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Duval County Soil and Water Conservation districts

DUVAL COUNTY SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICTS (county-wide districts feature one race each for Groups 1, 3 and 5)

The winner of each seat for Group 1, Group 3 and Group 5 will be determined in the November general election.

Group 1


Stephen Doty 

Stephen Doty is a nonpartisan candidate for the Duval County Soil and Water Conservation District, group one. 

This candidate has not responded to the News4Jax survey.

Campaign website: None found


Binod Kumar

Age: N.A.

Candidate's family: N.A.

Occupation: Engineer

Education: Master's degree

Political experience: N.A.

Summarize your political platform in 10 words or less.

Preserve and protect natural resources of Duval County, FL

What do you see as the top three issues in this race?

1. Protect wildlife
2. Water resource conservation
3. Soil erosion mitigation

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?

1. Analytical approach to problems
2. Finding right solutions
3. Implementing solutions
4. Monitoring end results

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?

Improving the lives of Duval County residents a little better than before.

Website: N.A.
Social media: N.A.


Allen Moore

Age: 67

Candidate's family: Married, with two children and three grandchildren

Occupation: Retired from USDA NRCS/part time consultant

Education: BS- soil science; other certifications for completion of associated professional courses

Political experience: Past affiliate and vice chairman, of the Duval SWCD, from September 2016. Present chairman of the Duval SWCD, since January 2018

Summarize your political platform in 10 words or less.

Dedicated, experienced and highly qualified

What do you see as the top three issues in this race?

Dedication, knowledge & experience

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?

I have worked with many (over 10) of the Soil & Water Conservation District Boards (SWCD'S) around the State of Florida, in the position of District Conservationist, as an employee of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, before I retired. As a result, I am totally familiar with the roles and responsibilities of the SWCD's. I have also attended numerous associated County Board meetings, many State meetings and several National meetings, of the SWCD's before, and even since I retired.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?

I would like to be remembered for being able to position the Duval Soil & Water Conservation District Board to be recognized (County-wide) as the Official Advocate for the residents, in the conservation (Wise Use) of the Natural Resources, in Duval County, FL; for the Board to be recognized as a Planner, Promoter and Facilitator of practices, programs and projects that serve to conserve the Natural Resources, in our area; to have all High Schools as participants in the Annual Fred B. Miller, Jr. Regional Envirothon; to have all schools involved in the other educational programs (Speech Contest, Poster Contest and Land Judging), where possible; to assist the USDA NRCS increase program participation in all available & pertinent programs to all land owners and or land users, throughout the county, where appropriate.

Website: N/A
Social media: N/A


Dewitt Robinson

Age: 39

Candidate's family: Wife: Melisia. Children: Will III and Donovan

Occupation: Teacher

Education: B.S. History, M.Ed. Educational Leadership; Doctoral Candidate of Education and Innovation

Political experience: I have experience leading community projects that promote education, cleanliness, and sustainability through gardening, conservation, and fundraising.

Summarize your political platform in 10 words or less: Keep Jacksonville Clean

What do you see as the top three issues in this race?

 believe the top three issues in this race are a lack of education about challenges facing our natural resources, a lack of sustainable systems and partnerships that protect our community's natural resources, and a lack of funding to help promote responsible solutions.

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?

I will fight to help ensure that our residents and future generations are aware and empowered with resources to help keep our city clean. Impact through action will be evident. I have experience working with teams to accomplish meaningful work. I know how to use and implement systems that lead to growth and change that others do not. My goals are to help lead our community to establish 100 new gardens, expand the Duval Envirothon, and bring greater awareness to keeping Jacksonville clean.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?

After serving in this office, our community will have continued to work collaboratively to keep Jacksonville clean. This will be accomplished by utilizing proven models to conserve our natural resources, track our progress with advanced technology tools, strengthen community partnerships in our city, and boldly empower our next generation to take action.

Campaign website: www.dewittrobinson.com
Social media: Facebook and Twitter 

Group 3


Sel Buyuksarac

Age: 45

Candidate's family: Both of my parents are retired teachers. I am happily married with two kids.

Occupation: Chief of Public Affairs and Government Relations at River City Science Academy

Education: MBA in Marketing, BS in Management and Civil Engineering

Political experience: I have been very active in the political community throughout Jacksonville and the state of Florida. My experience as the Chief of Public Affairs and Government Relations at River City Science Academy has provided me with a high amount of interaction within local politics that I believe will allow me to step into this role as a qualified leader.

Summarize your political platform in 10 words or less.

I believe in fiscal responsibility, limited government, and free market capitalism.

What do you see as the top three issues in this race?

I believe that the top three issues of the race concern addressing funding challenges within the SWCD, ensuring that the SWCD is not obsolete due to other state agencies that have been created over time, and devoting resources to the education programs to ensure that the community is properly educated on how to sustain our environment.

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?

I believe that my passion and career for educating others will allow me to further develop the SWCD's mission of educating local landowners and users to promote the wise use of land and best management practices to sustain our local natural resources. The SWCD's education programs are among their most important projects. My passion and experience for education will allow me to bring a unique perspective to these programs to further increase their success. 

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?

I hope to be remembered for being a servant leader and leaving a positive impact on my community.

Website: None found
Social media: Facebook


Jennifer Casey

Age: 39

Candidate's family: I've been married for 19 years to David Casey and we have three children. I'm a third generation Jacksonville resident who grew up on the Westside and now lives in North Jacksonville.

Occupation: Teacher

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Master of Arts in Instructional Design & Technology from University of Central Florida

Political experience: I am a first-time candidate. I am also a current volunteer for the Soil & Water Conservation District and I have volunteered for numerous community groups and faith-based organizations over the past two decades.

Summarize your political platform in 10 words or less.

Improving our quality of life with smart conservation and education

What do you see as the top three issues in this race?

1. Smart Conservation. There are very practical conservation needs within our community that can continue to be met without taxpayer money. This is possible with the cooperation of affiliate agencies who provide conservation funding and technical support, local volunteer groups who create awareness about conservation issues, and program sponsors. 

2. Education & Awareness. I believe it is important that we introduce conservation education for young children to ensure that they will be wise stewards of our natural resources. I support the continuation of the District's existing educational programs, the Start Farming Panel and Farmers Market, and the local working groups which bring together agricultural and natural resources interests in Duval County. 

3. Quality of Life. In efforts to improve our quality of life in Duval County, I will work with elected officials and other civic leaders to help our community focus on soil and water stewardship. Preserving our natural resources not only improves our quality of life, it also increases property values and provides opportunities for recreation, tourism, and business.

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?

Serving as Supervisor on the board is a volunteer position. I have the time, energy and expertise to improve the educational programs offered by our conservation district. In addition to being passionate about serving the community I love, I care about our environment and will work hard to ensure that future generations may enjoy Duval County's beautiful natural resources. 

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?

I would want to be remembered for dedicating myself to the responsibility of elected office and introducing conservation education programs for our children.

Website: votejennifercasey.com
Social media: Facebook / Twitter


Russell Pelle

Russell Pelle is a nonpartisan candidate for the Duval County Soil and Water Conservation District, group three.

This candidate has not responded to the News4Jax survey.

Campaign website: None found 

 

Group 5


Robert Abene 

Age: 

Family: Patricia (wife); Andrew (son)

Occupation: Higher Education Consultant

Education: Ed.D Counseling & Higher Education Administration; MA Communication Disorders; MS,BS Psychology, Natural Sciences

Political experience: College President & Administrator; Organized the cleaning of wetlands and forested area and obtained major funding to develop a nature educational center for all to enjoy.

Summarize your political platform in 10 words or less.

Water and land conservation/education is an urgent need!

What do you see as the top three issues in this race?

....Continue to support water and conservation needs for Duval County.
....Support a strong water and soil conservation education program.
....Be strongly involved in protecting Duval County's water and land and all of us humans, animals, and nature that depend upon us for this protection.

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?

I am a strongly committed person with much involvement and administration experience.
When there is a need regarding conservation, I would utilize all my energy, experience, and community organizer involvement to make sure we positively and productively meet this need for the good of all concerned.

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?

That my care for our soil and water needs were materialized in my work with my Soil and Water Colleagues, and what we as a group accomplished for all of our Duval County community.

Website: bobabene@aol.com

Social media: LinkedIn


James Cook

Age: 31

Candidate's family: Single- no family

Occupation: Security Officer

Education: Masters Degree- Criminal Justice

Political experience: N/A

Summarize your political platform in 10 words or less.

Bringing awareness to preserve the natural resources to Jacksonville, Florida.

What do you see as the top three issues in this race?

1. Soil and Water management
The health of our natural resources, right now, will be helped by what we do to prevent it from being harmed in the future. It is important for us, as a community, to use different options to conserve what we have, that will further the healthy life of our environment for years to come. 

2. Interactions with the communities.
Talking with individuals, engagement through social media interactions, community events, projects in schools, are different ways that Jacksonville, Florida can interact with each other and learn about how we can make Jacksonville, a better place to live in year after year. 

3. Increase the seriousness of the matter through education materials. 
Flyers, newsletters, programs are some of the ways that the community can increase what they know and learn what they can do to better them selves in the city and learn what they can do to protect the natural resources here in Jacksonville, Florida. 

How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?

Sit down conversations 
interactions with the community

What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?

I hope that the citizens of Jacksonville, Florida want to learn more about their environment. Learning about what makes our environment better and the action that will create a better push for action will one day push anyone. All it takes is one person to make that leap. I hope that someone takes the leap and run it. We can do it here. We have all of the resources and the energy. We can make it happen. I believe in Jacksonville, Florida. I hope I am remembered by that!

Website: cookforsoilandwater.com
Social media:Facebook