John A. Crawford
Candidate's family: Becky – Spouse, Noah – Father
Occupation: Nassau County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller
Education: Paxon Senior High, Attended Florida Community College at Jacksonville
Political experience: Nassau County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller 2005-Present;Nassau County Board of County Commissioner 1990-1998;Congressional aide to U.S. Representative Ander Crenshaw 2001;State Commission on Local Government 19971998;Northeast Florida Regional Planning Council 1993-1997;President of the Florida Court Clerks and Comptrollers – 2016;Clerks of Court Operations Corporation Executive Council
What do you see as the top three issues in this race? 1. I will stand with taxpayers, not sit with the commissioners, risking the loss of my fiscal objectivity. As the Constitutional auditor, recorder and custodian of all county funds, the Clerk is the steward of financial responsibility and integrity, duty-bound to assure compliance with Florida's laws governing public expenditures.
2. To protect taxpayers against unreasonable future tax increases, hyper-accelerated development growth must be balanced with strong fiscal policies, designed to ensure fiscal sustainability. Provision of services associated with this growth should be paid for by developers, and not loaded upon the backs of existing taxpayers.
3. Improve access to the courts through our Pro Se services (self-representation) and improve cost efficiencies, through implementation of paperless court files, judicial bench viewers and additional online access/services for citizens.
How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot? When I took office in 2005, I discovered a county that was fiscally adrift, swimming in debt, had a credit rating of "Credit Watch Negative," depleted reserves, and no capital plan, all while uncovering a theft in excess of one million dollars. Today, with the adoption of better financial practices and policies by the county commission, the county has a funded capital plan, saved millions and millions of dollars by closing the deficit-ridden landfill, my recommendations for acceleration of debt reduction has resulted in millions of dollars saved and brings the current county debt to nearly half of where it was a decade ago. In fact, if debt continues to be used sparingly or not at all, the county can be totally debt-free in just 15 years. The county's credit rating today stands at "A+."
I operate on an office budget today which is lower than when I took office almost twelve years ago. I operate with a staff reduced from 86 personnel twelve years ago to 66 staff today. I have right-sized benefits, restructuring sick leave and excessive employee termination payouts. I am humbled and honored every single day by the privilege of serving the citizens of Nassau County. My original campaign literature 12 years ago pledged transparency and accountability. I have followed through with that in every respect, with my office garnering numerous awards of recognition for excellence in accounting.
What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office? I would hope to be remembered as the "watchdog" for the taxpayers, preserving and protecting the public trust.
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