We consider the District 3 seat, elected countywide, to be an “open seat” since the current occupant is taking another personal leave of office to pursue his military ambitions.
Five of the seven that considered who would receive our recommendation in this race have honorably served our country; however, we all agree that Miner was too “gung ho” for the office of county commissioner.
John Ruggeri, Quinn and McClure have all remained civil towards each other during this three-way race for a $65,703 plus benefits job. We appreciate that, but ruled out Ruggeri early on; primarily because of the fact that, although we like some of his opinions, we know he does not have the local experience of the other candidates.
We are interested in other candidates willing to do what only Cyndi Stevenson has done — that being, to take a wage and benefit reduction for themselves, if for no other reason than to show empathy for the other county employees who are continuing to be pared back.
Ray Quinn, who already collects a government pension, could use this opportunity to distinguish himself, but he hasn’t.
McClure is not part of a voting “block”. He is running his own campaign, is not represented by a paid campaign consultant, is using his own money to finance his campaign, and is therefore not “beholding” to anyone. We like that.
Quinn has tied his campaign to Ken Bryan and Mark Miner. Even though Bryan, Miner and their financial backers have decided to take the “keep the incumbents” marketing strategy, those of us who remember what happened in 2008, reject the idea of running a slate of like-minded comrades.
That said, McClure will not be part of a three-man-block of votes that can put the control of all county business into the hands of a corrupt few — as happened with ex-commissioner and convicted felon Thomas G. Manuel.
Interestingly, Stevenson is running her own campaign — independent of Bryan and Quinn, with our appreciation.
We like sunshine, and lots of it. We are skeptical of Quinn, given the degree of support that he has already taken and given to another sitting commissioner. We do not like the appearance of machine politics or collusion.
The best recommendation for St Johns County Commission Seat 3 is Bill McClure.