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Apopka City Council Seat 3 Candidate Q&A – Week 5


Questions & Answers with Candidates for Apopka City Council Seat 3 - Week 5

Each week we will be asking the candidates the questions YOU'RE asking.

Week 5 Seat 3 Candidates Seat 4 Candidates

This Week's Question: “Several department heads have left the city over the past 18 months. Have city services to the public improved in that time? How about internal city functions such as finance or IT?

Doug Bankson

Alice Nolan

Sam Ruth

Doug Bankson Alice Nolan Sam Ruth
On the positive side, the present administration should get a big thumbs up for the advancement of technology. It not only promotes better communication, but creates a better format for efficiency and safety.

Technology however cannot replace talent and we've lost some tremendously talented people who have been quickly hired by other municipalities. Sadly it seems in some cases personal issues and unresolved conflicts have hindered the ability to work together on one part or the other.

There have also been reports of city vendors being delayed in payments. It is difficult to have so much turnover and transition in a short amount of time and I believe it is taking a toll but hopefully things will smooth out going forward.

In sports we use the term intangible to describe the ability to inspire others to bring out the best in everyone. Team dynamics are as key to victory as talent itself, and though position demands, leadership inspires. As John Maxwell says, If you're leading and no one is following, you're just on a walk.

On the other hand, leaders must at times make unpopular decisions that are best for all concerned. You can lead or be liked, but you can't always have both. It's easy to judge from the sidelines but much harder when in the captains chair. Let's all pray for our leaders, and when given the chance to lead, seek to inspire the whole team to play together for a win.

Its always sad to loose several trusted employees. Its not uncommon for changes like these to happen when new administrations or management comes in. I think that the new heads have taken the vision of Apopka and are working towards that in their department. For example, Chief McKinley has taken his role as Apopka Police Chief very well. He has reached out to the community by doing "Coffee with a Cop". These innovative ways of interacting with the community and helping in their department will always be a benefit.

After talking to several employees in the city I have heard they are very happy with the new IT system. Having updated software like Microsoft they feel that they can be more efficient at their job. Overall, I believe Apopka is continuing to grow together even with these changes.



The City of Apopka is governed with a strong mayoral form of governance. Thus, when the citizens elected a new mayor new leadership was critical.

It came to light the previous attorney had drafted ten excessive contracts for employee buyouts. The city is still paying $$22,000 a month for the former chief administrator. All total – the taxpayers were on the hook for over $2 million dollars.

The IT department was still operating on a 30 year old Novell DOS platform. The police department was compiling crime statistics by hand and never received accreditation. The Budget Director failed to provide detailed accounting or conduct public budget workshops. The city auditor quit once some of these bad practices were revealed.

The mayor ultimately hired a new chief administrator and police chief. The new chief administrator responds quickly evidenced by his turn around for sidewalks on Martin Street. To no avail, Toby McEntire had asked for sidewalks for nearly ten years. The new police chief is restoring the confidence of the public with programs such as “Coffee with a Cop” and working towards accreditation. New leaders also head up these positions: City Clerk, Parks and Recreation, Public Information and Grants. The new team operates with honesty, integrity and best practices for governmental agencies. The expectation is for transparency and good communication with the public. We must have the best employees to move the city forward.


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