OKEECHOBEE — After his retirement, David McAuley decided it was time to give back to the community and threw his hat in the ring for city council. Originally from North Carolina, McAuley moved to Okeechobee 21 years ago. For six years prior to that, he spent one week per month in Okeechobee as part of his job for a cattle breeding company.
This all changed after he met the love of his life, Sandra Pearce. He already knew he loved the town, but once he met her, he knew she was the one for him. “I always loved coming to Okeechobee, but it was actually Sandra who brought me here full time. I actually stalked her. She said every time she looked up, I was standing there.” It wasn’t long though before she realized they were made for each other. He laughed and said, “She either had to get me arrested or marry me.”
McAuley worked for Select Sires for 41 years and retired at the end of December. “I was so involved with my work and spent one week a month in North Carolina, so it was only after I retired I felt I had time to commit to anything,” he said. “I was never able to do anything for Okeechobee, but after I retired, I realized I had time to dedicate to something else.”
Although he has no experience in government, he feels he has a lot to offer. “I don’t really have an agenda of anything I want to change. I feel like we have a really good city council, and I especially admire the way the mayor runs the meetings.” His plan, if elected, is to look after the taxpayers’ money and do what needs to be done with it, realizing that no matter what he does, it will not make everyone happy. “In everything you do, somebody gains and somebody loses. You have to try to do what’s best for the most.”
McAuley is in favor of code enforcement raising fines so it at least pays for itself, but believes the public needs to be informed in advance so they know what the code actually is. He has a lot of compassion for his neighbors and has been known to go mow the yard of a neighbor who can’t do it himself.
McAuley has had the opportunity to travel to two different communist countries. He went to the Soviet Union in 1978 and to Cuba with Sandra. “It makes you appreciate our form of government,” he said.
Since his retirement, he has been working around the house doing some of the repairs and maintenance he never had time for when he was working full time. In his spare time, he plays golf. He plans to do some consulting work as well. McAuley has one son, who lives in North Carolina and gets to see him when he makes his consulting trips up there. Sandra has three sons, and together, the couple has nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.