Robert Mounts

Robert Mounts, 77, of Gainesville, filed to run for the District 4 Gainesville City Commissioner position Friday morning, the last day to qualify to run for commission.

The inside of Robert Mounts’ historic log cabin looks like a museum.

There’s a dining room table from Hong Kong and a wall piece from Morocco along with other decor from places around the world like Thailand and Germany.

“We’ve got all kinds of stuff from around the world, and it fit in here just nicely,” Mounts said. “So that’s kind of a neat, eclectic combination here that reflects our lives.”

Five years ago, he moved into his current house back in his hometown, Gainesville, and is now running for District 4 city commission.

Not far from Midtown, his 1937 Lincoln Log-esque house sits on the 2 ½-acre lot he owns.

Mounts said his home is a reflection of his life traveling in the military.

Mounts, 77, spent 25 years as a Judge Advocate General lawyer in the U.S. Air Force, and 18 years in South Korea as a special assistant to the deputy commander of U.S. Forces Korea for international relations.

Since moving back, Mounts immersed himself in the community.

He was the president of the University Heights Neighborhood Association, where his goal was to make sure that college students were good neighbors and led the neighborhood opposition to the gnvRise affordable housing initiative.

He said as commissioner, he believes the city needs to find other ways to provide affordable housing while maintaining the culture of neighborhoods.

One way he said he thinks the city should do that is by introducing community land trusts.

Mounts received $7,735 in monetary contributions since he announced his running in February, according to the Alachua County Supervisor of Elections office.

David Colburn, director of the Bob Graham Center, has gone to Holy Trinity Episcopal Church with Mounts since Mounts moved back to Gainesville.

He said Mounts is incredibly qualified to be on the Gainesville commission because of his many years of experience as a lawyer and working in politics.

“We’re fortunate in Gainesville that we have a lot of talented people that seek political office and seek the betterment of the city and its citizens,” Colburn said. “And Robert is certainly one them.”

Mounts said he wishes he could do more to help on a national level but, said the first step is making a difference on the local level.

“What I can do is try to shape policy on the local level. Try to be an opinion leader, and try to be an example,” Mounts said.

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