Vox-Populi.Media recently asked Hernando County Commission, District 2 candidates to answer five questions relating to issues concerning their race which will be decided in the General Election on November 4, 2014.
Jimmie Lodato’s response as candidate for Hernando County Commission, District 2:
- “Penny for Projects” ballot referendum has become a hot-button issue in Hernando County. Please state your position on the One-Cent Sales tax ballot referendum.
The half cent for schools is a renewal of the existing tax necessary to fund unfunded mandates from the state. I implored the school board not to join the county. The county should have had a separate ballot. If it doesn’t pass, the consequences will burden our school system.
- Florida has allocated $3 million for an educational-tourism center in Hernando County, with the stipulation of a $3 million matching amount from Hernando County. The proposed location has yet to be determined by county commissioners. (a.)What is your position on the allocation of $3 million from state of Florida with a required matching amount from Hernando County? (b.) Where would you propose the new educational-tourism center be located in the county? And why?
We first need to determine whether we have $3 million to invest, and how we can fund the maintenance and staffing of such a facility. Once that is resolved, I would be happy to support an educational-tourism center in Hernando County.
A central location in the county would be best so all residents have easy access to it.
- What is your position on Impact Fees?
I favor impact fees for schools. I would like to see this implemented in a step program. Without impact fees, the school board is authorized to raise ad valorum taxes, and the burden of new impact will be unfairly imposed upon current property owners.
- Hernando County has experienced record high unemployment since 2009. If elected, what would you do as a commissioner to attract higher paying jobs to the county?
I’m already doing it, emphasizing economic development as spokesman for Corporate Jet Solutions; Dyenamic Aviation; Aerobat Aviation, an aircraft manufacturer, starting production by 2016. I’m working with an energy company, a major shipping company and others. Our dual enrollment program at Nature Coast HS trains students for jobs in aviation.
- What is your position on collective bargaining for Hernando County employees which has resulted in inflating wages higher than those paid by local private companies?
As a businessman, I will review all expenditures when I get into office and each will be evaluated individually.