Candidate, Escambia County Commissioner, District 4

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EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is a questionnaire interview conducted by the Pensacola News Journal with the Escambia and Santa Rosa County election candidates for their respective races. All responses were submitted to the Pensacola News Journal by the candidate and are available to our readers to show the candidates’ position and priorities on the issues. IF A CANDIDATE HAS NOT RETURNED A QUESTIONNAIRE BY THE DEADLINE, THEIR Q&A WAS NOT PUBLISHED.

Candidate:Robert Bender

Office you are looking for: County Commissioner, District 4, Escambia County

Occupation: Public Official – I am a full-time county commissioner, which allows me to focus on representing Escambia County, as well as advocating for our issues at the state and national level.

Education: MBA – Goizueta Business School, Emory University; BA in Business Administration – Rhodes College

Why are you running for this office? I want to make my home community the best possible place where we want to raise our families because of the quality of the area and the values ​​we share. We can be a place where our children and local college graduates don’t have to go to find a strong and diverse job market.

What sets you apart from your opponents? Having a practical, common-sense and civil approach to solving problems and working with others, having an open mind and researching problems before making decisions, my desire to find permanent solutions rather than temporary ones, and the partnerships I have built with all levels of government and organizations while serving for the past four years.

Race D4:Commission’s District 4 race pits Bender against newcomer McDaniels

Candidate arrested:Escambia County Commission candidate arrested for openly carrying a handgun on July 4

Previous experience of elective mandate / elective mandate: I am currently serving my first term as County Commissioner of District 4.

What are your three most important priorities if you are elected or re-elected? Public Safety, Infrastructure and Economic Development

How would you implement Priority 1? Continue to invest in the staff and equipment that enable us to deliver the level of service we expect when called upon. Prioritize the needs of EMS, Fire, Sheriff, Lifeguards and Corrections. These are the main functions of local government, and we must excel in the delivery of this service.

How would you implement Priority 2? I focused on spending money efficiently, mobilizing external funding, and getting to the root of the problem to create a long-term solution instead of continually having to fix it with quick fixes. I will continue to work on storm water, sewer septic systems, road resurfacing, traffic management, street lighting and multi-modal transportation options for our community.

Who will become the next mayor?: News log to host a public forum. Meet the candidates here

Final voting!: Here are your candidates for each local political race 2022

How would you implement Priority 3? By creating the community where people want to live, work and play. We need ready-to-use sites, infrastructure that can accommodate growth and development, and training for a diverse workforce that can fill the different types of jobs required by our industries. in expansion. We are a community of great, entrepreneurial individuals who are already mentoring and helping local businesses grow. We must continue to foster an environment conducive to business.

How will you address the growing infrastructure needs with the growth and development our community is experiencing? We need to plan for growth, not just assess current need. One of the areas we are focused on is expanding our fire department to add positions that will help handle the current call volume, while also being located in an area that can handle the growth. The stormwater projects I currently work on meet today’s standards, but have additional capacity to accommodate future growth or additional rainfall.

How will you work to promote civility among your colleagues and with the public, particularly when dealing with controversial or contentious issues? I have always shown courtesy, especially over the past four years, because it was something I recognized as necessary on the board. As a leader of the community, as well as the organization itself, I have to lead by example. I navigated divisive issues by listening to both sides, working with everyone, and being willing to compromise. My goal is to make the community the best it can be, and that’s accomplished by engaging everyone and being heard.

What policy proposals do you have to increase the supply of affordable housing in our community? We need to keep our fees low, otherwise the cost is passed on to the resident and increases payments. We have surplus properties that we can sell or donate to partners building affordable housing, and we can work with housing project developers to give them the ability to develop opportunities, and not get in the way of bureaucracy .

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