Scherwin Henry is a family man.
A lifelong resident of Gainesville, Henry grew up in a tight-knit family in East Gainesville.
“My life was very happy,” the District 1 city commissioner candidate said. “We enjoyed the simple things. My folks worked hard. They taught us to believe in who we are as a person.”
The UF alumnus, who graduated in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in food science, believes in fostering stronger families through economic development.
“We need to bring forth the different components economically that will allow families the opportunity to have better jobs to earn better pay,” the 62-year-old said.
He listed the Alachua County Fairgrounds, the Gainesville Regional Airport and the Gainesville Technology Enterprise Center as assets to better the economy in East Gainesville.
Part of the economic issues facing Gainesville, Henry said, come from the city using UF as an “economic crutch.”
He said the city has always relied on the university and “got lazy and not creative” when it came to diversifying the economy without being reliant on government service jobs.
Part of Henry’s platform is bringing job diversity to Gainesville by making it more attractive to technical skilled workers, such as plumbers and electricians, and not just an information and biotechnology economy.
“We need to give our citizens choices,” he said.
Henry also believes in government transparency and being more involved in the community. The best way to be held accountable and accessible, Henry said, is by talking to the people.
Henry served as City Commissioner twice before, first in 2006 and again in 2009. He also ran for mayor in 2013, but lost to Ed Braddy.
Armando Grundy, who has known Henry for eight years, said he first met Henry when he was a commissioner. Grundy approached him about issues he had with public transit.
Henry expanded the bus hours in East Gainesville until 11 p.m., which Grundy said was a huge blessing to him and others.
“He was accessible,” Grundy said. “That meant a lot to me.”
Henry’s platform this time, he said, is different in some ways but also a continuation of things he started during his previous terms as commissioner.
“For change to come about, it doesn’t always have to be different,” he said. “What you do is build upon the foundation that is there.”
[A version of this story ran on page 3 on 3/12/2015]
J. Wayne Reitz Union
655 Reitz Union Drive, UF Campus, Gainesville, FL 32611
Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
315 Hull Road, UF Campus, Gainesville, FL 32611
Florida Museum of Natural History
3215 Hull Road, UF Campus, Gainesville, FL 32611
SFC Center for Innovation & Economic Development
530 W. University Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601
Thelma Boltin Activity Center
516 NE Second Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601
Doyle Conner Building
1911 SW 34th St., Gainesville, FL 32614
Paramount Plaza Hotel
2900 SW 13th St., Gainesville, FL 32608
Early voting is through Saturday at:
Cone Park Library
Millhopper Branch Library
Supervisor of Elections Office
Scherwin Henry is a District 1 city commissioner candidate.