Florida Senator Don Gaetz spent one of his periodic “Neighborhood Days” in Bay County Wednesday.
Gaetz used the time to meet with local leaders and residents who have questions or need help with a problem.
He said they keep him grounded and educated on issues concerning his constituents, and right now, the economy and education top the list.
Wednesday afternoon he also met with students at a local high school and stressed the importance of the students not just getting an education, but in developing marketable job skills.
"(Parents are) worried about, can their kids get a job, can they get a better job,” said Gaetz. “What will happen in the future as far as the economy in Northwest Florida and the state is concerned, that's really the number one issue."
Many of the local residents who met with Gaetz agree.
"Education, that's the most important to me,” said Arlene Devereaux of Bay County. “And the most important thing to America."
Gaetz also said that he sees signs the economy is improving here in the panhandle.
"We've had 19 months of consecutive private sector job growth," he said.
And he pointed out that consumer confidence in Florida is at a five year high.
Gaetz will be the senate president when the next session begins, he said he will place an emphasis on improving education and holding-down the state budget.