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Celebration Area Council Holds Town Hall Conversations with Osceola County Commission Candidates

Early this year the Celebration Area Council began planning a Town Hall event at which they hoped to bring the community’s questions to the candidates for Osceola County Commission, District 1. This hotly contested race will be decided in the August 18 primary this year between four Democratic candidates.

With the arrival of COVID-19, the CAC worked to find a new way to bring the candidates’ message to those who will vote for them. Today, the Council will share candid conversations between CAC Chair Amy Buehler and the candidates framed around the following six questions.

  1. District 1, and more specifically West 192, are known for their vast amount of tourism-related options. However, there is a lack of professional office space within the area. What, if anything, would you as a county commissioner do to diversify options within the area or incentivize developers to consider developing within the area? 
  2. As a result of the pandemic we’re going to suffer budget shortfalls, plus the tax revenue has been decreased and voters want to know how you can advocate to ensure that the County remains fiscally disciplined. Also, how are you going to manage  and be prudent with tax payer dollars? Finally, what is your philosophy on what the local government should be doing to stimulate the economy?
  3. Often times understanding and navigating County rules and processes is confusing, costly, and overwhelming to new businesses. What do you propose the County should do to simplify and remove barriers for new or emerging businesses?
  4. As you know the County recently had a vote on a one-cent Sales Tax Referendum and we want to know if you supported this tax increase?Would you support seeking future tax increases or surtaxes to fund transportation?
  5. What is your position on rent control? Are you for or against it and why?
  6. During the pandemic crisis, the Governor has extended the moratorium on evictions. What’s your position on that?

In addition to addressing these key points of interest, Mayor Alvarez was quick to point out his successes with the City of Kissimmee over the past eight years. Likewise, the incumbent, Commissioner Choudhry shared many of her highpoint as a County Commissioner over the past four years. We must note that the other two candidates for the District 1 seat, Michael Harford and Janette Martinez declined the invitation to participate.

As you prepare to vote in the primary on August 18, check out the CAC’s interviews below to learn more about the candidates. Also, look out for the Chamber’s Virtual Hob Nob which will launch on our website later this month.

Celebration Area Council Chairman Amy Buehler and Vice Chairman Charles Castellon interview Osceola County Commission District 1 candidate Kissimmee Mayor Jose Alvarez

Question Timestamps:
2:42 – Available office space along West 192
4:50 – Economic impact of the pandemic
9:18 – Working with the County or new & emerging businesses
13:54 Potential future tax increases for transportation
19:20 – Rent control 21:48 – Pandemic-related moratorium on evictions

Celebration Area Council Chairman Amy Buehler and Vice Chairman Charles Castellon interview Osceola County Commission District 1 incumbent candidate Commissioner Peggy Choudhry

Question Timestamps:
4:28 – Available office space along West 192
7:48 – Economic impact of the pandemic
13:37 – Working with the County for new & emerging businesses
18:49 – Potential future tax increases for transportation
24:20 – Rent control
30:38 – Pandemic-related moratorium on evictions

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