While the rhetoric always heats up before an election, I found some of Tony Shiver’s comments about Commissioner Pinki Jackel that were published in the Oct. 11 issue of The Times to be ill-considered and unfair. This county commission candidate complained that Ms. Jackel came to the area “to make a profit.” While I am sure that there were many things that brought Pinki to the area, I for one do not see making a profit as a bad thing. It certainly would make little sense to move to the area and start a business not expecting to do so, and certainly Mr. Shiver’s family has profited greatly from their businesses here in Franklin County.
Politicians here in Franklin County are rightfully proud that they have spent their lives here, but in many cases, time spent outside the county can help officeholders solve problems by giving them a broader perspective of how things are done differently, and sometimes better somewhere else. In Pinki’s case, she also spent four years in Tallahassee getting her degree at Florida State. It seems that Pinki is often the outsider on county commission votes, though. She fights hard for fiscal responsibility and works to minimize tax increases, which often places her at odds with the rest of the commission.
Relative to Mr. Shiver’s other comments, I am also sure that both candidates agree that improvements and amenities are needed. Pinki has been behind many during the last four years, including the pavilion in Eastpoint and the improved landscaping at Lighthouse Park on the island that help attract the visitors who bring much-needed revenue to Franklin County.
And as for the charge that “85 percent of the people (in her commercials) are all real estate people” well, take a look at the commercials and judge for yourself, but it does not look that way to me. If there are some real estate people among the small business owners, county workers and others in the commercials, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If we are going to get our employment and our tax rolls back up to where they need to be, we need people to build, remodel and buy homes and start businesses. Pinki’s knowledge of this business is an asset to the commission, in a manner similar to the way that Mr. Smokey Parrish’s intimate knowledge of the seafood industry serves us.
This upcoming election is going to have a huge impact on our county, our state and our nation. We all have “hot button” issues that lead us to support the candidates we do, and I am glad to see The Times covering the issues. There are times, though, when taking a step back and looking at what is said from a little different perspective is constructive.
Francis L. Giknis