By: Sharon Aron Baron
The race for Seat 5 on the commission has a new candidate that qualified in June.
Andy Holz, will be on the ballot along with Joy Carter and Laurette Homan. Holz, a mathematics teacher at Coral Springs Christian Academy, said that his platform will be local reform and fiscal responsibility.
Holz has lived in Coral Springs for 17 years both as a student, and now as a married father of two children. Besides being a teacher, he also has a law degree from Nova University and is currently a member of the Florida Bar.
He held his kickoff armed with 24 volunteers on Saturday morning in the Country Club of Coral Springs. Instead of having a party in a restaurant, Holz’s supporters got to work hitting the pavement. Despite the rain and heat, they managed to reach 580 homes, collect one contribution, and had 26 new people wanting Andy Holz signs in their front lawn.
CST spoke with Holz about his platform and what he wanted to contribute to the city.
What do you like most about Coral Springs?
Even though we aren’t the little town in the country, we still have a community feel. Everywhere you go, you run into people you know. I can’t go anywhere across Coral Springs without running into someone that knows me or my family.
Why did you decide to run for office?
I’ve lived here for 17 years, and in the last year alone we’ve have four fatal [traffic] accidents where we were living at the time. So public safety as well as the new city hall being built….I thought it was a good time to reach out to the residents.
You mention public safety and concern for traffic accidents on your website. What would you do to decrease traffic accidents?
It starts with education. We need to do a better job reaching out to young teenagers that are learning to drive, and do a better job working with the police department. Two of those accidents were from people living in Coral Springs under the age of 25. Also, more traffic lights and signs are needed around Lake View Drive.
What do you dislike about the way things are being done in the city?
I think there are two major things that the city needs to address better. One, we’re over-taxing businesses and individuals. I want to cut the business tax in half immediately.
Two, there is a big issue with consistency. We build a five story city hall, but at the same time we give businesses issues with signs and what they’re allowed to put up. We don’t want businesses to attract too much attention from the road, yet they’re building a city hall for the purpose of attracting attention in the area.
What do you believe you can change by being a city commissioner?
I think I can be an impactful person within the city commission and refocus where we are prioritizing our decisions. I think we should ask the city residents if they think this is needed. I’m putting more responsibility on the residents to make those decisions.
Do you think the cost of a new city hall should be voted on by referendum by the people?
I believe it should be.
You say you don’t want to vote to increase taxes, but when property values increase, that’s an increase right there. Will you vote to reduce the millage rate?
I would like to see the millage rate decreased. If we’re able to able to find the funds for the $28 million [city hall] complex and have surplus after surplus, we’re able to find that. We need to reward the residents that are paying their taxes, by reducing the taxes.
You mention on your website that you would not support a pay increase for the mayor and city commissioners. Can residents trust you not to vote to increase the salaries by the proposed 60%?
I absolutely think they can trust me. As a teacher, one thing I see is the correlation of the two jobs …there is that act of service. When I say I’m going to vote no for the raise, that’s what I’m going to do.
You said that you plan to add new police officers and give the police department more funding?
I believe there is ample opportunity to fund and give them more than what they need.
Margate recently passed an ordinance allowing insurance coverage for employees in domestic partnerships. Do you think Coral Springs should cover domestic partners in their insurance?
I think I would need to do more research.
Who did you vote for president in 2012?
[laughing] I’m not going to answer this. Who I voted for has no bearing on Coral Springs.
Who did you vote for governor in 2010?
[laughing] No answer. What the governor and the state senators deal with are separate issues. Coral Springs has its own policy and ordinances.