Local author, activist, and educator Brian Iannucci, announced to Historic City News today his intention to run for the District 1 seat on the Saint Johns County Commission currently held by incumbent Commissioner Cyndi Stevenson.
In making his announcement to run in 2012, the candidate unveiled what he calls his “Ten Steps to a Better Saint Johns County.”
One major point in his plan, is what Iannucci identifies as “the need for a more open and inclusive government that can better respond to the needs and wishes of the citizens of Saint Johns County.”
“We need to re-engage and make the citizens a more active part of their government.”
In a recent interview Iannucci said, “The citizens of Saint Johns County deserve a county commission that is responsive to their needs, open to listening to their thoughts, and willing to implement good ideas no matter where they come from.”
According to Iannucci, one of his primary focuses will be promoting economic development to put Saint Johns County back to work. At over 12%, unemployment remains stubbornly high under the current commissions administration and the share of property taxes paid by commercial properties in Saint Johns County is a paltry 11%, far below a more normal 30% enjoyed by some of the surrounding counties.
“Business growth in Saint Johns County will determine its financial success or failure in the future. Focusing on economic development will increase the tax base of the county, employ more citizens, and provide needed infrastructure to the citizens of the county. Economic development will help Saint Johns County build a bridge to the future. There are no problems we have in Saint Johns County that expanding the job base cannot fix”.
Iannucci also stated his opposition to any increase in taxes.
“During this difficult economic time, it is important to not raise taxes. This is a burden that our citizens cannot afford. There are still avenues to explore in redeploying assets and improving the efficiency of government before we go to the taxpayers and ask them to bear that burden. The great majority of our problems right now are tied to government spending on some level. We have to right-size government to the reality we all face every day. We can no longer put off governing the difficult issues”.
Iannucci also believes that impact fees should be drastically reduced.
“Impact fees that are not competitive with the surrounding counties will drive business away from Saint Johns County into the arms of our competitors. Business owners will choose to live in Saint Johns County and build businesses in Duval or Clay Counties because of lower costs. This is simple logic. We need to make a compelling case to have business owners make Saint Johns County the home for their businesses.”
Iannucci says he has a long-vested interest in the success of Saint Johns County. His family has lived here since he was a young child and he is a product of the top ranked county public school system. Currently, Brian Iannucci, his wife Stacia, and their two children, Jillian and Andrew, live in Northwest Saint Johns County.
As a Doctoral Candidate, Iannucci sings high praises for the education he received here.
“It should be a centerpiece of our effort to sell businesses on the virtues of doing business in Saint Johns County. A well educated work force is critical to the growth and success of a business. We have that covered. Now we need to make the cost side of the equation more business friendly.”
Iannucci has been involved in a number of volunteer efforts in the area including the Saint Johns County Republican Executive Committee, the Northwest Saint Johns County Republican Club, the Jacksonville Jaguars Champions Club, and coaching Little League Baseball.
Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News contributed facebook photograph