Adrian Hayes-Santos

Adrian Hayes-Santos, 30, is running for the Gainesville City Commission At-Large Seat 1 in Tuesday’s elections

City Commissioner Adrian Hayes-Santos used to fix Roomba vacuum cleaners.

He did it out of his love to take things apart, put them back together and figure out how they work.

He said it’s this passion for problemsolving that led him to City Hall and drove most of what he’s done as District 4 city commissioner.

Hayes-Santos calls himself a policy nerd. He likes to look at the details of how the city works and figure out how he can help make it better.

He said one of his greatest accomplishments since he’s been in office is the move towards zero waste by 2040, which he has made progress towards by helping pass a law banning single-use plastic bags and foam containers.

If he is re-elected as commissioner, he said he will continue his work toward providing city-wide broadband internet, world-class parks and creating renters’ rights ordinances.

Before he was problem-solving for the city, he worked for some start-up companies in Gainesville. He still works as the director of finance at Trendy Entertainment, a video game development studio.

His first job at about 14 years old was far from Gainesville, picking blueberries during the summer in Canada on his mother’s farm, he said.

Protecting the environment is a priority for Hayes-Santos. He was awarded the Osprey award by the Sierra Club in 2018, which is granted to one government official in Florida for their efforts in protecting the environment.

Hayes-Santos’ campaign received $9,455 in donations since he announced his running in December, according to the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections office.

Jody Noll, 34, first met Hayes-Santos in eighth grade, and they have stayed good friends since.

He said even at a young age, Hayes-Santos had a desire to make Gainesville a better place.

“Since he was 18, has always seen the big picture,” Noll said. “He’s always recognized the importance of local politics. Our group of friends have mostly moved away, but Adrian has always wanted to stay in Gainesville. It’s the community that he loves.”

Hayes-Santos said he’s not sure what he’ll do if he doesn’t win. He said he has never been the type of person to have a set, clear path in life, but he knows he will continue to stand up for the issues he believes in.

“I’m going to go do something I’m passionate about,” Hayes-Santos said. “I’m not going to drop the issues that I’ve put forward. I will continue to advocate. I will continue to push for the issues that I think are important.”

Karina is the city commission reporter and a second-year journalism major with a passion for storytelling and graphic design.