Historic City News was contacted by Joseph Alan Mayhew, Republican candidate for the District 4 county commission seat, to announce the launch of his campaign website on December 15th.
Mayhew, who is 26 years-old, is a graduate of Duncan U Fletcher High School in Neptune Beach and graduate of the College of Business at Florida State University.
Mayhew earns a living as a private financial advisor. He owned The Mortgage Store in Atlantic Beach for six years. Mayhew volunteers to serve as Vice President & Treasurer of Seahawk at Ponte Vedra Lakes, a residential community association.
When asked which issues he feels are most important, Mayhew said, “The jobs in St. Johns County are too heavily connected to a small handful of industries. In order to have a stronger, more resilient community, we need to encourage a multitude of industries to set up shop in our area.”
Historic City News asked Mayhew about the difficult local job market, to which he replied, “St. Johns County is primarily residential in nature. We need to balance by having more businesses come to our area to bring jobs and create a needed equilibrium between commercial and residential property.”
This is Mayhew’s first run at public office, so, we asked specifically what challenges he felt that he could address.
Mayhew responded, “Our current system of issuing temporary use permits needs to be more stringent. Currently, people and businesses can obtain 90-day permits for things that would never be allowed on a permanent basis. This creates difficulty via traffic, environmental, and noise concerns.”
Mayhew addressed our environmental quality, noting “Our public tap-water quality was recently rated 3rd worst in all of the U.S. We must take steps to ensure our natural resources are protected for future generations to enjoy.”
Public Beach Access seemed high on his agenda, as well. “Public access and parking at the beach in North East St. Johns county needs to be dramatically improved. The beach belongs to everyone, and it is in the interest of property values, tourism, and public recreation that we all have good access to our county’s natural resources”, Mayhew said.
On business, Mayhew observed “Not nearly enough is done to ease the burden of government regulation on small businesses and startups. We need to do more to encourage small businesses which create jobs in our community.”
“Like everywhere else, our local economy has been hit hard in the downturn. As property values have fallen, so has the revenue the government brings in to provide essential services.”, Mayhew said.
For those wishing to meet Mayhew, he will be speaking to the Ponte Vedra High School Young Republicans on January 8th.
Seat 4 is currently held by Ponte Vedra Beach resident Phillip J. Mays, appointed by the governor last December to fill the remaining, unexpired term of Thomas G. Manuel — who was suspended after his indictment for accepting bribes while in public office and is awaiting sentencing in January.
Mayhew already has a known Republican Primary opponent; former District 5 Commissioner James E. Bryant who lives in St. Augustine. Mays, who is also registered as a Republican, has not announced if he will seek election when his appointment expires next year.