Are today's automobiles going the way of the horse and buggy?
That's what innovation expert Tony Seba believes. He already knows what will replace them. Will it be light rail? No. Public buses? Definitely not! Instead, Seba predicts that the combination of electric vehicles and automation will make autonomous, shared electric vehicles the transportation choice of the future.
At the Ignite conference, last year, I made the point that county government should embrace innovation to solve intractable problems like better transit in Hillsborough County. Tony Seba's presentation affirms my assessment. Watch my presentation (above)! Then, watch Tony's presentation (below).
There are autonomous vehicles on the road today. There will be autonomous shuttles on the streets of Tampa this year. How long does it take before technology replaces outmoded forms of transportation? Sooner than you think. Adaptive street lights are already reducing congestion in some cities. Technology that changes lights based on real time traffic data reduces commutes by 20% and idling at lights by 40%. Autonomous vehicles will do much better.
Why hasn't Hillsborough County embraced innovation rather than going back to failed 20th century transit solutions again and again? Because for career county commissioners it's not about you, it's about what their big money donors want. They want light rail to increase the value of their land holdings. They want a windfall at taxpayer expense.
Want to derail the corrosive influence of big money donors and career politicians?
Then donate a small amount here:
Innovation can be disruptive, but change will happen no matter how hard a city or county resists. By resisting, governments cause delays and massive waste, fighting for powerful interests against technologies being adopted and embraced by citizens. Why!? By embracing innovation, Hillsborough County can become a beacon for innovation and entrepreneurship. Tony Seba talks about energy and automotive disruption (right).
It's time to support an innovator like Chris Paradies. He will fix traffic congestion problems by embracing innovation.
Does government have a role in creating jobs? At the county and local level, the answer to the question is: Certainly Yes!
Local government can be an obstacle to job creation.
Unnecessary red tape, delays in providing permitting, imposing excessive fees and fines for failure to comply with Byzantine regulations, and creating a hassle factor discourages job growth.
Local government may embrace business growth.
By embracing business growth, especially growth of innovative businesses, government can help to grow jobs of the future. How? By “finding a way to yes,” removing barriers to business creation and job growth, eliminating unnecessary and counter-productive regulations, limiting government interference with business operations, creating economic development zones for rapid approval of light industrial and commercial development, and providing concierge services for small and disadvantaged businesses that find it most difficult to navigate government bureaucracy and incentive programs (without the aid of lobbyists and paid consultants).
The things that commissioners can do that will provide the biggest bang for the buck won’t cost the taxpayers anything. If county commissioners just befriend small and innovative businesses and open their network to them, they can help grow jobs by providing access to new customers and investors.
One of the most important duties of a county commissioner is to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars.
But what does being a good steward look like?
What’s important to voters? I’ve been out on the streets going door-to-door, meeting voters, and asking them what’s important. Here’s the answer:
What’s important to the people of district 2 is my priority as your future commissioner. I am asking the voters of district 2 to be their public servant and a good steward of the resources they entrust to me.
What is the purpose of economic development?
The purpose of economic development initiatives should be to reduce taxes on our families, seniors on fixed incomes and small businesses by establishing a resilient economy that produces services and goods that are sold outside Hillsborough County, creating jobs for people in Hillsborough County, and generating significantly more revenue for the taxpayers than the cost of the initiatives to taxpayers.
That’s a good investment!
Public policy should be directed toward creating great neighborhoods that are prosperous, safe, connected and great places to live.
Public policy should not transfer wealth from the taxpayers to big donors! That's the Problem!
Bad economic development schemes pushed by career county commissioners benefit big donors, but they make Hillsborough County poorer, increase taxes on our families, seniors and small businesses, and put our family businesses out of business!
My opponent in the August Republican primary gave Millions of Taxpayer Dollars to Bass Pro Shops, which benefited his big developer "friends" that donate to his campaigns.
The taxpayers of Hillsborough County have paid my opponent more than $1.3 million in salary and benefits for his 16 year career as a county commissioner. Shouldn't he be working for us! (We'll be paying his retirement benefits too.) Instead, he works hard for his big donors and wastes taxpayer dollars in the process.
So, we lose twice! Unnecessary and wasteful corporate welfare to out-of-state corporations, and a 16-year career county commissioner that has lost touch with ordinary people.
With the talent and money that we have in our region, right now, we could be doing a lot better!
We need servant leaders that understand the unbelievable opportunity that has been presented to our region to become the break-out region in the Southeast for small business creation and growth.
Our county needs to embrace innovation and invite innovative businesses to help the county provide better services at a lower cost to taxpayers.
Innovative businesses create high wage jobs of the future and help reduce the tax burden on our families, seniors and small businesses.
Studies done by reputable, independent economists show that stadiums provide no economic return to taxpayers that could not be provided much better by investing in any other economic development initiative. In fact, taxpayer financing of professional sports stadiums is the worst public investment that a local government can make. And yet professional politicians will vote public subsidies for stadiums knowing this fact!
Taxpayer subsidized stadiums are a bad investment. Taxpayers always lose! That’s why I don’t support a secret public financing deal for a new Rays’ stadium that is being pushed by my opponent. He said that was why he was running, when he launched his campaign. He's a sports guy; he said, as if that justifies a half Billion dollar subsidy to wealthy team owners. We need government-in-the-sunshine to prevent the fleecing of taxpayers by a single career county commissioner and his big corporate cronies!
Taxpayers know that we can’t trust a career politician that receives big donations, especially when those donations are being paid by those benefiting from taxpayer subsidies!!! My opponent received $8000 in donations from a land owner that stands to benefit from the Ybor stadium location.
In a scandal publicized by 10 Investigates and Noah Pransky, this same professional politician was shown to be less than transparent in discussions with a close political adviser and “communications consultant” about the Go Hillsborough transit tax scheme.
As a result of this explosive scandal, ordinary citizens asked the ethics commission to investigate. Most of us celebrate private citizens that watch out for public corruption, but not my opponent. He attacked the citizens requesting reimbursement of money spent by the county on the lawyer that successful defended him against the charges! Since one of the citizen watchdogs filed a successful ethics complaint in the past, this ethically challenged career politician now appears vindictive and churlish. The press and constitutional watchdog groups objected to the request for fees as chilling!
It's time for my opponent, a 16-year career county commission to go. He's facing term limits but is exploiting a loophole that allows him to switch seats to start the clock over again, making a mockery of term limits, which were put in place by voters to prevent a repeat of the corruption that landed three county commissioners in prison.
What the taxpayers need in their corner is not a sports guy with a burning desire to see the Rays in Tampa at any an all costs. Instead, the taxpayers need an advocate and servant leader that will look out for the best interests of the people of Hillsborough County.
According to press reports, a secret deal is being cooked up behind the scenes, including:
A private not for profit is hiding this schemes from taxpayer scrutiny. My opponent is running from reporters, literally, to avoid tough questions.
By diverting funds from more important priorities, such as public safety, keeping taxes low and fixing traffic congestion, taxpayer financing of a new stadium will close the door on other opportunities providing greater benefits.
Voters must demand that county commissioners pledge to put any public financing of a new stadium up for referendum before taxpayers.
Why is a voter referendum necessary?
Look at the “Atlanta Model” that has been touted as the model for a new stadium deal. Why did Cobb County commissioners vote for a bad deal?
Artificial urgency, unverified financial projections from unqualified consultants, and a complicated, poorly vetted deal that makes it hard to know the true costs to taxpayers results in a bad deal for taxpayers every time! The original $400 Million cost to taxpayers in the headlines ballooned to $600 Million or more. Some reports suggest that the total cost to taxpayers in Cobb County is likely to be at least $800 million.
Well, what’s being done in Hillsborough County?
Expect this artificial urgency and a complicated, poorly vetted deal that will make it impossible for taxpayers and commissioners to know the true cost to taxpayers and overly optimistic economic projections.
Let the voters decide after the deal is thoroughly vetted by independent economists under government-in-the-sunshine laws. #NoVoteNoBond
Paid By Chris Paradies, Republican, for Hillsborough County Commission District 2