Bates, Harris, Miller are best choices for county commission, SNL seats
Highlands TodayHighlands County Commission
Published: October 17, 2010
Published: October 17, 2010
Highlands County needs incumbent Don Bates to be on its Board of County Commissioners. It needs Jack Richie as well. The problem is, both men are running for one seat so it can't happen. That leaves voters with a difficult decision when casting a ballot. We're endorsing Bates due to his past performance and his ability to be a common sense leader for our entire county.
Bates has often bridged the 2-2 split on the commission for the last couple of years. He's supported what we believe is best for the county and helped stop some bad decisions. We need his moderate, common sense viewpoints on what will prove to be a much more conservative board.
Richie also is a voice of reason. We've always admired Richie's pragmatism and ability to cut through the nonsense and politics. He's sensible and compassionate at the same time. No one in the county is better versed on county business, regulations, and requirements than Richie. He sits on numerous boards in the county and never misses a county commission meeting. If you want to know what's going on with just about anything, ask Richie.
We're serious when we say both candidates are top quality. This has been the most difficult endorsement in some time. Bates, though, has proven time and time again that he's a good leader, a fine representative and someone who isn't afraid to tell even his friends that he's voting a different way than they want because it's the right thing to do.
Bates has made decisions we disagree with, but that's fine. He made those votes believing they were the best decision and not because of some other reason such as special interests.
You can't go wrong voting in this race, except for the fact that one of these men must lose. Since we have to choose one, though, we believe Bates is the best.
Greg Harris and Michael Barry are squaring off in this race and we support Harris for the District 5 seat. His strong mix of business sense and, we believe, ability to weigh both sides of issues, gives him the edge.
Barry is a smart guy with strong opinions about cutting waste out of the county budget. We believe his views are too extreme, and his libertarian viewpoints would hurt too many people in this county who depend on services.
Harris is a pro-business candidate and makes no apologies for that, nor should he. He's the executive director of the Greater Sebring Chamber of Commerce and will continue in that role if elected. We hope he can balance those duties and knows when to exclude himself from voting due to possible conflicts of interest.
Harris is a likeable person with a great personality who is approachable and understands the issues. We hope that, if elected, he keeps in mind that his constituents aren't just business owners, and that a large number of people in this county depend on county services. They are the last ones who can afford user fees. Many are retired, low income and even poor folks as well. We think Harris will do just that.
We believe Harris will make a fine county commissioner and encourage voters to cast a ballot in his favor.
Sun 'n Lake of Sebring Board of Supervisors
Dick Miller and Pat Steele are squaring off for the Sun 'n Lake of Sebring Board of Supervisors seat. Both candidates are well versed on the issues, but we believe Miller is the best choice to take Sun 'n Lake in the right direction.
Miller and others pushed hard for residents to gain another seat on the board of the special improvement district. Before, three of the five seats were consistently held by the large landowners who could basically stack the board with their large number of votes because they owned thousands of empty lots. That made sense when the district started, but now there are thousands of people living there, and it is time for a change.
Steele would swing the board back to being in favor of these interests, we believe, and it would be the wrong direction for Sun 'n Lake. Miller, a former urban planner, knows exactly where Sun 'n Lake needs to head next, and that's cleaning up the messes from the past and laying out a map for the future. The district's manager and director, Al Grieshaber finally left, which we believe bodes well for the district.
Now the district has former Highlands County Administrator Michael Wright in charge, and we believe his leadership, as well as the board's with Miller, can forge a new future for Sun 'n Lake.
Miller is a quality candidate with critical knowledge on matters that the district faces. Residents there can't go wrong supporting him. We encourage a vote for Dick Miller.