Satcher, Brown Offer Distinct Approaches to Planning

Todays News

BY JACOB OGLES SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING THURSDAY OCT 29, 2020

A Manatee County district race will produce a new County Commissioner Tuesday regardless who wins. James Satcher already defeated Commissioner Priscilla Trace in an August Republican primary, but faces Democrat Dominque Shauntel Brown on Nov.3.

Satcher believes the race should be focused on police protection. He promised to fully fund the budget request from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office that comes to the board. “We are going to fund the sheriff and his priorities to keep everyone safe,” he said, ”and then we are going to bring a conservative voice to the commission and to the people.”

Brown, who served in the Air Force before establishing The Dream Law Firm in Manatee, said she’d like to see change in the overall direction of county decisions. “Manatee County needs leaders who care more about uniting our communities and not tearing us down or pitting us against each other,” she said. “When elected to the District 1 seat, I will zealously advocate for everyone, not just the few, and I will be a voice for the overlooked and voiceless.

“Representation Matters - my platform is all inclusive - for all residents of District 1,” she added. “I would also offer more balance to the 6-1 Republican to Democrat ratio that currently exists and be one of a small minority of commissioners who did not get on the board after taking money from developers who’ve enjoyed a rubber stamp from it for more than a decade."

Satcher will bring his own type of change. He said he ran against Trace in the primary not because he disliked her personally but because he felt there needed to be a philosophical shift on the commission. His primary win shows many agree. “It was a vote of confidence in me and in our message,” he said. ”It was also a reaction and a frustration from the voices who are not being heard, and that’s what we are endeavoring to do, to hear from voters and take their concerns to the commission.”

On issues of development, Satcher said the county needs to be mindful of property rights. “We have to recognize people own land, and if they want to sell or develop that land, we can’t stop them,” he said. “What we can do is work to do that as responsible as possible and also to keep the area safe. I think a big part of that is safe roads to access where the growth is occurring. A lot of changes are authorized already. If I were to be elected, these homes that have already been approved, we would work hard to make sure we do the best with what we have.”

Brown called proper growth management the most important challenge facing Manatee County, and said development must meet the needs of the community and solve its lack of infrastructure. “Our roadways need the most attention, but we also need to consider employment opportunities and commercial developments,” she said. “We have many houses being built, but where will the people work? If they can’t work within the District, they’ll be utilizing the roadways. I plan to continue listening to the voices of the people in order to figure out what they want and need in their community. I also plan to work with the developers to ensure that they know what it is that they people want and need. Finally, I’ll work with the elected members of the BOCC to ensure that we address these concerns.”

Photo: James Satcher, Dominique Shauntel Brown.

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