in-depth audit.

Over the past years, commissioners have been on a path that is not financially sustainable, devastating the lives of the most vulnerable among us and making it difficult (or impossible) for our local mom and pop businesses to survive.

I will work on creating a balanced budget, making Gainesville a safer and more affordable place to live.

As your commissioner, I will do my due diligence, research issues, and make the best possible decisions based on hard data.

I promise three things: to listen to the citizens, work hard, and do my best.

Together, with your support, we can head back in the right direction and return to a quality of life that is safer and more affordable for our residents.

To learn more about my campaign and to volunteer and donate, please go to my website.

I look forward to hearing from citizens, and I am asking for your vote.

Thank you,
Paul Rhodenizer