PAHOKEE– Pahokee City Commission candidate Josefa Hernandez took questions at a Meet the Candidate forum held over Zoom on Feb. 18.
Hernandez is running against Sara Perez in the group one race. Current commissioners Felisia Hill and Benny Everett did not seek re-election.
Perez did not participate in the Meet the Candidate forum on Feb. 18.
“I’ve lived here in Pahokee for 27 years,” said Hernandez in her opening statement. “I believe it is time to have Latino representation in our community. The reason I’m running is so that the residents in Pahokee will have a commissioner that will listen to them. serve them, and work hard for them. That’s who I am - a servant that works hard everyday for my city.”
In response to what would be needed to jump start the Pahokee economy, Hernandez mentioned tax breaks and building partnerships within the local, state and federal governments.
“We have to have those partnerships in order to get funding and work with that,” Hernandez said. “Right now we’re walking in the right direction, we just need to continue to build those relationships with those other agencies.”
One question submitted to the virtual forum asked what something positive the current city commissioners have done for Pahokee. Hernandez credited the commission for recent renovation of the Eddie Rhodes gymnasium, a facility that’s been closed for almost 13 years due to neglect and dilapidation issues.
“The current administration has done a lot of good stuff,” explained Hernandez “The Eddie Rhodes gymnasium that we just had the ribbon cutting for was $1.9 million in renovation. The football field that is being developed that is now going to also be available to the Latino community for soccer. There’s a lot of positive from the current administration.”
In her closing statement, Hernandez said she wished her opponent had been at the forum but that she respected the decision.
“We need diversity in our commission,” Hernandez expressed. “I hope they try to do something like this (Meet the Candidate forum) in Spanish, because we really need it. Pahokee residents, on March 9 vote. You are the heart of the city. Elected officials must listen to the people. We are here to serve the people, not the people to serve us. It’s time to bring unity to our community.”