BOCC Chairman Endorses Veteran Commissioner, Touts Long List of Accomplishments
HERNANDO – The longest serving member of the Board of County Commissioners has earned the endorsement of the Board’s Chairman for the upcoming 2018 mid-term election.
BOCC Chairman Steve Champion says Commissioner Wayne Dukes has what it takes to remain the District 2 Commissioner – and there is plenty of reason why. “We don’t agree all the time,” says Champion, adding, “What I respect about him is that he’s not controlled by anyone.” Champion praises Dukes’ lifelong service to the Country and says, “My son is a Marine and I have respect for anyone who serves in our great Military.” Dukes served 4-years in the Army and as Civilian with the Air Force, which included working as a Fire Chief for over three decades. Dukes was elected in 2010 as a County Commissioner and has held onto his seat ever since.
Dukes has earned the respect of Hernando County residents by keeping his promise of never voting to raise property taxes; instead, Dukes voted for a millage rate reduction in 2017.
Dukes has racked up a laundry list of accomplishments during his time as Commissioner; from being a member of the Tampa Bay Regional Transportation Authority, serving as Chairman of the Metropolitan Planning Organization when Hernando and Citrus merged, to being chosen as Chairman of the BOCC three times. But it’s Dukes’ environmental achievements that has earned the most respect from Adventure Coast residents.
After the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill of 2010, as a member of the Gulf Consortium, Dukes ensured that Hernando County would receive $5 million every four years to restore the county’s coastline. Other achievements include restoring Hunter’s Lake, adding three artificial reefs, 135 reef balls, expanding Bendickson Reef, among several other accomplishments.
Dukes says tourism dollars have increased from $93.7 Million in 2013 to $188 million in 2016. Employment has also seen a spike under Dukes’ watch, especially in the labor and service industry. Labor jobs increased by 2,090 since 2013 and the service industry saw a gain of 2,902 since 2016.
Retired Attorney Charles Greenwell and School Board Member Beth Narverud are set to challenge Dukes during the Primary Election this August.
Residents will have an opportunity to watch Dukes and Greenwell go head-to-head during RNRF’s first biennial Great Debate on August 2nd. Narverud has declined to participate. We will provide more details on the debate in the coming week.