NEWBERRY – The 2021 City of Newberry Municipal Election for one open seat will be held Tuesday, April 13, at Precinct 6 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Precinct 6 is located at the Municipal Building, 25420 W. Newberry Road.
The Group Five seat, currently occupied by Commissioner Paul Norfleet, will be filled by Tony Mazon who ran unopposed. Mayor Jordan Marlowe, who also ran unopposed, will continue as mayor.
The Canvassing Board tested and sealed the vote tabulation equipment to be used in all phases of the City of Newberry Election on Tuesday, April 6, at the Municipal Building.
Incumbent Tim Marden will face former Newberry City Commissioner Joy Glanzer for the Group Four Seat. To help differentiate between the two candidates and their vision for Newberry, Marden and Glanzer were asked a series of similar questions.
Q: If elected/re-elected, what are your top three priorities for the 2021-2022 Newberry City Commission term?
Marden: Schools, infrastructure and ensuring the city and citizens are protected economically from development.
Glanzer: Road improvements, rebuild Newberry’s relationship with the new County Commission and continue to maintain our City’s low tax rate.
Q: Newberry is growing at a reasonably fast pace. Where do you see the city in five years, 10 years? How can the City best prepare for the likely changes?
Marden: “Reasonable” is an understatement. We are one of the fastest growing areas in North Central Florida. Luckily, we have already prepared accordingly. We need some of the other players to catch up like FDOT and the SBAC.
Glanzer: Newberry is doing something right, which is why we are seeing the growth we have now. The obvious areas of vigilance are in the infrastructure to support the growth and in maintaining school concurrency. Ten years from now, I see our population hovering at 10,000 with a healthy business district offering good paying jobs.
Q: You have voted no on several opportunities the City has had to obtain grants to help with projects that would benefit the citizens. Why?
Marden: This is a common misconception my opponent has perpetuated. I am largely just against Federal grants. The biggest reason is they are debt. The United States is $27 trillion in debt. There is no money. To pretend this money is taxes we have paid in is inaccurate. If that were true, we would not have so much debt. The Federal government has a money printing press called the Federal Reserve.
Q: Would you encourage or discourage the City to apply for grants and why?
Glanzer: I encourage the City to consider grants as an additional source of income. Grants are funded through our own tax dollars so we need to bring those grant dollars home instead of letting them go to another community. A town our size is incapable of having the types of improvements we have had (i.e., ballpark $700,000, hurricane shelter enhancement $129,000, home rehabilitation $700,000) without grant funds. My opponent voted against the vast majority of $8 million in grants for Newberry, including ones for infrastructure, recreation and housing.
Q: You have led the charge toward establishing Springs County. How would Newberry benefit if Springs County is approved and why?
Marden: This is a long answer because there are so many benefits. The trajectory of Alachua County is about centralizing power over everything we do. Springs County is largely the opposite. I've encouraged Springs County to focus on smaller government, which would cost less and therefore lower taxes. A smaller government also means more freedom. Government is too big, too expensive, and too intrusive. The less of it, the better.
Q: You have not been in support of establishing Springs County. Why?
Glanzer: It is my opinion that change is made at the ballot box. The citizens have voted for new County Commissioners that they believe will work better with the smaller cities. The Springs County proposal came about because my opponent disagrees with Alachua County leadership. City and County governments regularly have conflict. However, if a new county was formed every time there was a disagreement, we would have 1,000 counties in Florida. It is not practical and it is not a prudent way to spend our tax dollars.
Q: Why should voters elect you over your opponent?
Marden: I think my resume is a better principled, representation of what Newberry is about. Keeping a high value on a focused government, in its proper role. My agenda is closer to the farming and mining community we are at our core. We can't lose that. I think we still care about independence. I think we still believe we can, not government, make the best choices for ourselves and our families.
Glanzer: I’ve spent forty-some years enjoying the Newberry community. I’ve served on about every committee, task force, board and volunteer position we have. I have a well-rounded background in business, government and public relations. If elected, I will communicate with citizens, speak up for their issues and respect everyone, no matter their position. I have formed life-long relationships with many leaders around the county, which will serve us well as we negotiate for the very best of everything.
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