LYNN HAVEN — Candidates for the Lynn Haven municipal elections discussed growing local business, housing and other community issues during a forum on Thursday night, hosted by the Bay County League of Women Voters.
Brandon Aldridge, Dale Robitaille and Bob Schultz are running for seat 1 on the City Commission, while Pamela Hiller and Pat Perno are running for seat 2. Schultz was unable to attend the Thursday forum but did provide a statement.
Candidates responded to questions asked by League members. In response to a question about involving citizen participation in decision-making in the town, Robitaille said the community is very involved. Robitaille also said, in response to a question about housing, high-paying jobs should come in so people can afford housing costs.
“What they need is finances. Jobs here don’t pay much,” Robitaille said. “There simply is not enough money in the job market today. So how can we build homes, make our community grow? Have real jobs. I’m talking jobs that start at $15 an hour.”
Also regarding housing, Aldridge said he is not “really for” apartment buildings going forward.
“I think we should have homes here, single-family homes throughout Lynn Haven where we’re raising our families,” Aldridge said. “I’m not against apartments or apartment buildings. I think there’s a place for them. I just don’t believe apartment buildings are not on my radar during the rebuild process. I’d rather see more families coming in with single-family homes being built.”
Alridge also advocates for underground utilities and having government workshop meetings and other meetings open to the public.
Addressing how the city can help residents who don’t have the resources to rebuild, Hiller said she likes the private property debris pick-up and demolition assistance program the City is starting up.
“That will be a help as far as getting rid of the debris and, if ultimately that is the case, getting rid of their home as well,” Hiller said. “But as far as helping them rebuild, I do believe the city does have some responsibility to our citizens. Yes, everybody is responsible for their own home and own insurance if they had it, but I do think that we could possibly look at looking into some grants to help these individuals out if we’re eligible.”
Perno also complimented current city efforts and agreed about looking into grants when discussing the same topic.
“I’d like to completely commend our mayor, (Commissioner Judy) Tinder and the commission that have formed the Lynn Haven trust and they’re giving back to individuals, and I think that’s the kind of stuff we need to continue to do and keep that fund going and really look into each individual story,” Perno said. “If we can listen to each other and find out from a friend or family member there’s another person that needs help, we can be active in going after individual help for people who need it the most.”
Schultz was not able to answer questions but did relay his plans in his statement.
“Most of you have seen me around your neighborhood with a campaign sign, waving and meeting you. You see me working hard because I believe in you and the future,” Schultz said. “Honestly, we the candidates are talking of the same issues which are guiding the city through rebuilding and getting a sense of normal times again. We talk of new industry and manufacturing, which is good. I am thankful for the ones we have.”
Election Day is April 16 and early voting starts April 8.