Mercedes Fonseca

Jul 15, 2022

League of Women Voters Questionnaire

Earlier this month, the League of Women Voters asked me to complete their voter questionnaire and below are my answers in English and Spanish.

Question #1 - Why are you running for this elected position? What are the two most compelling issues on which, if elected, you feel you can make a difference?

(A) English - Improve the quality of life for residents, support and enhance our public safety and ensure fiscal responsibility. Current issues are hemp cultivation and intense redevelopment of defunct golf courses. Hemp cultivation is occurring in areas that are zoned R-CE. This zoning is also adjacent to future school site(s). The concern is it’s a slippery slope to legalization of marijuana cultivation, as has happened in California and Colorado. Golf course properties are privately owned, and as a result, some golf course owners are pursuing redevelopment that is too intense and placing additional stressors on infrastructure that is already facing dilapidating levels of service, negatively impacting schools and compounding traffic congestion.

(A) Spanish - Mejorar la calidad de vida de residentes, apoyar y mejorar nuestra seguridad pública y asegurar la responsabilidad fiscal. Los problemas actuales son el cultivo de cáñamo y la intensa reurbanización de campos de golf que se han ido a la ruina. El temor es que esto llueve a cultivar marihuana en zonas residenciales, que son también adjuntos a los futuros sitios escolares, como ha sucedido en California y Colorado. Los propietarios de campos de golf buscan extremadamente reurbanizar estos campos causando estrés adicional en la infraestructura que ya enfrenta niveles de servicio deteriorados, negativamente impactando nuestras escuelas y agravando más aun la congestión del tráfico.

Question #2 - Cite an example of how you worked effectively on an issue involving state/county/city government as an involved citizen or elected official.

(A) English - One of the issues I worked on during my tenure, working with a former Orange County Commissioner, was the additional Senior Homestead Exemption, which was unanimously approved by the Board of County Commissioners of 2013. This additional homestead exemption provided for additional benefits such as tax relief for seniors.

(A) Spanish - Uno de los temas en cuales yo trabaje durante mi empleo con un previo Comisionado del Condado de Orange, fue la Exención adicional de Homestead para personas mayores, que fue aprobada por unanimidad por la Junta de Comisionados del Condado de 2013. Esta exención adicional de Homestead proporcionó beneficios adicionales como alivio de impuestos para personas mayores.

Question #3 - What specific ideas do you have to increase the supply and quality of affordable housing and to preserve existing affordable housing?

(A) English - In an effort to provide/increase the supply of attainable housing, the government should provide incentives and negotiate with developers to devise a fair and equitable plan for all stakeholders. As it was done within the City of Orlando, where market rate housing was combined with one prototype attainable model housing unit. In addition, local government can work alongside private property owners that desire to convert their existing commercial properties to attainable housing units.

(A) Spanish - En un esfuerzo para proporcionar/aumentar la oferta de viviendas asequibles, el gobierno debe brindar incentivos y negociar con los desarrolladores de tierra para diseñar un plan justo y equitativo para todos los afectados. Como se hizo dentro de la ciudad de Orlando, donde se combinaron viviendas a precio de mercado con un prototipo de unidad de vivienda modelo alcanzable. Además, el gobierno local puede trabajar junto con propietarios privados que deseen convertir sus propiedades comerciales existentes en unidades de vivienda asequibles.

Question #4 - With respect to preemption and home rule, is the relationship and balance of power between state and local governments in Florida appropriately addressing local issues? If not, how should it be redefined?

(A) English - Due to the recent issues of Hemp cultivation taking place in residential/rural enclaves, it has become evident there needs to be a focus on coordination of communication between State/Local jurisdictions to address issues in a holistic manner and work to prevent issues affecting our communities from falling through the cracks. Communication is vital and plays an important role, in relaying changes within a designated area. The balance of power should be redefined by incorporating policy(-ies) to address changes being submitted that will significantly impact and affect the local community which would allow local representatives and residents the opportunity to have a say in and collaborate with State government.

(A) Spanish - Debido a los recientes problemas relacionados con el cultivo de cáñamo en áreas residenciales se ha hecho evidente que debe haber un enfoque en la coordinación de la comunicación entre las jurisdicciones estatales/locales para abordar los problemas de manera holística y trabajar para prevenir problemas que afecten a nuestras comunidades. El equilibrio de poder debe redefinirse mediante la incorporación de pólizas para abordar los cambios presentados que impactarán y afectarán significativamente a la comunidad local, lo que permitiría a los representantes locales y residentes la oportunidad de opinar y colaborar con el gobierno estatal.