Monthly Archives: March 2011

It’s over

It’s after 10 o’clock at night and I didn’t remember to call Tom Hawkins to congratulate him on his victory, so I will do it here. He was a congenial and likable opponent who was never rude, condescending or libelous. He ran a good race and won the old fashioned way: getting out more of his supporters than I did mine. There was no controversy and I have no regrets.

I greatly appreciate the hard work of Kathy Benton, Keith Hazouri, Herb Cooke, Mary Bird, and a large company of other people who put in their time and gave their money in this effort. I am sorry our efforts did not result in a different end, but none of them caused this failure.

I thank all of those who cast their vote for me in this election. This is the third time I have run, and it is time for someone else to step up to make this effort the next time. I am now retired from being a candidate for public office. I will be happy to help others and participate as a role player in other political efforts, but we need better leaders, even in the role of contender.

For now, I need to get back to my business and make some money. Next weekend I will be going to the beach.

Later,

Don Marsh

Public Utility Still Biggest Issue

Interactive campaigning comes to East Gainesville

During the course of the campaign it is easy to be led away into issues that are on the periphery to the citizens. The budget and homeless issues and police mergers are very important, but these are not the things that strike a nerve with most people.  My campaign has gotten back to its roots: GRU rates. We have been asking the people to weigh in on this issue in the most basic way: blowing their car horns to express outrage. Our signs simply say, “Honk if your GRU bills are too high! And vote!”

To be sure, we have gotten things other than honking. Most stare straight ahead while they are on their cell phones or are otherwise engaged. One woman yelled, “Mine are low! I have a small house!” I found this attitude to be rather smug and unconcerned with the suffering of others. But it’s probably shared by many people.

One man shouted, “You still can’t do anything about it!” This is another common sentiment. I don’t share it because I expect the task to be very difficult, not impossible. And the right thing to do is often quite difficult.

But many, many people honked, beeped, blared, and really laid into it. A couple of cyclists even yelled, “honk!” Some stopped to roll down their windows and tell me how bad it was. And some swore that I would have their vote.

It is one of my highest priorities to bring down the electric bills of most of GRU’s customers. At this present time, it is NO ONE’S priority who sits on the commission now. And that is what makes lower rates impossible. But the change that is necessary, electing new commissioners, is in the hands of the people who pay those bills.

VOTE EM OUT TUESDAY!!!

Elect Don Marsh to the at-large seat of the Gainesville City Commission.

Crunch time!!

Tomorrow is the absolutely last time to make a contribution to this campaign! Official deadline is midnight Thursday night! Use your credit card on this site EVEN IF YOU DON’T USE PAYPAL.

Also, if you want a yard sign, text me your address at this number: 352-870-8808.

If you want to hold a sign on a corner and need a sign and a location assignment, call 258-3541.

Seize the Election Day!

Inquiring minds, part 2

OK, so it took me a day longer to get back here. I got busy. Now, back to our forum highlights!

Budget cuts

People do want us to get specific on what to cut, so we do have some ideas. Richard Selwach usually brings up the equal opportunity office because, “We have a gay mayor and a black president. We have arrived. The EOO is unnecessary.” He also wants to cut city pensions. My own favorite targets are the communications office, because we don’t need a new layer of bureaucrats just for press releases and web site updates; empty and near-empty RTS buses; the Community Redevelopment Agency, which is going beyond its mission of street lights and sidewalks and is now a builder with its extra cash; money-losing Ironwood Golf Course; and the One-stop homeless center, which has great promise as an ever-growing drain for taxpayer money. We don’t only want to move the homeless to the outskirts of town; we also want to provide them transportation back into town. Why are we doing this?? Tom Hawkins big cut is a helicopter that he thinks we don’t need.

Bus Rapid Mass Transit

Richard Selwach is flatly against buses that “lose $2 every time a rider gets on”. I don’t know if that figure is correct, but no one denies that buses lose money, not even Tom Hawkins. I believe we should transition toward a private system by first downsizing the vehicles on the routes that are seldom traveled. I see near-empty buses every day downtown and on the outskirts, and these buses are HUGE! RTS burns almost 2500 gallons of diesel fuel every day, and I believe the majority of that could be saved if we just used minivans on those unused routes. The best way, I believe, to do this is by putting those routes up for bid to the taxi companies. Eventually, we need to deregulate the service so more operators can serve routes that are currently underserved because it takes too long to get a bus. My opponent sees these big buses as full some day as we make it harder for people to use their own cars.

More later…