By Paula Helton
The citizens of Gainesville, Fla., are in a battle against the forces of the left to hold our city government accountable to its citizens. We have long been under the rule of progressive ideologues that function much like the Obama administration in Washington — complete control of its citizens.
Holding our elected officials accountable must begin at the local level.
For those unfamiliar with Ed Braddy, he is the founder of the American Dream Coalition and candidate for mayor of Gainesville. He will meet incumbent Mayor Craig Lowe in a run-off election on April 16 because none of the six candidates running garnered a majority of the votes in Tuesday’s election.
Braddy has been a leader in the fight against the insidious sustainability and smart-growth policies being implemented across the country and here locally.
In Gainesville, and Alachua County, we have instituted European style feed in solar tariffs and have had a biomass plant forced upon us by a city commission and former Mayor Pegheen Hanrahan.
For those familiar with ICLEI, Mrs. Hanrahan was their Secretary while serving as our Mayor. She was at the forefront of championing the biomass plant that has already increased utility bills for the customers of Gainesville Regional Utilities.
Our current Mayor, Craig Lowe, has carried on her vision.
The Gainesville City Commission, in conjunction with their hand-picked head of GRU, Bob Hunzinger, created what they called a “levelization fund” and began charging customers for the upcoming rate increase to be incurred by the use of the biomass plant. In other words, their own slush fund reminiscent of the Obama Administration’s infrastructure slush fund.
This is in violation of the City’s own ordinance against charging customers above the utility’s actual fuel costs.
When faced with the possibility of ratepayers being stuck footing the bill if biomass power remains non-competitively priced, our former Mayor and ICLEI Secretary responded we could change our thermostats, our lighting and our insulation — sort of like President Obama stating we could use less gas in the cars he doesn’t want us to have by making sure our tires are fully inflated.
As I said at the beginning, we have an opportunity to turn things around in the upcoming runoff election between Ed Braddy and our current big-government Mayor Craig Lowe. Accountability to the citizenry has been sadly lacking in Mr. Lowe’s tenure as Mayor.
As with most elections at the grassroots level, it’s a challenge to compete financially against incumbent politicians. This election has the capacity to have an impact on everyone fighting to hold their elected officials accountable from the overreach of local government. Remember, a biomass plant and mass transportation could be in your future.
I encourage you to visit Ed Braddy’s website — www.edbraddy.com — and learn more about how a conservative candidate can be elected mayor in a historically progressive city. A result that will send a message across Florida that limited government candidates can win elections and overcome the progressive policies that are strangling our communities.
American Dream Coalition Mission Statement
Defending Your Freedom, Mobility and Affordable Homeownership Mission Statement
Most people define the American dream as owning their own home and having the mobility to get where they want to go, when they want to go there. We believe this is an ideal worth defending. But the American Dream is under attack!
The Smart Growth/Sustainable Development agenda imposes command-and-control policies at the local level that will restrict mobility and make housing unaffordable. Our mission is to support citizens and organizations that support the American Dream. Free people deserve government at all levels that promotes markets, not mandates.