With the 2019 municipal election just a few weeks away, candidates running for mayor address residents questions at a forum hosted by the NAACP.
“That’s the political process. Everybody gets a chance to voice their opinion about things,“ said Greg Brudnicki, incumbent mayor.
Mayor Brudnicki used the forum to address the fact that he’s been on hand and behind the scenes before, during and after Hurricane Michael.
He said he feels it wouldn’t make much sense to change hands now.
“I know what it takes to work hard and get things done,“ said Brudnicki. “We have the right people in place. I have the relationships in place and I think it’s important for the city.“
The other candidates addressed issues, like the lack of housing opportunities in the area by saying the community needs to be open-minded to new ideas.
“There’s multiple housing issues. There’s housing issues for the elderly that we need to address, as came out tonight. There’s housing for young families that are very different,“ said Lynne Schneider, candidate for mayor. “You look at tiny homes. Young people think it’s great to have a loft to go up the ladder, well that’s not going to address housing for an elderly person but it might be a great opportunity to put housing available for younger people. So I really think we just need to get creative.“
In addition to the subject of housing, comes the lack of job opportunities in downtown Panama City.
Candidate Dr. Michael Rohan said he would love to see the civic center come down and make the area more aesthetically pleasing.
“This is going to appeal to our young people and as it appeals to the young people, they’re going to come downtown, they’re going to want to live there, they’re going to want to find jobs down there,“ said Dr. Michael Rohan, candidate for mayor. “The jobs might be in restaurants, it might be related construction, it might be internet sort of activities. But I’m looking for clean industry to come down that might perpetuate itself over and over.“
Early voting will take place April 8-12 with election day April 16, 2019.