Leah Harding contributed audio reporting.
As one of the six candidates for Gainesville mayor, Ed Braddy said he is running “a pocketbook campaign” focused on bringing fiscal discipline to the city’s budget.
“I think the overriding issue is affordability and just being able to make ends meet,” he said.
Braddy, 40, served two terms as District 2 City Commissioner from 2002 to 2008. As a commissioner, he supported private property rights and private enterprise and promoted limited government and free market alternatives.
As city commissioner, he said one of his greatest accomplishments was focusing on the affordability issue, and keeping rates low, such as the property tax.
One thing he intends to improve on, if elected mayor, is to listen even more to the Gainesville population.
If elected mayor, Braddy’s budget priorities would be public safety and infrastructure. He wants to focus on repairing roads and does not support implementing the bus rapid transit program.
“It’s a touch economy still for people,” he said.
Braddy said he wants to maintain the infrastructure that has already been paid for and to start paving roads.
He does not support implementing the bus rapid transit program, he said, because it does not add much to ridership and it “almost neglects East Gainesville all together.”
The city should try to cancel its contract for the biomass plant or at least renegotiate the rates, he said, and he wants to rebate the current charges GRU customers are paying for the plant.
Since his time as a city commissioner, Brady has been the executive director of American Dream Coalition, a non-profit organization that promotes freedom, mobility and affordable home-ownership. He has worked with the American Dream Coalition since 2008.
He also has co-hosted a local conservative political talk radio show called Talk of the Town on Star 99.5 FM. He ended his work as host when he began running for office.
He currently works at The Testing Center at Santa Fe College. He was born in Fort Lauderdale but grew up in Dixie County.