Courtesy photo William Bennett is running for the District 1 county commission seat.
published: Friday, July 13, 2012
Bennett: County needs better vision
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
AVON PARK -- William Bennett is running for the District 1 county commission seat, which is open due to incumbent Barbara Stewart's upcoming retirement.
Bennett, a fifth generation Floridian who graduated from Avon Park High School in 1995, says he has a unique background that provides him with the skills and experience to be an effective county commissioner.
He enlisted in the Air Force right out of high school and as a result has seen a great deal of the world. It was his training and the work he did, however, that he considers invaluable -- being a weather forecaster.
"It's what gave me the springboard to do what I'm doing now. (Forecasting weather) is a matter of finding and putting extraneous data together, finding the patterns and projecting into the future. It's a matter of analysis."
Looking at trends longitudinally is one reason his first goal as commissioner would be to begin budgeting in two-year cycles, instead of annually.
"We're not moving in a direction," he said. "We're putting out fires dealing in the short term, being reactionary. I do think the current commission is open, but we need better vision, more intelligent design."
This is why his second goal is to establish true vision for the county. Then he believes "comp plans and LDR's be developed to make the vision come true."
Returning to Florida after his 12-year military career, Bennett joined his family's firm, Management Experts Inc. -- where he is now vice-president, obtained a bachelor of science degree in business management from Webber International University and was a member of the 2007 class of Leadership Highlands.
This background, he said, coupled with his experience as deputy chair of the Avon Park's Community Redevelopment Agency's Main Street advisory board, alternate member of the county's planning and zoning board of adjustments, president of the Avon Park Chamber of Commerce's board of directors, and long-term member of the Rotary, means he has a sophisticated understanding of the financial issues facing the county.
He said he is a conservative, and that "conservative starts at the local level. We have to find new ways to solve problems, and get government out of the way. While there has to be some regulation, it cannot be onerous. I personally don't believe government should be a land owner."
He believes that non-profit organizations, like Habitat for Humanity, while worthwhile causes, should not be supported with taxpayer dollars.
Looking to the future he said a big piece of the puzzle can be solved through bio-mass and bio-technology. "Two or three plants are looking (at locating here). A castor oil plant is a huge opportunity. We can grow the raw materials and turn them into product that could be sold worldwide."
Right now, Bennett said, "The only (career) advancement here happens when someone retires."
"If I get elected," he said, "I want to hit the ground running. I know I have a lot to learn, but I can still get things done."
Bennett (by: Patti - 7/17/2012)
I believe he is trying to bring jobs in with working on getting bio plants to make this their home! More jobs, more taxes, better education! I like his ideas and he is certainly better than Barbara Stewart! He is young has young children so maybe he is looking at making our community better for the young in addition to the retired! I'm 50 but I still want to see advancement for our younger folks! The other canidate owns Reflections where do you think his focus is? Just sayin' OH and the I's are what he is committing to domfor YOU!
first comment (by: blindman - 7/15/2012)
Same ole complains about ever looming tax hikes but then says he/she doesn't mind paying for subsidized housing. Hmmm
right (by: right again - 7/14/2012)
Just another good ole boy, great.
I, I, I (by: same ole' same ole' - 7/13/2012)
after reading this you read alot of I,I,I but with no what will happen with the the education of our childern, the safety of our familes, the ever looming tax hikes, foreclosures, and unemployment situtaions and to say that The Habitat for Humanity should not be supported by taxpayers I would rather pay for a house for a family to live in instead of a commissioner to say I have alot to learn at his Rotary Club meetings where all have a place to lay their heads at night and a way to feed their families.
Bennett (by: Paul McGehee - 7/13/2012)
I met Will Bennett in Leadership Highlands and am impressed by his intelligence and work ethic. Will is a planner and a "do'er" and would make an outstanding addition to our Board of County Commissioners! He has a vision and a plan for where he thinks the county should be.
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