My name is James Hefren, however since my college days I have been called “HEF”. I am 58 and originally from Cleveland, Ohio, graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio with A Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and have worked for what is now American Airline for the past 32+ yrs.
My candidacy was born our of anger. The anger originated after having to wait almost 3 hours to cast and have my ballot scanned in 2012. Compounding it was the experience of a friend who accompanied his first-time voting 18 yr. old son to the polls and after an even longer wait, the son commented “Well I’ll never do that again”. Folks that’s sad! Then came the purchase in 2013 of 100 additional scanners at a cost of over $500,000 which I was sure would be unnecessary, as after 2012, voters would opt for early voting or voting by mail, which over 120,000 did in 2014. And finally we all remember the squandering of $700,000 on useless IPads. While I thank Sharon Harrington for her 29 years of service, I sincerely believe that I can and will bring a more focused management style to the Supervisor’s office. Being aware that that an airline career would in no way qualify me for the position, I have spent the last year and a half studying Florida Statutes in regards to elections. In addition I have become painfully aware of the policies and practices, or more accurately lack thereof, of the current Supervisor and have developed a very specific plan to correct and improve the operation.
Specifically, this is my plan and commitment.
- Institute zero-based budgeting rather than building on past budgets.
- Competitive bidding on all contracts anticipated to be over $25,000
- Binding contracts for all vendors.
- A comprehensive review of precinct utilization and staffing with the goal of offsetting the burgeoning cost of voting by mail and early voting, which as mentioned the vast majority of voters have opted for.
- A review of the necessity of 4 Board of Elections offices.
- Commit to personal responsibility both to myself and the staff of the board
Finally, I have no problem with the term “civil servant”, and I assure you I will serve ethically as my goal is to have the citizens of Lee County be proud of their choice of “HEF” for Supervisor of Elections.
James “Hef” Hefren