Anna Brosche is one of the brighter lights of this election cycle, and the fact that she is running against one of the more reactionary (and at times incomprehensible) Kimberly Daniels has made this Republican candidate for City Council a sensible choice. Join us after the jump as Stephen Dare explains reasons why you should vote for this at large candidate.
In the race to see who will be elected to represent the city At Large for Group 1, Anna Brosche emerges as the best choice.
With her experience in accounting she will bring a much needed set of tools to a council. The City is trying to grapple with decades of sloppy bookkeeping on projects whose ending took longer than the term limits of the Councils who commenced them (a hot issue that has been excellently brought to the public's radar by the extremely capable Lori Boyer). While not exactly chaos, a longstanding lack of providing final reckoning to publicly financed programs has all the fertile ground for abuse and waste.
It is what has allowed for long term bureaucrats to claim on one hand that the city budget cannot afford essential services, and on the other hand to magically find 30 million dollars to fund an electronic billboard from which the city will derive no advertising revenues.
The long termers who know that a specific project finished up with lots of unspent money in an account have a decided advantage over the rest of the newer council people who are only privy to what monies are being disbursed in a current budgetary year. They've literally had no viewpoint on the unspent monies of already completed project, and the financial accounting method that the city has used for the past 30 years seems almost perfectly designed to hide the latent amounts of public wealth.
The important work commenced by Lori Boyer effectively begins the end of that murky relationship of the government to its own coffers, and will make the City's funds and accounts transparent to all, instead of forgotten by all but a few and utilized to favor special projects which could not be financed by Council if put up for a vote.
This of course will be a pain in the ass of future Mayoral Administrations. Sometimes having a hidden stash of money comes in handy for a Mayor who cannot simply raise revenues with a magic Mayor wand. Of late, these funds have not been deployed for important initiatives which improve the lives of regular citizens. In the aftermath of the term limit craze they have mostly lain dormant. No policies were put in place to correct that basic disconnect between mandating a process which produces limited institutional memory and the longevity of infrastructure financing projects.
Anna Brosche is sensible, well ordered, thoughtful and thorough. She is committed to crossing the t's and dotting the i's. Cool and rational, she worked a long time trying to understand the issues confronting the city before she decided to make a run for it.
I know this because Anna asked several of the public policy groups what she needed to be aware of before she ran. We were one of them. After that, Anna started attending almost every function and committee meeting that she had time to be present for. She sat attentively, took notes, introduced herself with modesty, and asked the kinds of questions that made it apparent that she wanted to learn before she made decisions. It is exactly the kind of thoughtfulness and rational approach that the city has been crying out for.
On her own merits, Anna is an extraordinary candidate, and the ideal kind of person for public leadership. Too much talent to exclude from a city perishing under the weight of a terrible constellation of Council leadership.
In sitting and speaking with Anna, the one thing that really comes across is her dedication to doing things right the first time. She asked more questions than I did, she thought more and answered more succinctly than any of the other many candidates who came to discuss the races. Brosche is the exact person that you would trust with your money, and the person who would call you and tell you when there was a problem long term that you should be aware of. An admirable and intelligent candidate.
In contrast, her opponent is the controversial and often emotionally turbulent Kimberly Daniels.
Daniels was elected in one of those weird happenstances that often occur here in Duval County. In an election race that few people were paying attention to, the republican candidate who emerged, Attorney David Taylor was the target of a disciplinary commission action which temporarily suspended his liscence (see the times union coverage here: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2009-03-22/story/how_much_is_this_lawyer_costing_us) over allegedly forging a judge's signature, unlicensed contracting and other mayhem ( also times union here: http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2011-04-18/story/jacksonville-candidate-under-scrutiny-unlicensed-construction?page=3 )
This didn't keep the newspaper from endorsing him, of course, on their editorial page.
But as the election wore on, allegations about connections to racist groups emerged and made him so generally unpalatable that Kimberly Daniels, a former prostitute and crack addict who had transformed into a fundamentalist 'prophetess' and 'Demon Buster" ( http://www.charismamag.com/spirit/spiritual-warfare/541-they-call-her-the-demon-buster) seemed like the better alternative.
In that election, which saw Republicans actively campaigning for Democrat Alvin Brown for Mayor, a less discussed movement of Democrats were asking people to vote for Republican David Taylor in Group 1.
Kimberly benefitted from the higher turnout for Alvin Brown and the terrible press around the equally terrible David Taylor and rode double coattails to victory on City Council.
Once there she distinguished herself immediately for her remarks about Ahmed Parvez accusing him of having links to terrorism ( http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2011-09-28/story/parvez-ahmed-faces-new-criticism-jacksonville-city-council-member ) and her equally bizarre belief that the HRO would allow for Jacksonville Citizens to have sex with dead people.
( http://unfspinnaker.com/column-epic-jacksonville-city-council-fail/ )
In the crowded town hall meetings leading up to the decision, opponents of the bill were outraged that it would force them to act in a way against their moral beliefs. In a particularly alarming speech, Councilwoman Kim Daniels went as far to say that Egypt had laws like Ordinance 296, as well as ones protecting individuals who had sexual relations with animals and corpses and asked if the ordinance would reach them as well.
According to Daniels, it’s a slippery slope.
In her defense, Kimberly Daniels has been an abiding voice for the poor and powerless on the council. There have been times when her vote and her participation have been the only glimmer of mercy or basic humanity in committee meetings dealing with homelessness, code enforcement, and other related issues. She is an emotional and vulnerable person who has clearly experienced brokenness and great pain. It makes her into a figure of empathy and legitimate compassion. She is never given enough credit for this.
But her profoundly felt religious beliefs leave her incapable of being able to perform the secular responsibilities of a City Councilperson---even in something so basic as not demonizing large portions of the people that she is commanded by charter to represent: Law abiding people of other religions and LGBT people are notable examples.
Perhaps we dodged a bullet by electing Kim Daniels in the first place. But that gun is no longer loaded and she has proven that she cannot represent the city at large.
It is time to free Ms. Daniels time up for the important role of busting demons in the spirit realm.
Anna Brosche is the alternative, happily, and would be an easy top pick in any race she cared to run. That she picked Group 1 is an example of the elegant, thoughtful problem solving of which she is capable.
Please vote for Anna.
It is the goal of metrojacksonville to pursue a "No Fools" measure in the council races. In this case, Anna jumps that bar easily and sets it much, much higher.
Check out Anna's guest column for MetroJacksonville here: http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2015-may-anna-brosche-why-i-am-running-for-council
Check out her campaign website here. http://voteannabrosche.com
Tell your friends.