Republican Will Lahnen won the District 3 city council seat in the March election, as the top vote-getter of the two candidates in the race.
News4Jax sent a questionnaire to each candidate asking about their background and their views on several issues. Scroll down to read the responses of those seeking your vote -- in their own words.
Note: Responses are sorted alphabetically and are presented exactly as submitted, with no editing by News4Jax staff.
Party affiliation: Republican
Occupation: Non-Profit Finance and Procurement Director
Your family: Wife, Megan; Two daughters, Ellie (10), Ivy (7)
Education: Stanton College Prep High School; B.S., Engineering, U.S. Naval Academy; Masters of Engineering, Old Dominion University; Masters of Business Administration, University of Florida; Naval Nuclear Engineer.
Political experience: None
Over the last few months, we surveyed News4JAX Insiders to find out what they saw as the top issues facing our city, ahead of the city elections. These issues below are the top three – how would you address each one if elected?
Voters’ No. 1 issue: Crime
Ensuring our streets and neighborhoods are safe must remain the highest priority. I am honored to have received the endorsements of the Fraternal Order of Police, as well as the Jacksonville Firefighters Association. I want to ensure that we are providing the necessary personnel and tools our first responders need and do what we can to help bolster the recruiting efforts so we can fill all of our open positions.
Voters’ No. 2 issue: Affordable Housing
Jacksonville has seen tremendous growth the past few years, and for good reason. Jacksonville is a great place to live, work and raise a family. Unfortunately, as demand has outpaced supply, we have seen rents and home prices rise significantly. There are many housing construction projects going on right now across all price points in the city, and ultimately, we will need to balance this need for increased housing while ensuring we have all the other infrastructure in place as well.
Voters’ No. 3 issue: Infrastructure
Much of my professional career has been spent managing large capital-intensive projects, and I look forward to using that experience to ensure we are making wise infrastructure decisions. I want to make sure we are prioritizing replacing aging infrastructure in the right way, and that appropriate due diligence is done on expansion projects.
Beyond those three issues, what do you see as the top issue you’ll likely face while holding this office?
Every year, roughly 3,000 military members in Northeast Florida end their service to our country, either through retirements or not re-enlisting. They are well-trained, educated, and already established in our neighborhoods. I want to see what we as a city can do to convince even more of these service members to stay in Jacksonville, and help integrate them into a local, post-military job.
How can you help voters in a way that others running for this office cannot?
My daughters are the 5th generation of our family to live in Jacksonville, and I care deeply about the future of our city. That passion is coupled with key skill sets that are needed for the work that the City Council does, such as planning large budgets, objectively analyzing business cases, and engineering and infrastructure experience. As with any new job, I know there will be challenges and a steep learning curve, but I have the experience and knowledge to hit the ground running for the people of District 3.
What would you hope to be remembered for accomplishing after serving in this office?
I would hope that the residents of District 3 remember me as a Councilman who was always responsive to their needs and tried hard to remedy any issue, no matter how small. And for all of Jacksonville, that the next decade will someday be looked back on as a time of pivotal decisions that were made correctly that will have made Jacksonville an even better place for future generations.
Campaign website: www.WillLahnen.com
Social media: Facebook