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By SHEILA MULLANE ESTRADA
Jerry Knight says he has improved town communications. David Yost points to undermarket land sales.
NORTH REDINGTON BEACH - In a community with few problems and even fewer major issues, commission candidates David Yost and Jerry Knight are emphasizing their differing experiences and priorities as they compete for a seat that both men held in the past year.
Yost, 67, held Seat 3 for 15 years, then resigned in 2003 to run for mayor. Unsuccessful in his mayoral bid, he now wants to return to the commission where he says his long experience will benefit the town.
Knight, 73, was appointed last year to replace Yost. He argues that his experience in communications and planning are what the town needs.
Yost, a Realtor, has criticized several land sales that were approved by the commission during his absence. He says the prices were well under market value and the sales may have violated the town charter, which requires a referendum when town-owned property is to be sold. "This is just not right," he said.
"During my 15 years on the commission, we have seen the town built out with the highest valued homes and we have kept the lowest millage rate in the county."
Yost says he and the rest of the commission were responsible for the decision to bury utility lines in residential areas, but he says that without county participation the town can do little to bury lines on Gulf Boulevard.
Knight wants the undergrounding work extended to Gulf Boulevard but didn't say how he'd make that happen. Knight said that in the year he has been on the board he has significantly boosted communications between Town Hall and the community, and has led efforts to improve the town's long-range planning.
"I saw a serious problem in communications when I came on the commission," Knight said. "I took responsibility to help develop the town's first Web site where residents can now view commission agendas and minutes and quickly catch up on the latest town news."
He also pushed for the town to update its comprehensive plan, which he said had not been significantly changed since it was written in 1989.
Both candidates were active in the recent citizens initiative that halted plans to build a full basketball court at Harold Radcliffe Park.[Last modified February 29, 2004, 01:15:11]
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