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YOU DECIDE 2018: Meet Osceola County Commission District 2 candidate Rolando Banasco

Posted on Friday, August 10, 2018 at 8:32 am

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.

Come join us Tuesday, Aug. 14 from 2 to 7 p.m. at Kissimmee City Hall as we partner as a panelist in the El Osceola Star Newspaper’s  “Osceola Decides” 2018 debates. It’s an opportunity to learn more about the state and local candidates wishing to represent you in office.


Candidate name: Rolando Banasco

Running for: County Commission District Two

Party affiliation: Democrat

Rolando Banasco


What are your top priorities if you’re elected?

When elected, some of the priorities will be to address the extra fees that are being added to the citizens for work and equipment to be done.

I would like to see if we can improve sidewalks, streets and traffic calming devices especially in our residential areas.

Another priority is to see that all waterways drain and streets are swept and maintained with the current budget and work force preventative plans in place.

I would like to see just how and why certain programs like housing, and other shelters are not being planned or sought to help the citizens in our community.

I would like to make sure the taxes and fees are less for the citizens who live on fixed income households. At the end of the day, theses aspirations are all needed to improve this community as a whole.


What do you believe is the most challenging aspect of Osceola County’s continued growth?

I believe the most challenging aspect for Osceola County’s growth is the fast growing population, and the need to support that population with housing, jobs and other medical, social and elder care services. The county needs to plan for the upcoming population coming into this county by continuing to look at road traffic studies, to make improvement in traffic flow during peak and non-traffic peak times.  We also need more public transportation availabilities for the citizens of this county. It is up to the county commissioner to go back to the citizens in their district and conduct workshops to find new and face time real ideas that will aid the citizens and their families and in doing so, will help Osceola County overcome some of their challenges.


What role should the government play in making affordable housing more accessible for Osceola County residents?

The government should look at federal grants and or funding to see if they can build homes and apartments to improve the community and at the same time help the citizens that would benefit from federal housing.


Thousands of Hurricane Maria evacuees arrived in Osceola County last year. Many have since said they intend to stay in the area. What role do you see these citizens playing in Osceola County’s future and what role should government play in assisting evacuees with this transition?

Many of the victims from the storm did what any one person would do, and that is to seek shelter and a fresh start for their families. Many of them have come to Osceola County to live with friends and family. Many of them are seeking jobs and other housing to improve their family’s current situation. As they find jobs and become gainfully employed, more taxes are funded to the tax base of Osceola County, so that is a plus for the county and tax payers and at the same time, they enjoy living in a county that is willing to look outside of the box to help their citizens, especially victims from the storm. The county needs to look at more schools to add for the students that moved from the storm as well.


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?

Osceola County attracts many tourists to this area because of Disney World, Universal Studios and other great attractions for them to enjoy. At the same time, the county should have an active program to attract the visitors to Osceola County and at the same time promote discounts and other advertisement so the local citizens can also enjoy the parks and other local attractions with their families as well.


What motivated you to run for this position?

There are many reasons that motivated me to run, but the one thing that stands out is I would like to see local government take a deeper look at the community they serve and start making future plans in the community to build, expand and invest in the same district that our citizens live. I would like to see the fees and other government rates lower for the citizens in District 2 because many of them live on a fixed budget and they cannot afford higher taxes and other governmental fees. Another reason is I would like to see growth in the community services aide like shelters, educational programs, elder assistance programs, children food grants and programs to assist our citizens of District 2.


What experience do you bring?

The experience that I bring to district 2 is I have 25 years working as a state correctional officer and also as a chief of police dealing with community issues and programs in the community to make sure the community remains safe and at the same time I am able to understand how government agencies work. I bring that willingness to support and become the voice of the citizens, who have concerns about certain things in the community but are just not sure how to reach out and contact government in order to get results. I will be the voice of district 2 and I am here to serve the citizens and neighbors in our community.


What is the biggest obstacle facing Osceola County’s future and what role should local government play in solving it?

The biggest obstacle that is facing Osceola is the growth and population. Osceola County needs to start looking at different areas and conduct traffic studies to improve roads and transportation. Osceola County needs to reach out to the citizens and see what is needed in the future. Osceola County jails and other government agencies are in need of expanding to make sure they stay ahead of the growth and demands the citizens of this county need and deserve.