Renee Christopher-McPheeters is hoping her fourth attempt at elected office will be the charm.
A Homosassa Republican, she is vying for the District 2 county commission seat held by Ron Kitchen Jr., who is seeking re-election.
Christopher-McPheeters, 64, interviewed this week by the Chronicle editorial board, came prepared with a flyer containing several platform promises. They include:
-- More restaurants and senior facilities. Christopher-McPheeters said she has contacts with restaurant chains and would strive to get a Starbucks or other restaurants here. Also, given the demographics, more assisted-living facilities and services are needed, she said.
-- A strong infrastructure: Citrus County, she said, needs good pothole-free roads not prone to flooding. She is not happy with the slow progress of the U.S. 19 widening through Homosassa. If necessary, she said she would sue the state to speed up construction.
The Suncoast Parkway extension to Citrus County -- with the ultimate route to Red Level north of Crystal River -- is a must, she said. She also wants to see better boat docks along King’s Bay.
-- Encouraging businesses and good-paying jobs: Christopher-McPheeters would like to revisit last year’s 3-2 county commission vote to stop plans for a 549-acre industrial park in Holder that she said would have been a huge economic boost. She wants more high-tech businesses. She wants to promote ecotourism, cut back on the county’s use of costly consultants and reduce the county’s bed tax, which she believes is a deterrent to business and tourism.
She supports the recent vote by county commissioners to approve the second phase of the County Road 491 widening project, which will make the road four lanes to County Road 486.
On other issues: Christopher-McPheeters said she would seek an ordinance to keep non-service animals out of grocery and other stores. There have been too many complaints about animals in stores, she said.
Christopher-McPheeters said she would push for less-restrictive county regulations. She will make sure Citrus County schools have enough school resource officers. She is in favor of marijuana dispensaries in the county because it is the law.
She said she would fund her various improvement projects through careful budget scrutiny, better tracking of impact fees and an unspecified “backup plan.”
Christopher-McPheeters is the former owner of beauty salons and was a property manager. Being the “most senior" candidate running in District 2, she said she can best identify with that demographic who are on limited incomes.
Christopher-McPheeters said she would be a full-time county commissioner.
“I have the time,” she said. “I have no obligations. I can put my full energy into this to help citizens. I love working in the community. I want to help people who don’t have representation.”
She would also like to see female representation on the county commission.
Contact Chronicle reporter Michael D. Bates at 352-563-5660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.