published: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Warner wants city to be 'hometown' again
By PHIL ATTINGER
AVON PARK -- "I don't want to be a politician," said Greg "Bubba" Warner. "I've always been a problem-solver."
If he doesn't have an answer to a problem, Warner said he'll find one, having lived in Avon Park long enough to know everybody.
That's why he wants to serve as mayor. He's running against Mayor Sharon Schuler in the Nov. 5 city election.
Currently Avon Park's full-time code enforcement officer, Warner, 57, served with the Avon Park Police Department from 1986-2006, retiring as a road patrol sergeant. He came back to work for the city a year later.
He and his wife, Tina, share a cozy home in Avon Park with a cat, three dogs and their grandchildren, who visit regularly.
Warner, a transplant Floridian, was born in Dunbar, W.Va., and raised in Miami until his senior year. His family returned to Dunbar, W.Va., for his senior year, after which he got a bachelor's degree and worked five and a half years for the Dunbar Police Department before coming to Avon Park.
He was visiting friends in Avon Park and learned the police were hiring. He liked the town, so he applied, he said.
Back then, Avon Park had a "hometown atmosphere," Warner said, with walk-up ice cream shops, teenagers cruising the Mall and Donaldson Park open 24 hours per day.
But the city lost vitality, he said, when the Wellcraft boat plant and Elberta Crate Company both shut down.
Crime was always a problem. Nine years ago during Hurricane Charley, he and other officers went out in the storm's 70-mph winds to chase down and arrest looters.
Warner also said he has no problem with the Highlands County Sheriff's Office now providing law enforcement, but believes having just two deputies assigned to the city -- even with other deputies on call outside the city -- leads criminals to think they can get away with being bold.
Law enforcement "can't be everywhere but can be anywhere," Warner said,
Recent city staff cuts and increased duties has Warner concerned that service will suffer.
"I don't know one city employee not willing to do their part," Warner said, but he wonders if people are getting worn out.
He also said residents don't like garbage stewing in their cans with only once-per-week garbage collection, although he said residents love the recycling program.
"It should have been done years ago," Warner said.
Those were decisions by City Manager Julian Deleon, who Warner said he doesn't know or harbor any issues against. However, he said the city council and residents need to oversee Deleon's work.
"Ultimately, we're held accountable," Warner said.
He disputes Deleon's claim that the city would be "debt free" by the end of December since most cities do have to finance vehicles and equipment.
Warner also said, contrary to Deleon's claims, that he doesn't want to see the city's police pension plan terminated because he's a recipient. If the plan ended and he got a lump sum payment, he'd have to manage his money.
"You could outlive your money," Warner said.
He has more concerns that the city would spend money to put archway monuments for the Mall or plan Martin Luther King Jr. Day events instead of paying to keep existing businesses or bring in new ones.
He also said he would like the city council to relax rules on public participation at meetings -- including throwing away the five-minute timer -- to encourage everyone to take part.
"I don't like (the timer). It's rude," Warner said. "There's too much of an 'them and us' divider. It's not supposed to be. It's an 'us,'" Warner said.
Tax payer (by: T6M76 - 11/1/2013)
My concern is how schuler and parke say every chance they get that they lowered taxes by 95% both of them are misleading the citizens of avon park they only lowered taxes for those who's house are worth a high amount the average citizen did not get a break look at your property taxes the average citizens taxes went up we can't afford to listen to their lies anymore not voting for the rich I'm voting for all citizens to have a tax break bubba and remick
Parallel behavior (by: Blindman~ - 11/1/2013)
If a man is receiving a retirement income plus a second income from his job and still must resort to donations from other people to pay his bills... If he runs his own house this way how would he manage the City? He would begin to spend more money than the City was taking in and resort to other people to pay through a tax increase, but still it wouldn't be enough. The City wouldn't be "hometown" again, it would be "broke" again, just like it was before.
Give me a reason (by: Sam Schultz - 10/30/2013)
I personally will only vote for people that do more than their daily jobs require since this is a telltale sign of how truly they are committed to their community. No matter what is said or perceived or gossiped or alledged... I have yet to see anything about volunteering anything of themselves from Mr Warner or Mr Remmick. Anyone can run for office even if they have barely lived here like Remmick. Show me the proof of your commitment!
Personal Finances or Personal Gain (by: Been There Too - 10/30/2013)
Let's talk about an agenda when you reduce the workforce so much that you turn around and start hiring more people to replace the overloading of staff currently employed. Let's see just hired Kelly Lister wife of Jason Lister, hired Joe Sliva husband to Brenda Sliva, Maria Sutherland wife of Councilman Parke Sutherland and up for re-election. Mayor Sharon Schuler and her husband's contracts are paid by the City, and there are other employees related not listed, this is where you get your personal gain and favors met. If there is a death in the family you have to pay for two people to be off instead of one. Some salaries are increased in pay and can be changed at the City Manager's discretion or by changing job titles. Nepotism at Best. If you look close the good ole boy syndrome is alive and well in City Hall so Bubba can't bring it back it never left. A personal gain is when you are allowed to campaign for your husband anytime of the workday. Where is Al Joe Hinson's checker?
Not fooled (by: Been Here - 10/29/2013)
I can t help it, but why would anyone claim they have "given" 35 years of service to the community when all it really has been is a JOB.
Childish comments (by: Birds on the line - 10/29/2013)
It's sad that people (blindman and been here) feel the need to be little others by talking about their PERSONAL lives when they clearly have no idea!! Why can't it be like the "good ole days" when there was civilians who would run for mayor or council and we as a community would just simply support who we were voting for without all the slandering and be littling. I feel very confident that Mr. Warner can bring this community back to the "City of Charm" as it is known for.
(by: Din don - 10/29/2013)
Home grown = good old boy bubba stuff
No way - no how (by: Wicked witch - 10/29/2013)
A vote for this clown is a vote backwards. He tried to buy votes from the southdside by giving away BBQ sandwiches. What a dufus. Him and his sidekick Remmick. I would be ashamed of showing my face if I tried to buy votes with a sandwich.
Blindman (by: Disturbed - 10/29/2013)
You are a disgrace to humanity. I can only hope that you condescending attitude comes back to bit you. All you have done in many of your posts is throw out personal information about Mr. Warner. Blindman you are disgusting. Your posts are never intelligent in nature and it seems all you wish to do is throw mud on a incredible man who has served YOUR city for almost 30 years. Your futile attempts to do so have only proved what many people already know. This current regime is only concerned for themselves and not for the City of Avon Park. The current City Council is trying to keep Avon Park below the poverty level so they can recieve federal grants that will not benefit all the citizens of Avon Park. The City Council members do not have US in mind. Blindman before you throw stones, make sure you have facts and you arent just trying to tarnish a great mans name. Blindman you are garbage.
your garbage collection (by: Ray Napper - 10/28/2013)
I agree with you wholeheartedly. Please go back to what you were doing that is only disruptive to a few people, so that our landfill can reap some much needed revenues. We are in for a larger than expected increase in our assessment in the county and because of ungrateful people who don't realize the costs involved ,you people have cut into that revenue stream with your recycling.
All good points, (by: A guy on State St - 10/28/2013)
Easy fix on the onece a week trash pickup would be 2 cans for homes with 4 or more people, instead of doubling the cost with 2 days of pickups. Trash stewing for a week is not a problem, its the cans are over flowing for larger families. Debt free? That's obviously impossible and most likely (obviously) out of context just for a back stab. Get rid of the 5 minute timer? No way! People will abuse unlimited time as they abuse any Free or Unlimited resource. Citizens should check a box on the sign up selecting 5, 10 of 15 minutes requested to speak. As for the Police Pention Fund. This would only be used as a weapon and accusation mill (personal agenda) against you as you are a recipient. I agree with the cut backs on employee's it will lead to 1 person doing the job of 2 or 3, and service is suffering. But, all large corporate and public entities have been forced into the same M.O. of operation. Higher employee churn and HR complaints are through the roof. Tuff luck, were not alone.
hear hear (by: motherjones - 10/27/2013)
I wish more regular people like this fella would get involved. The current regime appears to have scared the heck out of the electorate. It's sad. More home town people need to step up or support those that do. I understand that the current mayor has just about every person in her family on the payroll, therefore taking jobs away from those who live in the city. Some foreshadowing needs to take place as well as a realistic strategic plan. Additionally I understand that moral at city hall is lower than the statistics for the TOP.
Barney Fife (by: Andy - 10/27/2013)
I remember when Barney ran for mayor of Mayberry. We held the election at Floyd's barber shop. Out of the whole town only Goober and Otis voted for barney so when I went back to the station where Barney was having a party, I told him he lost with only two votes and he said, "at least it was close"
The Man Who Would be King (by: Blindman~ - 10/27/2013)
same ole same ole (by: Been Here - 10/27/2013)
This community is more diverse and less affluent then the good ole days of white folks hitting Main street to eat an ice cream or coke float. those days are over in Avon Park as is over in every downtown in America. Having leadership requires vision for the future, not a wish of the past. Moving forward requires hard decisions that may affect the Tcurrent management made some tough decisions that affected some of those that supporting Mr Bubba and he wants to repay the favor by opening the flood gates to giving those people back their jobs. How many more people will it take to dig a hole? One to supervise, one to watch and one to dig. Yeah, under Bubba that is what getting back to the way it was is all about.
Small Banner Ads