News-Sun photo by CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY Garrett Anderson is running for AP city council. His father is, and his grandfather was, pastor at Life and Praise Ministries.
published: Sunday, October 07, 2012
Anderson says AP city council should be more open
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
AVON PARK -- Garrett Anderson is running for the city council. He describes himself as "conservative, Republican and Christian."
Born and raised in the City of Charm, Anderson is 23 years old and owns his own business, Anderson Arms.
Home schooled, he played football at Avon Park High School and was a member of the district winning tennis team.
In 2006, immediately after finishing high school, Anderson went to work for his father in construction, where he was a roofer for three years.
On the side, almost for fun, he began an ammunition remanufacturing business.
As his ammunition business took off and construction ground to a halt, Anderson began working full time and building his company.
"I'm a lifetime shooter. My 4-H club won regional and state," he said. "It felt like my calling."
He has been at it for five years, and said Anderson Arms is now the fifth largest ammunition remanufacturing company in the country. In terms of new ammunition manufacturing, it's 15th.
In an interview Friday, Anderson said he had not been thinking about seeking public office, but friends and business associates asked him to run. "They kept saying that things had to change," he said. "It kind of made me think about serving. I live here and my family lives here. It's only right."
Anderson added the majority of people to approach him all own businesses inside the city, but most of them do not live within city limits.
"They say to me, 'we don't have a voice, we don't live here, but you do. Be our face, don't let it get worse, improve things,'" he said.
Anderson feels the city needs to break from the good old boys network. He believes the time has come to create a true open-door policy. "We need to let folks know what's going on," he said. "Right now there is a lack of communication."
As to what can help Avon Park to prosper, Anderson points to his own business as an example of the future.
"We mostly sell outside the state," he said. "That brings outside money into the city. The more that comes in, the more we have to work with."
He believes the city is losing vital services. He worries that unless Avon Park can provide benefits for its citizens, it will be impossible to convince new families or businesses to move in. "We need to take a look at what a city does," he said.
At the same time, Anderson wants the city to be self-sufficient and not rely on the county or state. While he believes in rewarding people who show promise by helping them with a bump up, he worries that welfare programs rob individuals of ambition.
The Avon Park has an exciting future, Anderson said, because Highlands County is in the middle of the state, ideal for distributing businesses. He also hopes to attract more manufacturing, again using his company's policy of reaching out of county as an illustration.
Anderson Arms, he said, is seeking military contracts. Should enough contracts materialize, Anderson would be able to create many more jobs, all of them skilled labor with wages above minimum wage.
He wants to help other small businesses grow and flourish as his has, he said, because in the end its thriving business that keeps a community healthy.
Christian Values (by: AP Minister - 10/11/2012)
I am excited to see a young Christian man that is not timid about his Faith. He is what's right in Avon Park!
No vested interest? (by: Yeah right. - 10/9/2012)
Lets see... his family has had numerous construction deals with the city. More hypocracy- AP style.
Question (by: Speak the Truth - 10/9/2012)
It would be very telling to know if this guy ever sold any ammo to the police department...?
City owners (by: eei eei o - 10/9/2012)
So who is the supposed owner of half the commercial buildings that sits on the council now? Looking at the property appraiser website there are about 3 major owners of City properties and they are all slumlords. And who exactly is getting construction contracts? More silly comments by those that dont like the City Manager and want to get him out becasue of what "he did" to the police department. Stop your whining please!
Hope springs eternal (by: skittles - 10/9/2012)
Same ol same ol no matter the age. You say get rid of the good 'ol boys- but then this is the "chosen one" the fire fighters are grooming that will give them their perpetual pensions, new $30,000 kitchen and comfy digs. Yeah- this is what I want running this town.
what does this mean? (by: Kirt - 10/9/2012)
"He worries that unless Avon Park can provide benefits for its citizens, it will be impossible to convince new families or businesses to move in."
AP Office (by: Doctor Joese - 10/9/2012)
I would like to hear from the other candidates before I make up my mind. When will the news paper feature an article on the others?
Garrett Anderson Running for City Council (by: CNRoman - 10/9/2012)
It is time for new blood! Our youth need the opportunity to show they too have the desire to make this City prosper! We have been conditioned to believe that only the elders are capable but, by giving the young leaders of this Community the chance to bring fresh, innovative ideas we are preparing them to lead this City for the future. They have to start now, so that they can be mentored by the Senior Council Members!
New Hope (by: Tax Payer - 10/8/2012)
This would be a refresher for Avon Park politics. Maybe he will re-place one of the good ole boys who currently have a seat on the council. He also doesn't own half of the commercial buildings on Main Street. He also doesn't have vested interests in pending city construction contracts that will be awarded to a family member or friend without bid.
What a releif! (by: fan - 10/7/2012)
I have been so happy ever since I heard of Garrett Anderson's decision to run. We prayed and prayed that he would say yes.
Councilman Anderson (by: A voter - 10/7/2012)
I was so pleased to hear that Garrett Anderson was running for City Council. I have known this young man for a long time and watched him grow into a very responsible businessman. I am excited that he will have a hand in running our City.
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