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Friday, September 24, 2021
<p>Current District 4 Gainesville City Commissioner Randy Wells sits on a ledge at City Hall on Feb. 12. Wells is the current chairman of the Equal Opportunity Committee and Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization.</p>

Current District 4 Gainesville City Commissioner Randy Wells sits on a ledge at City Hall on Feb. 12. Wells is the current chairman of the Equal Opportunity Committee and Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization.

Editor’s note: This is the final part of a series that profiles candidates running in the 2013 District 4 City Commission race.

Randy Wells says he needs three more years to get the job done.

The incumbent District 4 Gainesville city commissioner is running for re-election in Tuesday’s city elections.

In his past term, Wells was challenged with balancing Gainesville’s budget in the face of the economic downturn.

He said the City Commission softened the blow of the recession by trimming positions to avoid layoffs and raising extra revenue from a fire assessment fee to avoid raising property taxes.

Wells said the key to keeping the city in good shape is to invest in basic services such as law enforcement and public parks.

He said these services make the city more attractive to businesses looking to relocate or expand.

“Hopefully, many students will have the opportunity to stay here and start businesses of their own and raise families here in Gainesville,” Wells said.

A Colorado native, Wells moved to Gainesville a decade ago so his wife could attend graduate school at UF.

Since he moved to Gainesville, the now 45-year-old property manager has jumped into community involvement.

When the U.S. Army Reserve Center closed on Northeast Eighth Street several years ago, Wells and a few neighbors petitioned to city officials to turn the property into a neighborhood park and community space.

Wells is currently the chairman of the Equal Opportunity Committee and the Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization in the City Commission.

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During his past term, Wells said he was proud of his involvement in working to restructure the former Gainesville Correctional Institution into a center for homeless services.

Wells said he wants to continue the project if re-elected. He added that he also wants to continue advancing bicycle and pedestrian connectivity and safety as well as an improved bus transit system that connects the city to the rest of the county.

Derek Helmick, Wells’ campaign manager, first met Wells during an Alachua County Young Democrats meeting in 2009.

“He styled himself as the young voice of politics in Alachua County,” the 25-year-old said.

Helmick began campaigning for Wells’ first election in 2010 and said he was moved by Wells’ passion for local issues. Helmick even put law school on pause to campaign for Wells.

“You tend to put things on hold when you see people like Commissioner Wells out there,” he said.

Contact Colleen Wright at cwright@alligator.org.

Current District 4 Gainesville City Commissioner Randy Wells sits on a ledge at City Hall on Feb. 12. Wells is the current chairman of the Equal Opportunity Committee and Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organization.

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