Aaron Fiehn is running against incumbent councilman Jay Musleh for a seat on the city council for District 3 in Oct. 15th’s election.
As an auto repairman and member of the middle class, Fiehn said he has more appeal because he relates to the people of Ocala.
“The middle class makes up a majority of Ocala, and they haven’t had anybody looking out for them,” Fiehn said, “and I think they need one of their own to look out for them.”
Fiehn said he thinks the people of Ocala are unhappy, and he feels it’s his duty to make a change.
His platform focuses on unemployment and spending within the city. He said the jobs the city has been bringing in are generally high-end jobs that are not helping the unemployed middle class. He also believes Ocala is bringing in business for the wrong reasons.
“I still have no problem bringing new business in, but we’re spending too much time trying to bring in new business that looks good on a resume or in a newspaper article,” Fiehn said. “We’re not focusing on what’s here, what’s already in our city.”
Fiehn also said he believes Ocala is not being fiscally responsible. He thinks money is being spent on things that aren’t important, like the renovation of the downtown square, while other needs are being neglected; he attended a city council meeting where firefighters were denied their request for a budget increase of $140,000 per year.
“Lots of things that don’t affect our day-to-day quality of life, we can put large amounts of money into that, but we can’t do anything for our firefighters,” Fiehn said. “The spending is not the issue, it’s the lack of spending that has become the issue.”
Fiehn was found guilty of littering in 2005. He also has traffic offenses, including speeding tickets and driving with a suspended license. Fiehn said voters should realize that he is not perfect, but he has learned from his mistakes.
“I’m not proud of it, but you know it was a life experience,” Fiehn said. “I think that if people are open with themselves they’ll realize that we all make mistakes and the best thing we can do is learn from them.”