It's Dukes' turn to serve
Hernando TodayThe issue: Hernando County Commission District 2 race.
Published: October 30, 2010
Published: October 30, 2010
Our opinion: Third time's the charm for Wayne Dukes.
Republican Wayne Dukes has run for a seat on the county commission three times, primarily because he thinks he can do a better job of overseeing county government than the opponents he's run against.
Often involved in just about every important issues facing county government, Dukes, a Hernando County native, has shown he's willing to put in the time, effort and study to know what he's talking about.
He's a fiscal conservative who understands how bloated county government had become, and he's got a lot of ideas on how to reduce the bureaucracy, cut taxes and right-size county government for the betterment of the taxpayers and residents who pay the bills and rely on quality services.
He's passionate about ensuring that county government is accountable for the tax dollars it spends and on the projects and services that are most important to the electorate he'll serve.
Dukes' opponent, Democrat Rose Rocco, has served her community well. She's voted mostly in line on the issues we think are most important for the well-being of Hernando Countians.
However, Rocco is more a follower than a leader. Her colleagues on the board passed her over as chairwoman this past year, even though she had served as vice chairwoman the year before.
Rocco seldom delves into the complexities of the county's problems or brings up solutions to remedy them. She relies far too much on the advice and research of county staffers who've failed to deliver on a laundry list of projects that continue to hang in the balance and have cost taxpayers millions more than they should have.
While Rocco has been a good commissioner, Dukes will be the kind of leader who will do his own research and arrive at solutions based on what he finds, not necessarily what he's handed by county staffers.
Also, Rocco hasn't been a strong ally of County Administrator David Hamilton, who was thrown into a chaotic mess when he took the position three years ago. Hamilton has done far more to correct the mistakes of the past than any of his recent predecessors. He's been put in the position of being the ax man because of previous failures of other county administrators and staffers and, so far, has done an admirable job of cleaning up the mess he inherited. Rocco should have done more to support his efforts instead of shifting the blame and creating doubt about Hamilton's continued service to Hernando County. It's time for a change in leadership in District 2.
Hernando Today recommends voters elect Wayne Dukes as their next District 2 county commissioner.