Each week we will be asking the candidates the questions YOU'RE asking.
|Week 2||Seat 3 Candidates||Seat 4 Candidates|
|Doug Bankson||Alice Nolan||Sam Ruth|
|Our greatest issue facing us is growth and growth management. Growth is inevitable, but how we approach it is crucial.
Demographically, Apopka is projected to reach 84,000 by the end of this decade, however actual numbers based on University of Florida Bureau of Economic and Business research have shown only a 10.43% growth in the first half, slowing in the past year to 1.98%, slightly more than half its previous year totals. Much of our previous decade growth came from annexation, and we must be wise enough not to overbuild based on projections from surveys vs hard numbers. These are some of the numbers businesses such as restaurants look at when determining where to expand.
The good news on the horizon is the coming Florida Hospital and the outer beltway completion which should bring a surge in growth, higher wage jobs, and amenities many have long desired. I see developing our north/northwest sector (including airport expansion for corporate air travel) key to attracting industry and jobs without jeapardising our bedroom community feel and eco-tourism goals, and the patient and wise pursuit of the downtown center a perfect venue for the shopping, dining, and entertainment everyone desires.
|Spending many hours knocking door to door, I’ve found the most common theme of conversation is the need for responsible growth while preserving Apopka’s history.
We come from farm lands, which grew into a city known for being the indoor foliage capital of the world. As we continue to progress, I want to keep the family friendly atmosphere that we have.
I would like to continue working with the city to have events for the whole family, such as the Old Florida Outdoor Festival, Art and Foliage Festival, Apopka Fair, and the Food Truck Round Up. As we continue to build and grow I want to keep the nurseries, where many Apopkans had their first job.
I want to start a farmers market and bring in more mom and pop restaurants.
I want to preserve the character of the city by rejuvenating the historical buildings we have. We need to be conscious of renewable energy resources as we progress.
Like many plants that have been grown in Apopka, I want to make sure our roots (history) continue to be strong.
|Apopka has been and still is at a crossroad moving from primarily an agricultural community to a successful small city. We have nearly 45,000 residents and new highways being completed as we speak. Our old ways of doing things are no longer working. We cannot meet the demands of younger, professional families and an aging population without making a concerted effort to improve.
The biggest hindrance to quality growth, better shopping and dining options is our outdated comprehensive plan. We have spent nearly a year on a strategic visioning plan which has laid as a foundation the citizens' views. Now the staff must implement the people’s vision by aligning resources and functions to this plan. It will hold the city accountable to the people.
Part of these upgrades will be the land development code. These codes control where housing developments, tire stores, junkyards, etc can or cannot be located. A no vote by the council cannot stop bad projects alone. Owners have legal rights based on this comp plan.
I believe updating and making more stringent the land developments codes is the biggest issue by which we can move our city ahead.