Leon County Commission District 5 candidates hold debate
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Wide-ranging topics dominated the debate between candidates vying for Leon County Commission District 5 seat.
Economic development, an issue all candidates felt could help address several other problems and changes the county could face.
“If we’re talking about trying to address crime, let’s give young people something to do,” said Paula Deboles-Johnson, who works as a manager for the county. “Put in more funding into those programs that exist that are doing well now. Use that money to address some of these issues and then economic development will help in all of these cases.”
When the discussion turned to recent corruption scandals in Tallahassee, Dustin Rivest, a software developer, called for all county business-related meetings with administrators, staff and constituents to be recorded and publicly available.
“Every conversation I have in regards to the county’s work needs to be wide open,” Rivest said.
Media consultant Jay Revell touched on crime, applauding the county for its new commission on men and boys as part of their plan to address gun violence. He also called for more youth outreach, like criminal diversion programs.
“I think we need to continue to invest in those things and listen to our law enforcement partners and our community non-profit partners who have the ability to provide some of these life-altering pathways to hope,” Rivest said.
A fourth candidate, David O’Keefe, was not able to make the debate because he tested positive for COVID-19. O’Keefe is the former CFO at WFSU. The primary is coming up on Aug. 23.
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