Local Realtor and County Commission Candidate William “Bill” Clark Talks Taxes, Development and Conservation

clark

Flagler County resident and local broker and realtor William Clark is one of the three candidates running for County Commissioner District 3.  Clark’s platform, according to him, consists of preserving old Florida, no tax increases, keeping Flagler safe, supporting small business, listening to the people and more. Clark sat down with us to talk about his campaign, the issues in Flagler County, and what his plans would be if elected.

Clark explained his decision to run for County Commission, “I’m really concerned about our ecosystem here, and our ecosystem in Florida as a whole. I get a lot of stuff, I give to a lot of different charities on the environmental standpoint, between animals and charities. So as a County Commissioner, that will give me a voice at a grassroots level, but also at a state level, because you’re going to have events with those people too. So it puts me in a position where hopefully I can share what I’m hearing with other people that probably have more legislative power than I would ever have on a local level.”

County Commissioners are the ones who approve budgets, projects and tax increases or decreases. We asked Clark what he felt his qualifications were for the job; “Well, I am a real estate guy by trade. I’ve been in real estate business my entire life, so I understand real estate and financials. My Master’s degree is in accountancy, because I sold both residential and commercial real estate. I also owned an appraisal office. When you look at infrastructure, I understand how real estate affects overall infrastructure. I’m not an expert, but I know where to go to find expert people that are probably smarter than I am on what is going to be affected. Traffic patterns, schools, grocery stores, all of this kind of stuff is all affected by these developments, and I just feel we need to do our due diligence, take a step back before we approve all this.”

Clark continued on explaining how he moved from Winter Park years ago, where he had lived in the 80’s. He explained that he left due to the fact that the area became so developed and the land was not preserved at all. “I’m a real estate guy, which for some people I know, that’s a red flag, but I put the environment before the dollar. I just think capitalism will always balance itself out, but once we destroy the environment, it’s very difficult to bring it back.” Clark told us.

We asked Clark what he planned to do if elected to help the tax burden on Flagler County residents; “My Master’s is in accountancy, so I do understand numbers. I understand budgets and I understand financials, and to be totally honest I really can’t answer that question until I really do a deep dive into the financials and see what’s going where. I don’t believe in waste. We just have to be responsible with what we do with our money.”

Currently being debated in the community is the question by the County Government as to whether they will continue to help fund the SRD (Student Resource Deputy) program with Flagler Schools. Clarks response to this question was, “We need schools to be safe, period. I will say I don’t know how many officers are there, I don’t know what kind of hours; I think we need some type of presence. I am a C.O.P. (Citizen on Patrol) volunteer, so I know a lot of these guys personally and they’re great, great people and they appreciate what we do because we are volunteering. But we do need some type of presence in our schools right now, it’s the world we live in right now.”

The growth rate of Flagler County is a big topic of discussion in many areas, by many residents. Clark spoke about his stance on the rate of development in Flagler County, “We need to slow things down, we need to take a step back here and do our due diligence; find out how it’s going to affect the infrastructure. Do we need to require larger lots? Open space areas? There’s a number of ways where we can still make it a win win for the developer if they want to develop here. I’m not against development, but we just have to be responsible, and do our due diligence. Like I mentioned earlier, open space areas, larger lots, I know some of the developers probably are not going to like that however, they can demand higher prices for homes. The overall development is going to look nicer over the years because it’s going to be larger, you’re going to have trees, you’re going to have nature in there vs zero lot lines where it’s all concrete.”

Lastly we wanted to find out where Clark stood on the issue of transparency, “Listening to the people. I have been on the other end, and it would always frustrate me when I would go to the meetings and voice my concerns and they kind of just look at me with cow eyes. So just really listening to the residents.”

By Krys DeWind

Krys DeWind has been a Flagler County resident since 2016. She is active in her community and is always looking for ways to better it. She has a community first attitude which is one of the central founding ideals of the Flagler County Buzz.

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