Steven Deardeuff – Challenger

Name: Steven DeardeuffAge: 57How long living in Indian River County: 5 yearsPlace of Birth: Long Beach CaliforniaOccupation: PlanningMarital/Family Status: Married

Please list Civic and Volunteer Leadership Experience including title & position and Organization including dates and locations.

I have volunteered with many different organizations, mostly youth or church related, for most of my life. I will share my Christian faith with you however, I do my volunteer work because I see a group or individual who needs help in some from or manner I do not volunteer my time and energy to promote myself.

What issues motivated you to run for this office and what do you hope to accomplish during your term?

It would be shorter and faster to list the issues that didn’t motivate me to run. However, the major issues that have motivated me to run are the economy, the environment and the general waste of money with the business as usual policy. Some of my goals are to diversify the economy in the county away from just relaying on construction and tourism. We cannot survive on those two industries, as evident with our current situation. However, I don’t believe that the county government should give away tax dollars to business in the form of job grants and tax incentives, let the feds and state do that. One of my plans is to create a county loan, not grant, for home owners and business to install photo voltaic panels on roof tops to offset electric bills. This would not only give a quick shot in the arm to the construction industry but also provide for long term benefits as well. The environment is vitally important to all of us, not only for today, but also for future generations after all we live in paradise. We can’t waste what we have left. But purchasing development rights is not an option. We must insure that conservation land is purchased and maintained as native habitat. Although these issues and goals overlap each other the bottom line is we need to stop the business as usual business and start working together.

Do you support considering the possibility of the county removing itself from the City of Vero Beach’s water and sewer system? What factors would you consider in making a determination whether or not such a change should happen?

I would consider moving the county from the City of Vero Beach’s water and sewer systems. To make that decision I would need to look at cost, capacity and age of the current system to determine the feasibility of such a move however, the deciding factor would come down to, is this a benefit to the people involved.

Should the Board of County Commissioners do anything to pressure the City of Vero Beach to sell its electric utility? If so, what could the board do. If not, why not? Do you support petitioning the Public Service Commission to remove non-city electric customers from the city’s power grid?

Although I support the selling of the power plant, as a commissioner I would not pressure the city to sell the power plant. I would however, make sure that the city understands that I would petition to remove county residences from Vero Electric service area. Therefore, it would be a wise and prudent decision in the best interest of the city and the people to sell the power plant. Selling the power plant however, is not the end to high electric bills or our only issue. I have always been a proponent of solar energy and I would like to see solar energy become part of the energy and employment solution in Indian River County.

With unemployment near 15 percent, what do you believe is the county commission’s role in bringing more jobs to Indian River County?

Indian River County has one of the highest unemployment rates in Florida. We must actively recruit employers to bring real and sustainable employment to Indian River County. We cannot continue with the same thing as we have done year after year after year. As stated earlier in the issues which motivated me to run for this office. I do not support county tax credits or job grants to stimulate the economy the feds and states have a plethora of programs that do just that. We as a county can provide an environment in which business will want to come and locate their operations here and this can only be accomplished by working together and changing the business as usual attitude.

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