District 3 incumbent, Jay Musleh, is hoping to serve his first full term as an Ocala City Council member.
Musleh was elected to the position in a special runoff election in 2012 and served a one-and-a-half-year term. Musleh is campaigning to win a full two-year term in Oct. 15′s general election.
A lifelong Ocala resident, Musleh is the senior vice president and senior credit officer of Gateway Bank of Central Florida.
Musleh said his job isn’t done yet.
“I found out that there’s a lot to learn in studying a city’s finances, and studying a city’s operations and the little nuances of how things work,” Musleh said.
Musleh said he learned a lot from his time as a council member and feels it has prepared him for this election.
According to Musleh, Ocala’s biggest issues are finances and economic development. During his time in office, the city made pension reforms to cope with rising pension costs that were becoming more difficult to fund. Musleh said he wants to continue in that direction.
“Our pension costs were escalating beyond our ability continued to fund it,” Mulseh said. “During this last year we did have pension reform for the general employees and I would like to see that moved on to our fire and police collective bargain units with the different pension funds.”
Musleh is also pushing the issue of economic development. The FedEx plant was approved during Musleh’s time in office and he believes the plant will help solve some economic issues and provide more jobs for Ocala residents.
“Our economic development continues to do good,” Musleh said.
A long time volunteer for the Ocala Code Enforcement Board and University of Florida graduate, Musleh said his experience and roots in the community give him the upper hand in the election.