The Osceola News-Gazette believes it’s important for our readers to learn more about the local candidates wishing to represent them.
In the days leading up to the Aug. 28 primaries, we will run responses from candidates running for the following local public offices – Osceola County Commission, Kissimmee City Commission, St. Cloud City Council and the Osceola County School Board.
Candidate name: Wanda Rentas
Running for: County Commission, Seat 2
Current occupation / position: Kissimmee City Commission
Party affiliation: Republican
What are your top priorities if you’re elected?
• No more tax increases
• A change in county administration
• Creation of public budget oversight committee
• Increase accountability, transparency, honesty and integrity
What do you believe is the most challenging aspect of Osceola County’s continued growth?
While many items could be mentioned and are challenging, wasteful spending, should be brought forth. I strongly believe in maximum use of resources but with accountability, transparency and decorum. This is Osceola County’s tax payer money and should be treated as such. Our current roads and infrastructure also need upgrading.
What role should the government play in making affordable housing more accessible for Osceola County residents?
The government role should always be to assure fairness in business and housing practices, including legality, land use, zoning and requiring higher density.
As county commissioner, I will make sure that I work in the best interest of our community and not for special interest groups.
Thousands of Hurricane Maria evacuees arrived in Osceola County last year. Many have since said they intend to stay in the area. (1) What role do you see these citizens playing in Osceola County’s future and (2) what role should government play in assisting evacuees with this transition?
I am hopeful they will find employment, a place to call home and be productive citizens of Osceola County
Local government should work with state and federal agencies by obtaining the number of evacuees residing in Osceola and reorganize the services needed and provided to eliminate duplication of services.
When it comes to the tourism industry, what can local government do to attract new business investments and opportunities while still addressing the needs of current residents?
Government should work closely with other local municipalities and business partners to ensure good education and a safe environment. Properly managed administration will entice new investors as this is a destination with many sites within a reasonable driving distance.
Also lobbying in support to expand the Tourist Development Tax dollar to assist our infrastructure.
What motivated you to run for this position?
Honestly, the continued mismanagement of the county’s administration and current business practices.
The self-serving attitude of elected officials must come to an end.
All of the above must be dealt with, reported and corrected to assure a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Plenty of motivation for me to keep my involvement as a representative of the County’s citizens.
What experience do you bring?
• A devoted wife, mother, grandmother and a solid working woman who knows how to manage multiple responsibilities.
• Over 24 years working for South Florida Water Management District.
• Volunteered for over 15 years to my community, the City of Kissimmee, prior to being elected.
• Served on various boards including the YMCA, YMCA Teen Achievers, Community Vision and Toho.
• I am a very open, honest individual with great integrity.
What is the biggest obstacle facing Osceola County’s future and what role should local government play in solving it?
Infrastructure and zoning density. I will insist on appropriately investing on road improvements and infrastructure that would support growth.