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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

To Armando Grundy, taking care of his southwest Gainesville voting district means not spending public funds on downtown development projects.

"It's important to be concerned about all of the community, but never allow your homefront to fall to the wayside," Grundy said.

Grundy is running for the Gainesville City Commission District 3 seat.

He's particularly against the $802,000 the city voted to give to the Hampton Inn project downtown.

"That's more money we could put toward public safety and fighting violent crime," he said. "That's more money we could put toward making sure our firefighters have every tool available."

Tax cuts could have been acceptable, he said, but not spending public dollars that could have gone toward improving public safety.

Grundy, in hopes to reduce violent crime, said he plans to ensure that police and fire rescue forces have the resources they need.

In order to make sure public safety departments have those funds, Grundy said he wants to eliminate unnecessary projects such as building brick sidewalks and roundabouts in roads.

Grundy would also like elected officials to be more accountable for their actions. Voters should not accept commission decisions to spend public funds on development projects, he said.

"We cannot afford another three years of Jack Donovan," Grundy said, referring to the current District 3 commissioner.

To improve the economy, Grundy would like to relax government regulations and decrease tax burdens for small businesses. He said he hopes this will also increase the number of jobs.

"In order to have a better Gainesville, you have to have better access and opportunity for everybody," he said.

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Though Grundy has lived in Gainesville for just under a year, he said he feels connected to District 3.

Like many of the people in District 3, Grundy said he, too, has struggles.

"I've always been told that the odds have been stacked against me," he said.

He came to town after spending eight years in the army to finish his education at SFCC.

"I wanted to be part of The Gator Nation," he said. "It has, so far, surpassed any expectations I have had."

He decided to run for the commission after noticing a lack of accountability by the commissioners, he said.

"Before you can lead, you have to be a servant first," he said.

"I have learned how to serve and be a selfless leader."

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