Mayoral Candidate Q & A

Kent Guinn

What is the one thing you want citizens to know before going to the polls?
The one thing I would want people to know is that I genuinely care about the people I serve.  I’ve demonstrated it through my leadership and vision for the city and never giving up. Because of that, we have a growing vibrant city. Let’s continue that success together.

With public safety a major concern in today’s society, how will you as mayor help to foster a feeling of security in our local community?
Since I became Mayor 8 years ago overall Crime is down 10%. It’s down another 10% over last year. I’ve enacted a Panhandling and Public lodging ordinance and enforce it to keep our city safe and clean. I believe in the Broken Windows Theory of policing whereby addressing the small crimes and social disorder you prevent much larger crimes from occurring. People feel safe living in their respective neighborhoods. We will continue that trend. We’re hiring 8 new officers to deal with violent crime. I’ve developed a relationship between the United States Attorney’s office and the State Attorneys office where they are partnering on putting violent criminals away for a very long time. That relationship will continue to make our community safe. I need your vote to continue to make our community safe.

Barbara Fitos

What is the one thing you want citizens to know before going to the polls?
I care deeply about this community and will use my 40 years of public service experience, knowledge, and civic engagement to be a proactive, hopeful voice for ALL citizens to address the ongoing challenges and opportunities through that generosity of spirit that is the hallmark of this wonderful city that I am privileged to call home.

With public safety a major concern in today’s society, how will you as mayor help to foster a feeling of security in our local community?
The main role of the office of the Mayor is oversight of our police department. Our police officers put their lives on the line each and every day.  We cannot ignore the increase in violent crime or the need for an opioid task force or the need for a violent crimes task force or the need for the presence of officers in our schools.  What we can do is work to create a climate of respect, trust, and inclusion between and among our police officers and the law-abiding citizens they serve to protect.  Through enhanced community policing, through monthly neighborhood meetings, we can address and seek solutions to the root causes of these issues and strive to provide the needed resources to create neighborhoods based not on fear and exclusion and mistrust but neighborhoods that are sustainable and foster that “feeling of security” that we all seek. Thanks for your support and for helping to make Ocala a great place to live. 

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