LIVE OAK, Fla. — City residents had the opportunity to meet the candidates running for city positions Monday.
The forum was hosted by the Suwannee County Voters League.
At Monday’s forum, each candidate received five minutes to introduce themselves to the resident and speak about their background, experiences and views as it relates to the office they are seeking.
The candidates for city council District 1 are Robintina Y. Reed and incumbent John W. Yulee.
“I’ve had a long history of service and advocacy,” Reed said.
She said she knows that she will have to learn new things if elected but will come to the council with fresh eyes.
Yulee has been on the city council for 16 years.
During his introduction, he said he requested the expansion of the city limits down U.S. Highway 129, and asked the words “In God We Trust” be placed on the city seal.
The candidates for the city council District 4 seat are Norman Crawford, John W. Hill, Jerry Poole and Mark B. Stewart.
Crawford said he has lived in Live Oak his entire life excluding the time he left for college.
“I have a lot of experience working with people,” Crawford said.
He worked with the Department of Children and Families for 31 years and was a liaison between his office and the governor’s office.
An issue Crawford sees is lack of transparency on the board.
Hill told the residents that he was not going to ask them to vote for him.
“You can pick any one of these three guys or myself,” Hill said. “You need to ask yourself this, ‘Who is going to go and best represent you, stand up for you when it comes time to not be railroaded by the administration of the city.’”
Poole, who has previously served as a county commissioner, said the city and county need to work together.
“I will fight, whatever it takes to make it happen,” Poole said, adding that when the city makes a policy, he will know what type of policy he is voting on.
Mark Stewart, who has served on the council previously, said this year is a pivotal election for the City of Live Oak.
“This will set the tone for growth and development in the city,” Stewart said, noting the city and county need to present a united front to bring businesses to Suwannee County.
The candidates for Mayor are Frank Davis and Tommie Jefferson.
Davis currently serves as the city councilman for District 4.
He said he is not going to make promises he can’t keep because the mayor cannot vote.
“The mayor has veto power over ordinances and oversight,” Davis said.
Davis said he sees the position of mayor as an ambassador of Live Oak.
He added that the position of mayor is important because the mayor is an influencer.
Jefferson said he is an advocate for combining the city’s fire department with Suwannee County Fire Rescue.
He also said he is concerned with the water quality in Live Oak.
Jefferson said voters should vote for him because he has experience, knows how to communicate and listen to people.
The election will be held Tuesday, May 8.
Early voting will be held from April 30 through May 5.