PARKER, Fla. (WMBB) — The League of Women Voters of Bay County hosted a City of Parker municipal candidates’ forum at the Parker Elementary School cafeteria Thursday night.
The candidates answered questions involving spending, transparency and their thoughts on the new school tax being voted on this month.
The forum put mayoral candidates Rich Musgrave and Andrew Kelly in the spotlight to answer the main question: why should you be elected?
“I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I can get things done that we’re not getting accomplished,” Kelly said.
Kelly also said there will be serious changes within city government in his first 30 days, including getting the city council more involved, along with focusing on better code enforcement and Hurricane Michael cleanup.
Incumbent Mayor Musgrave said he’s focused on continuing commercial development and hurricane recovery.
“Looking forward to another two years and a lot of things I still want to accomplish,” Musgrave said. “I thank the citizens for their support.”
The candidates for city council seats 1 and 3 also participated in the forum, except for seat 1 candidate Theresa Evans, who was unable to attend.
Seat 3 candidate April Gibson said she wants to expedite hurricane cleanup and find resources to help those who may be unable to help themselves, like senior residents.
“I feel like that’s something I really want to help with, is to bring the community and volunteers together through the city to make that happen for our citizens that can’t do it for themselves,” Gibson said.
Seat 3 candidate Ken Thomas, Jr. said he is focused on housing, infrastructure and investment in Parker, especially with the growth at Tyndall Air Force Base.
“I think that’s a three-legged stool of success so-to-speak, where you can’t have one without the other,” Thomas said. “You need the infrastructure to support the housing, to support the investment into the community with what’s happening at Tyndall.”
Residents listened to the candidates for nearly two hours, also learning all the candidates that attended the forum do not support the new school tax being voted on during this election.
Watch the entire forum here: