City commission candidates face off

Chicken question posed to three city candidates

Proponents of backyard chickens have vowed to bring the measure back to the Stuart city commission for consideration, following the unexpected reversal of Commissioner Jeff Krauskopf’s vote two weeks after the city approved the measure in June – but not until after a new commissioner is elected.

Since the backyard chickens ordinance had not yet been signed into law, Krauskopf’s “redo” of his vote July 10 defeated the measure, according to City Attorney Michael Mortell.

Currents invited the three candidates vying for Krauskopf’s seat, Ron Rose, Becky Bruner, and Tyler Green-James, to give their stance on urban chickens. Green-James did not answer the question posed, however the responses of Rose and Bruner follows. At the end of the article is a statement by Green-James.

Also on the ballot is the county’s referendum to levy a one-cent rise in the sales tax.

RON ROSE ANSWERS:

“Raising backyard chickens in an urban setting may be trendy, but this trend is not without problems coming home to roost. There are many crucial issues facing city government in Stuart and backyard chickens don’t top the list. I am more concerned with water quality issues – making sure our drinking water is safe and our river water is clean. I can’t see how backyard chickens help protect and maintain Stuart’s small-town charm. I would recommend to the handful of families who want to raise chickens in their backyard, to please consider sticking to plant-based farming and leave animal raising to rural families and farmers.

“Raising chickens isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. They get diseases like fowl plague and pasty butt. Rats and raccoons suddenly appear. Hens can suddenly stop laying eggs or never produce even one egg. Unwanted chickens show up at the animal shelter or die. With that said, if the backyard chicken issue would re-emerge, as your City Commissioner, I would not support an ordinance that would allow raising poultry in the backyard of a residence located inside our municipal boundary. This decision is based on factual health and safety concerns and enforcement costs.”

BECKY BRUNER ANSWERS:

“The topic of the backyard chickens within city limits has already been addressed, considered, and inevitably voted down by our City Commission. It seems to me, it makes more sense to focus on current issues that impact the future prosperity of our downtown and surrounding areas to include, but not limited to, our contaminated waterways, downtown parking issues, ongoing community re-development, and the future location of our City Hall.”

BIOGRAPHIES

Becky Bruner Biography —

Becky Bruner has been a resident of Stuart for 48 years. In 2004, she started her own furniture business, Beck’s Used Furniture, and has been an active small businesswoman ever since, participating in organizations like the Stuart Chamber of Commerce, the Stuart Community Redevelopment Board, the Stuart Independent Review Board and the Women’s Club of Stuart. Bruner is the proud mother of Stephen and DJ, both third-generation residents of Stuart, and she now has the pleasure of watching her two grandchildren grow up in the same community.

Her father-in-law, Herb Bruner, was a Martin County Commissioner in the 1960s, and her entire family has a rich history of community involvement. Becky credits her family’s legacy and the pride she has watching her children and grandchildren grow up here with the passion she feels for the community. She shares a common goal with her fellow citizens of Stuart, to feel protected and safe in the City. The cause closest to Bruner’s heart is the health of the St. Lucie River, and she’s organized several benefits, raising an excess of $10,000 for local groups working to protect our local resources.

In 2016, she was appointed by County Commissioner Ed Fielding to serve on the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program as a citizen’s ambassador. It is her passion for our community that drives her in her race for City of Stuart Commissioner, and if elected she will work hard to represent the city’s residents with pride and integrity. – As submitted by Becky Bruner

Ron Rose Biography

Ron Rose is currently the president of the Business Development Board of Martin County. He is an alumnus of Leadership Martin County, Class 27. He has served on the Jensen Beach High School Advisory Council and volunteered as an instructor for the Junior Achievement Career Success Program. He participated as a Guardian with Southeastern Florida Honor Flight. He is a member of the Realtor Association of Martin County. Ron has 40 years of experience as a professional administrator in nonprofit management, event production and business development.

Rose became a resident of Stuart in 1985 and served as the executive director of the chamber of commerce in Jensen Beach from 1986 to 1993 and returned to that position in 2006 as President and CEO. He founded the Pineapple Festival in 1987. Ron was appointed by the Martin County Commission to serve on the Tourist Development Council for two terms. Ron was previously a candidate for public office in the City of Stuart in 2010 and Martin County in 2014.

He promoted and developed the tourism industry for the State of West Virginia from 1975-1985. Ron previously served as executive director of the Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce and executive vice president of the Sanford Chamber of Commerce. He worked for Pulitzer Prize winner and Parade Magazine celebrity photographer Eddie Adams in New York City in 1996. Ron was born in Athens, Ohio, in 1951. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism and Public Relations from West Virginia University. — As submitted by Ron Rose

TYLER GREEN-JAMES STATEMENT:

“I am candidate Tyler Green-James and the first thing I want to say is thank you for your interest in my ideas for our town. I am running this campaign with transparency, respect, and integrity; and I want to make a point to say that I am just like everyone in our Stuart community.

“The city of Stuart is home to me. We live in a city where lives are empowered, and worthwhile relationships are created daily. I am a graduate of Indian River State College with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Public Administration with the focus of policy and leadership. I see changes coming, and already happening, in our small community; I simply want to be present as an actor during these changes. No one moves forward alone, and I am stepping out to represent our city, not just for myself, but also for younger generations that seek motivation. Some of the ideals that I want to bring to the town commission are: community development, economical housing, vocational program, environmental sustainability.

“I have a fresh perspective on how our city commission will operate, and I want to assure everyone that I will bring forth solutions as Stuart City Commissioner, not just bandages. Vote for me on August 29th.”

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