Local AARP Sponsors Candidate Forum

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Thursday night’s forum took place at the Springfield Community Center and featured the candidates from three races:

The Bay County Commission District 2 seat, the Bay School Board District 1 seat, and the District 6 state House seat.

Although the topics ranged far and wide, taxes and property values seemed to be a big concern.

Here's the state House and County Commission candidates on affordable housing, and the School Board opponents on protecting local kids against recent rashes of school violence.

(D) Dist. 6 House Candidate - Janice Lucas
"The affordable housing trust fund after this past legislature had $600 million unused. We have a state-wide housing crisis. It is not right that we leave that kind of money sitting in Tallahassee when it has been appropriated through use throughout the state."

(R) Dist. 6 House Candidate - Jimmy Patronis
"It's frightening to those folks we must have in our community--our teachers, policemen, firemen, those responsible for the upbringing of our children and those that give us peace of mind and quality of life. We need to make partnerships. Developers should have incentives to build affordable housing."

(R) Bay Co. Comm. Dist. 2 Candidate - George Gainer
"In 10 years, we have a lot more people talking about affordable housing so people can afford what they want to in the Panama City economy. They should have jobs where they can't go to Atlanta or Birmingham or somewhere else to make more money."

(D) Bay Co. Comm. Dist. 2 Candidate - Candis Harbison
"My vision is for a busy, thriving, growing Bay County, a fully functioning community with affordable housing. And I believe we can achieve that by having a plan and adhering to it."

Bay School Brd. Dist. 1 Candidate - Ron Danzey
"I believe our schools are as safe as we can make them. The only thing to make them better would be to fence them in like a prison atmosphere, but that's not what we want with our schools."

Bay School Brd. Dist. 1 Candidate - Pat Sabiston
"No, I do not believe our schools are as what they need to be. I've been attending safety meetings and I've become more and more distressed as I attend those meetings seeing that the school district is beginning a plan to have their own internal police force. My opponent says that's not going to happen, well the paperwork has already been filed to do it."

There's just 10 more days left until the General Election on Nov. 7.

Early voting is available tomorrow and Saturday, then again Monday through Saturday of next week.

Don't forget to take you photo ID with you. The three Bay County early voting locations at the Supervisor of Elections Office on Mosley Drive in Lynn Haven, and the Panama City Beach and Parker City halls.