If there is money going into or coming from the City Commission, Donald Shepherd Sr. wants to understand how and why each cent is allocated.
One of five candidates running for the At-Large Seat 2 chair, 60-year-old Shepherd said he wants to restructure the commission’s budget.
“I first would look through the financial budget and then address how it is handed out to each department so more housing and jobs can come to Gainesville,” he said.
Shepherd, who’s looking to take over incumbent Thomas Hawkins’ seat, is running on a platform of balancing the commission’s budget, increasing workers’ wages and fixing Gainesville’s damaged roads such as 61st Street, Tower Road and Eighth Street.
A Gainesville resident since 1997, Shepherd worked at UF’s Physical Plant Division until 2011, contributing to design plans for the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center Gainesville on Southwest 34th Street, according to Alligator archives.
If elected, he said he wants to help students by changing operating standards for landlords. He also said he wants to see tuition lowered for students.
Additionally, Shepherd said he wants to put meters on Gainesville’s water towers to measure organizations’ use so the city doesn’t exhaust its aquifer.
His campaign manager and wife, Nancy Shepherd, 60, said her husband is a step ahead of the other candidates because he’s attended nearly every board, commission and committee meeting since 2012.
“He is the best candidate because he’s been learning this for the past three years,” she said.
[A version of this story ran on page 4 on 3/10/2014]