Innovation can be disruptive, but change will happen no matter how hard a city or county resists. By resisting, governments cause delays and massive waste, fighting for powerful interests against technologies being adopted and embraced by citizens. Why!? By embracing innovation, Hillsborough County can become a beacon for innovation and entrepreneurship. Tony Seba talks about energy and automotive disruption (right).
I'm a patent attorney and innovator, and I work with innovative small businesses. I understand the opportunity that we have.
2017: Chris Paradies is an expert on innovation and provides an entertaining and enlightening presentation about innovation and government at Ignite Tampa Bay.
If automobiles are going the way of the horse and buggy, as suggested by Tony Seba, what will replace them? Will it be light rail? Public buses? No!
Innovation will make electric vehicles very economical, and automated driving vehicles will make vehicle sharing the norm. First, vehicle sharing will occur within families, and one vehicle will be able to be shared by 4-5 family members. Eventually, people will not commute in their own vehicles. Our county government should embrace automation and machine learning and make it easy to test autonomous vehicle technologies in Hillsborough County.
Does government have a role in creating jobs? At the county and local level, the answer to the question is: Certainly Yes!
Local government can be an obstacle to job creation.
Unnecessary red tape, delays in providing permitting, imposing excessive fees and fines for failure to comply with Byzantine regulations, and creating a hassle factor discourages job growth.
Local government may embrace business growth.
By embracing business growth, especially growth of innovative businesses, government can help to grow jobs of the future. How? By “finding a way to yes,” removing barriers to business creation and job growth, eliminating unnecessary and counter-productive regulations, limiting government interference with business operations, creating economic development zones for rapid approval of light industrial and commercial development, and providing concierge services for small and disadvantaged businesses that find it most difficult to navigate government bureaucracy and incentive programs (without the aid of lobbyists and paid consultants).
The things that commissioners can do that will provide the biggest bang for the buck won’t cost the taxpayers anything. If county commissioners just befriend small and innovative businesses and open their network to them, they can help grow jobs by providing access to new customers and investors.
One of the most important duties of a county commissioner is to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars.
But what does being a good steward look like?
What’s important to voters? I’ve been out on the streets going door-to-door, meeting voters, and asking them what’s important. Here’s the answer:
What’s important to the people of district 2 is my priority as your future commissioner. I am asking the voters of district 2 to be their public servant and a good steward of the resources they entrust to me.
What is the purpose of economic development?
The purpose of economic development initiatives should be to reduce taxes on our families, seniors on fixed incomes and small businesses by establishing a resilient economy that produces services and goods that are sold outside Hillsborough County, creating jobs for people in Hillsborough County, and generating significantly more revenue for the taxpayers than the cost of the initiatives to taxpayers.
That’s a good investment!
Public policy should be directed toward creating great neighborhoods that are prosperous, safe, connected and great places to live.
Public policy should not transfer wealth from the taxpayers to big donors! That's the Problem!
Bad economic development schemes pushed by career county commissioners benefit big donors, but they make Hillsborough County poorer, increase taxes on our families, seniors and small businesses, and put our family businesses out of business!
My opponent in the August Republican primary gave Millions of Taxpayer Dollars to Bass Pro Shops, which benefited his big developer "friends" that donate to his campaigns.
The taxpayers of Hillsborough County have paid Hagan more than $1.3 million in salary and benefits for his 16 year career as a county commissioner. Shouldn't he be working for us! (We'll be paying his retirement benefits too.)
So, we lose twice! Unnecessary and wasteful spending on subsidies to out-of-state big box stores, and a 16-year career county commissioner.
With the talent and money that we have in our region, right now, we could be doing a lot better!
We need servant leaders that understand the unbelievable opportunity that has been presented to our region to become the break-out region in the Southeast for small business creation and growth.
Our county needs to embrace innovation and invite innovative businesses to help the county provide better services at a lower cost to taxpayers.
Innovative businesses create high wage jobs of the future and help reduce the tax burden on our families, seniors and small businesses.
Studies done by reputable, independent economists show that stadiums provide no economic return to taxpayers that could not be provided much better by investing in any other economic development initiative. In fact, taxpayer financing of professional sports stadiums is the worst public investment that a local government can make. And yet professional politicians will vote public subsidies for stadiums knowing this fact!
Taxpayer subsidized stadiums are a bad investment. Taxpayers always lose! That’s why I don’t support "Tax-Happy" Hagan’s secret public financing deal for a new Rays’ stadium. We need government-in-the-sunshine to prevent the fleecing of taxpayers by a single career county commissioner and his big corporate cronies!
The board of county commissioners has authorized a single commissioner to explore a deal that would entice the Rays to move to Hillsborough County. Who did the board choose: an ethically challenged 16-year career county commission. Taxpayers know that we can’t trust a professional politician that receives big donations from those benefiting from taxpayer subsidies to negotiate on our behalf!
Remember, this is the commissioner that is going after ordinary citizens for reimbursement of attorney’s fees that were paid by the county against ethics charges. In a scandal publicized by 10 Investigates and Noah Pransky, this same professional politician was shown to be less than transparent in discussions with a “communications consultant” about county business, using his personal cellphone. Any texts and emails about public business must be safeguarded by commissioners as public records under Florida’s sunshine laws, even if received on personal cellphones. They failed to do this!
As a result of this explosive scandal, ordinary citizens asked the ethics commission to investigate these failures that apparently steered $385,000 in taxpayer money to the same “communications consultant” that influenced the selection process for the Go Hillsborough contract, which was awarded in a no-bid contract to a particular client of the consultant.
Most of us celebrate citizens that watch out for public corruption, but not professional politicians. This same professional politician went after the citizens for reimbursement of money spent by the county on the lawyer that successful defended him against the charges! In fact, his lawyer asked for more time to amend his request for fees and spent even more taxpayer money going after ordinary citizens. Since one of the citizen watchdogs filed a successful ethics complaint in the past, the ethically challenged career county commissioner now appears vindictive and churlish. The press and constitutional watchdog groups objected to the request for fees as chilling!
What the taxpayers need in their corner is not a sports guy with a burning desire to see the Rays in Tampa at any an all costs. Instead, the taxpayers need an advocate and servant leader that will look out for the best interests of the people of Hillsborough County.
According to press reports, a secret deal is being cooked up behind the scenes, including:
A private not for profit is hiding this schemes from taxpayer scrutiny.
By diverting funds from more important priorities, such as public safety, jobs and fixing traffic problems, taxpayer financing of a new stadium will close the door on other opportunities providing greater benefits.
Voters must demand that county commissioners pledge to put any public financing of a new stadium up for referendum before taxpayers.
Why is a voter referendum necessary?
Look at the “Atlanta Model” that has been touted as the model for a new stadium deal. Why did Cobb County commissioners vote for a bad deal?
Artificial urgency, unverified financial projections from unqualified consultants, and a complicated, poorly vetted deal that makes it hard to know the true costs to taxpayers results in a bad deal for taxpayers every time! The original $400 Million cost to taxpayers in the headlines ballooned to $600 Million or more. Some reports suggest that the total cost to taxpayers in Cobb County is likely to be at least $800 million.
Well, what’s being done in Hillsborough County?
Expect this artificial urgency and a complicated, poorly vetted deal that will make it impossible for taxpayers and commissioners to know the true cost to taxpayers and overly optimistic economic projections.
Let the voters decide after the deal is thoroughly vetted by independent economists under government-in-the-sunshine laws. #NoVoteNoBond
Paid By Chris Paradies, Republican, for Hillsborough County Commission District 2