Money talks, especially in a political campaign. And with nearly $100,000 at his disposal throughout his primary campaign, Mike Moore has had a pretty loud voice.
An entrepreneur who first built and sold CareFirst Home Care before starting up his current mergers and acquisition company, VR Business Sales, Moore operates out of a modest office in Wesley Chapel not far from Saddlebrook Resort. He points to billboard-style political signs in his back office, a size that easily trumps his opponents in the Aug. 26 primary, and shares that outside of yard signs, that’s the smallest he’s gone.
Moore has found success in business, and feels that acumen is needed when it comes to running Pasco County. Especially since residents here are not recovering from the last economic tumble as strongly as they should.
“You look at what’s happened over the last few years, and it’s some of the worst economic disasters we’ve ever seen,” Moore said. “I just don’t think the standard of living in Pasco County is where it should be, and I want to help change it.”
That change, he says, is needed at the county level. There needs to be a stronger emphasis on attracting more businesses to the county, all of them with high-paying jobs. Without them, it would be impossible for Pasco to grow without asking residents to contribute more financially.
“That’s the strong foundation we need to build upon,” Moore said. “We have a lot of things that we need, and some things that we want. If we bring the companies here that we need to, then we don’t have to talk about raising taxes, because the tax base will be there.”
But even when more money does come in, the county has to be smart in spending it, Moore said. Otherwise, Pasco risks becoming a place like Detroit, where what he described as “tax and spend” policies drove the city to economic collapse.
Businesses could never operate the way governments do, Moore said. And while he knows there are some aspects of government that may always have to be subsidized — like mass transit and libraries — looking at the county as a corporation could help cut some of the wasteful spending he says is taking place.
“We are not looking to turn a profit, but you don’t want the county to lose money,” Moore said. “You need to spend on what’s needed, and cut anything that isn’t. You need to be able to look through the budget and see what needs to be changed.”
One change is how the county is looking at building new roads. Right now, the Pasco County Commission is considering raising either local gas taxes or property taxes — or both. But patience may need to win out on this one, Moore said.
“By increasing the tax base, you can accomplish far more in the long run,” he said. “Raising taxes is a quick fix temporarily. We need to do what we can to increase our property values, like by bringing in new companies, and that will bring in the extra money to fund our needs.”
Moore says he is not interested in either the gas or property tax increase. Instead, the county already has put aside money for other road projects that he says may never come to fruition. Those dollars, instead, should be earmarked to current projects.
“You have to look at immediate needs,” Moore said. “You have to go back to thinking of this as a company. If part of your corporation is faltering, you may need to shift funds over from another department to help out until things get better again.”
The biggest asset any commissioner has, Moore said, are the people that commissioner represents. And sometimes it’s important to lower that loud voice long enough to listen closely.
“What people are looking for is somebody who is going to have a presence in the district,” Moore said. “They want someone who is going to be available and willing to sit down and talk. And I am that person.”
Republican candidate for Pasco County Commission, District 2
Owner, VR Business Sales and Mergers and Acquisitions
Lauren Moore, wife
Aubrey Moore, daughter
Aiden Moore, son
Emily Moore, daughter
Wesley Chapel, eight years
through Aug. 8
Published August 20, 2014
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