Kyle Becker
Kyle Becker

CANDIDATE FEATURE –  KYLE BECKER (Challenger for Seat #4)

Kyle Becker is an action figure. He is a verb in a world full of nouns. Most politicians want to sit at a table, discuss differences, and hear their constituent’s viewpoints and dreams for the future. Becker would rather act.

“We need to get past the noise and get to the root of the problem,” he said. “I want to get something done.”

According to his campaign website, Becker spent the majority of the past 15 years as a senior level business analyst working primarily in the financial services industry.  He works with key stakeholders for the organizations he serves to understand their business needs.  He analyzes those needs and helps deliver solutions to drive growth and efficiency for that business.  It is the skill set Becker achieved in this profession that he believes will make him a valuable asset on the Apopka City Commission.

And his assessment of Apopka’s economic development sounds a lot like a business analyst.

“Our household median income in Apopka is $13,000 higher than the state average, yet our retail sales are only half of what Winter Garden, Sanford and Altamonte Springs bring in. Our food and hospitality sales are one third of theirs. So we have the money to spend, but our residents are just spending it elsewhere. We’re failing on both fronts. We’re missing the mark in so many ways in our city. I always want to have a mindset of things could be better. And there’s just so much room for improvement. Service delivery. A better website. A better way to interact with the business community in terms of trying to drive economic development.”

The idea of beating a 39-year incumbent might seem daunting to most, but Becker has slowly built a case for the upset. He points to two straight months of strong fundraising and a victory in The Apopka Voice’s City Commission poll two weeks ago. Becker received 213 votes to Arrowsmith’s 182.41c01834c4097e4324aeb3b4e29761d6

“The poll shows that there is a large group in Apopka who thinks there needs to be some new ideas and fresh blood in office. And it shows Bill that it’s going to be a good competition until the end.”

He also sees it on the campaign trail.

At first I was apprehensive to go door-to-door, but now it’s almost therapeutic because my message is so well received. I almost never get any pushback. I think the people are really hungry for a change.”

If you are going to beat a 39-year incumbent, you’re going to have to illustrate contrast. Becker does not shy away from critiquing Arrowsmith. And while he acknowledges his opponent’s experience, he questions the effectiveness of his time in office.

“Experience is good on the surface, but what does that mean? I like golf. I’ve played for 20 years, but I’m not good. I won’t break 100. So I’m experienced at golf, but not effective. Experience isn’t everything.”

He goes on to reference an endorsement Arrowsmith received over 20 years ago.

“In 1993 the Orlando Sentinel endorsed Bill because his experience would benefit Apopka with improvements in downtown revitalization, traffic and road concerns and crime. 23 years later, are any of those better? If you ask the people of Apopka if those three things are still an issue, it would be a resounding yes. That’s the thing; experience may not get you forward. And I just have a fundamental disagreement with a person being in office for that long.”

He also differs with Arrowsmith when it comes to budget and vision.

“I don’t think Bill is on board with the visioning process. When they went around the room (at The Visioning Apopka Community Consensus Meeting) and asked people to give a one-word answer to describe the visioning process, Bill’s answer was “costly”. And I think that’s the mentality that some have. We’re all taxpayers. It’s not like I’m going to get on the council and have an open checkbook and spend money all over the place. But if we don’t get past the money part of it up front, if our first conversation is always ‘how much is it going to cost’ we will never do anything.”

Becker is an advocate for Apopka having an economic development team in place as long as they are proficient.

I think there is value in making it a part of what the city offers. I think other cities have adopted that, embraced this idea of economic committees or departments and it has served them well. What things cost is really not as important as the value of what you’re getting. So if your return is higher than what you are investing in, then there’s value in doing it. And I just don’t think Bill wants to do that.”

12524092_950596451661034_3663171327738958125_nPerhaps the biggest challenge Becker has faced in this election is separating himself from being labeled a rubber stamp for the current administration. Becker embraces the idea of alignment on the City Council, but also points out his independent thinking.

“Strategically I would align with the Mayor and with Sam (Commissioner Ruth). Tactically I may not. I’m running on my own merits. There’s going to be times where I disagree and I’ll vote accordingly. Are there going to be tactical differences? Absolutely. And I want to have healthy debate. Not political debate. I think friction sharpens the point. I don’t see how it’s a negative to say there would be alignment on the council. But I think for myself. And there will be times when I vote with the majority, but I have no fear of casting a no vote.”

Becker is a driven, qualified candidate who looks forward in his thinking and can focus on the task at hand. And right now, that focus is on Seat #4 of the Apopka City Commission.

“I want to win this seat and I want to deliver on what I’m describing. My biggest disappointment in myself would be if I don’t accomplish the things I’m trying to accomplish as City Commissioner.”

13 COMMENTS

  1. Kyle, I have seen you at the council meetings, and at the vision meeting at Highland Manor the other night, but we have not talked. I hate to tell you this, but if all these projects on the wish list, are presented for approval, to be voted on at the council, then I disagree with you, when you say in the article above, ” that if the first conversation is always, how much is it going to cost, then we will never do anything”. The cost of these amenities, that the people want, in this city, should ALWAYS be the first thing considered, when discussing the projects. Absolutely, the number one thing! Otherwise, the multitude of projects will bankrupt our reserves! Champagne taste, and a beer pocketbook, as my daddy used to say. Who will pay? The taxpayers, that is who! Some of citizens, a small group out of the 45,000 citizens or so, that are in our city, that are demanding these projects, along with the groups of youths, and their parents, are not even thinking about how much these things will cost, but their parents will when they see their future property tax bills go way up! That is what I predict. Reality check time. I never buy anything, and I mean anything, without considering the cost first. I saw your word cloud. Is that guy with the light bulb head, that is tall, and with a business suit on, is that suppose to be you? Light up Apopka, I guess. You have a nice looking family, cute children, and a pretty wife. I wish you well on your campaign, even if I had to say this to you about costs.

  2. Kyle, I stand corrected. I like the way you think. Healthy debate about what the community needs, what it values, and where it wants to go is the way to evaluate if the costs are worth it….versus the cost of doing nothing.
    I did not talk to you when you came to my house. I was wrong.

    People need to listen, and think.
    Hope this helps

  3. Kyle, if you are so full of action, why don’t you put on some tall waders and go yank out those cattails across the frontage of Dream Lake Park?

  4. Ok every one, let’s get real here, I like change just as much as anyone else, but look at what change has gotten up with Mayor Kilsheimer. He spends tax payer dollars as if it’s an eternal well. $20k, to 2 Apopka schools that are not even in the city for a program that he has prior relationships to, i.e., conflict of interest (FDLE needs to investigate), Christine Moore, Orange County School Board Member is the Mayors campaign manager, Kyle Becker, Diana Velazquez, and Sam Ruth. All rubber stamps for Kilsheimer. Now Kilsheimer wants to cash in on the natural gas company that the city has interest in for the nursery industry so he can use it as a slush fund. Oh, not to mention that Kyle lives in the same neighborhood as Kilsheimer. Let’s continue, Sue Kid, another Kilsheimer zombie. The next deal of Kilsheimer will be to terminate the city attorney, which is not a catch in any case, but look at the campaign contributions of Kyle Becker and you will see who the next contract for legal services will go to, Gray?? Further, the city used about millions in tax payer dollars for the 429 exit ramp to finance MMI development, look at Kyle Becker campaign finance report, thanks to the Kilsheimer that’s $2,000 in the bank for Kyle Becker. Keep up the good work Mayor, Sue Kidd, Sam Ruth, Christine Moore and Diane Velazquez and our nursery owners. Thanks a lot!

  5. I have read your article above Kyle, and they have described you as an action figure. When I think of an action figure, I am sorry, but I don’t think of your name, I think instead of Batman, Spider Man, GI Joe, and Superman. All you candidates, all you do is talk, and blow hot air. That is what I think of all you politicians.

  6. Kyle, I am reading your article above again. I am reading the part where you state, “strategically I would align with the Mayor and with Sam (Commissioner Ruth) ” and ……I find this part rather strange. Are you, if elected, not going to align with Commissioner Diane Velazquez, or maybe at times, with Commissioner Billie Dean? Why did you just say the Mayor, and Commissioner Ruth, and not the rest of the council? Can you explain what you said?

  7. Reference: 1520 WBZW radio- Kyle Becker, seat 4 candidate interview, Feb. 25, 2016 Hear it for yourself, don’t take my word for it!
    Host Jim Turner, ” We may want a place that sells ice cream for $50 dollars per cone, but can we turn a profit here?”
    Kyle, “I think so…….I don’t know about that specific example.”
    Hey Kyle, how many kids you got? $50 x 3 = $150 + $50 for your wife, and $50 for you = $250 for a downtown center ice cream outing for your family ! Way to go Kyle, just what we need here, You got it right Kyle, we will be hungry for change, nickles, pennies, and dimes, oh my.

  8. Kyle Becker who do you think you are? Are you above the law? How come you seem to think it is ok for you to attach your big campaign sign to school government property? You have a big campaign sign attached to Orange County School property, their fence, at the corner of Park Avenue and Martin Street at Dream Lake School. In placing your sign there, were you given the blessing by someone connected with the school system? Huh? I wonder who in the world that could be? I guess the rules are different for you. You also have a big sign attached to the City of Apopka owned fence at the corner of Lake Avenue and Martin St. in Apopka. You need to come move those signs ASAP, who do you think you are Kyle? People are noticing you are not following the rules, and they are talking.

  9. Kyle you need to send that person in the lighter colored beige Lexus back around, to pick up your latest sign, that is violation of the campaign sign laws. I saw them smoke out of there, the other day, so you need to tell your friends in high places to come and get that sign down too, that is on the West Orange Trail Guard Rails in front of the Pines of Wekiva subdivision on Rock Spring Road on Orange County Government property. Are the rules different for Kyle Becker? Do you have the special blessings of someone connected with Orange County? I wonder who in the world that person is?????? Move it or lose it!!! You are violating the campaign election sign laws!

  10. Kyle, it is Election Day finally today, and you still have not removed your big campaign banner from Orange County Property tied to the West Orange Trail bike trail guardrails in front of Pines of Wekiva subdivision on Rock Springs Road near the voting polls at the Orange County Services Building. I have drove by, and there are multitudes of candidate campaigners standing out there, and there are campaigns signs all along there, but YOURS IS THE ONLY ONE IN VIOLATION OF THE ELECTION CAMPAIGN SIGN LAWS!!! Are the rules different for Kyle Becker? Do you have the ok from someone connected with Orange County? It must be nice to have friends in high places! Who in the world could that be??????? Or, are you plan on leaving your banner there for the Thursday vote???????????

  11. Knock knock who’s there? It is me again. Standing next to Kyle and talking with him looking down at me makes me want to run and get a complete bone scan test to see if I am getting osteoporosis and shrinking!!. Kyle, what are you going to do if elected, about the condition of Dream Lake Park??? It is beyond deplorable and nothing is getting done.

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