Matassa's can-do attitude needed on county commission
Hernando TodayThe issue: County commission District 1 Republican primary.
Published: August 4, 2012
Published: August 4, 2012
Our opinion: Richard Matassa's presence would shake up the board.
Richard Matassa isn't your average politician. In fact, he would probably prefer if he wasn't referred to as a politician at all.
The 43-year-old civil engineer is passionate about turning the tide for Hernando County and isn't afraid to ruffle a few feathers to get the job done.
Matassa says somebody needs to step up with a vision that shows where we are going and how we are going to get there.
Nick Nicholson, 55, who has name recognition, is a worthy candidate who obviously cares about his community and has shown as much through his service on various government boards.
However, he is too similar to those already on a board in dire need of diversity and a new way of thinking. It also doesn't help that Nicholson has said publicly he only plans to serve one term if elected. As history shows, sometimes it takes commissioners into their second term to achieve objectives.
While Michael Burmann, 52, who owns a home inspection service and serves as chairman of the Hernando County Housing Authority, has many grand ideas, he lacks specifics to achieve many of his goals.
The winner of the Republican primary will go up against Democrat Arlene Glantz to replace Jeff Stabins, who is not seeking re-election.
Matassa says righting the ship starts with making Hernando County attractive again for developers, who in recent years have abandoned the area for counties that are easier to navigate in terms of permitting, lack of impact fees and regulations.
Matassa also favors an approach of getting out of the way of industry by offering incentives like neighboring counties already do in an effort to expand employment opportunities.
When it comes to the budget, Matassa realizes there is no magic bullet.
While he isn't afraid to offer input, Matassa wants to make department heads responsible for meeting their budgetary goals.
"If they aren't competent to do so, fire them," he said, adding if it's done correctly there won't be any need to raise taxes.
Matassa says he wants to limit spending to existing revenue and explore areas where costs can be reduced to better serve the entire county.
He understands a commissioner's job is to set policy and promote a positive agenda to allow ideas to flow.
One negative is that Matassa doesn't currently live in the district. However, the only candidate who does is Burmann, who is not the best choice.
While Matassa faces an uphill battle from a lack of name recognition, his can-do attitude is just what the doctor ordered to fix what ails Hernando County.
Hernando Today recommends voters cast their ballots for Matassa.