Andy Bryan is one of four write-in candidates running for Mayor
Bryan lives on 15 acres on the Northside, lifetime resident of Jacksonville
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Andy Bryan often complained about rising property taxes and fears that his family would not be able to keep his property when he died due to high taxes.
Then one friend urged him to do something about it and run for mayor - so the Northside resident did.
Bryan, 68, is an army veteran, a retired CSX employee and now a real estate investor. He wants to change the tax system in Jacksonville, he said.
"That is why I decided to run for mayor, to eliminate property taxes and replace them with a broad-based consumption tax. That would be fair and equitable for everyone," said Bryan.
He points out that only about half the citizens of Jacksonville pay property taxes.
Bryan qualified as a write-in candidate and will not be on the ballot since he did not pay the qualifying fee.
But voters can write in his name. He was naive, he said, and did not realize his name would not be on the ballot. He said it's unfair, but he was unwilling to ask people for the $10,000 to pay the fee.
He is concerned that rising taxes will cause his family and other Jacksonville families to eventually lose their property. "You just can't keep taking and taking and taking from citizens who have a right to keep their money and spend it and enjoy life."
Bryan said he would take a 50 percent pay cut as mayor as would his staff. He wants to reduce the city government budget by 10 percent a year. "The cost of government is getting out of control."
Pension reform must happen immediately, he said.
"It's unsustainable, it's ludicrous, it is sucking the lifeblood out of Jacksonville. I respect the firefighters and policemen but they have to come to reality. They have to sacrifice like everyone else has"
He favors the city taxing alcohol and tobacco, and wants to quit arresting people for marijuana use. He prefers a treatment program to wasting $10 million a year to lock them up in jail.
"We have an alcohol and tobacco problem that killed a half million people last year in the United States, marijuana killed no one, absolutely no one," said Bryan. "You can't tell me that locking up someone for smoking a joint ever helped one marijuana user. We need to get the judicial system out of it."
Bryan is a lifelong resident of Jacksonville, who graduated from Jackson High, and has three children and five grandchildren.
Bryan said he was happy when he realized there would be four write-in candidates running for mayor. He thinks it is unfair their name is not on the ballot and will work to change that.
He asks Jacksonville citizens to consider him as they would any other candidate. "My passion for this city is no less than whoever is is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to run for mayor, "said Bryan.
First Coast News