It’s almost the most important time of the year – the time to make your voice count; election time! We’ve sat down with some of this year’s most prestigious candidates, to learn what makes them the best choice – and how they can continue to make our home the best place to live, work, and play.
John M. Overstreet
for Clerk of the Circuit Court
John M. Overstreet is running for the office of Clerk of the Circuit Court. During his 35-year career with the Osceola County Clerk’s office, he has had the opportunity to work with four different Clerks. He has experience in every department within the Clerk’s office. He has served as the administrator and director in the Circuit, County, and recording departments, and he established the information technology division. This has allowed him to gain insight into every aspect of the office, including finance, and the yearly budgeting process. Serving in these positions has given him the opportunity to develop relationships with other executives throughout the local judicial system, County government, and other Clerk’s Offices, as well as many contacts in the state capital. This experience will prove extremely valuable to the citizens of Osceola County. His college degree is customized specifically for leadership of the Clerk’s Office. Having experienced many styles of leadership, he knows what works well and what does not. His knowledge and experience will help to restore self-respect, and pride, in the service the clerk employees provide. He is the most qualified to serve as the Osceola County Clerk, and will make the office a more positive experience for the public.
The Osceola Clerk of the Court needs to improve in many areas, but three points of emphasis stand out. First and foremost, it must enhance customer service. John’s goal is to help citizens by continually improving technology, minimizing inconvenience to themselves, and hopefully avoiding needless or repeat trips to the courthouse. When a citizen is required to come to the office, John will ensure that they can conduct their business quickly and without hassle. Second, fiscal responsibility must be restored. John will guard your taxpayer dollars by instituting financial controls to reduce waste and inefficiency. Rules will be reinstituted and followed. Finally, John wants to restore the public’s confidence in the Office of the Clerk. He has dedicated his life to our local judicial system and is committed to bringing it back to the place of respect it deserves. He is a lifelong resident of Osceola County and a product of the Osceola County school system. He graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. While attending grade school, he also earned the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest attainable rank in Boy Scouts. He and his wife of 35 years have been blessed with two daughters, a son-in-law, and two grandchildren. He has served on the Board of Trustees and Finance Committee for the First United Methodist Church of Kissimmee. He is a 35-year member of the Silver Spurs Riding Club. He has also served on various committees within the county and community, whether as a member or advisor. His overwhelming experience, strong business relationships, and commitment to Osceola County make him the most qualified candidate to be your next Clerk of the Circuit Court.
Political advertisement paid for and approved by John M. Overstreet, Democrat for Osceola County Clerk of the circuit court.
for MAYOR OF KISSIMMEE
Since being elected to the Kissimmee City Commission in 2012, small-business owner and community participant Jose Alvarez has been a strong proponent of economic development initiatives. Among other projects, he has supported Lakefront and Downtown revitalization efforts, the new Medical Arts District, and the modernization of Kissimmee’s municipal airport. “There’s no good reason that the closest airport to the most popular attractions and convention center in the world, can’t generate at least as many jobs and as much revenue as other municipal airports in Florida. This is but one example of where we’re not fully capitalizing on our fantastic resources” Alvarez said. Commissioner Alvarez also has an eye toward the future and is committed to capitalizing on the County’s efforts to make Osceola a hub for technology research and development. This and other factors has earned him endorsements from 4 County Commissioners as well as other elected, and business leaders.
In addition to his efforts to grow Kissimmee’s economy, Commissioner Alvarez is the City’s leading advocate on homelessness efforts. He represents Kissimmee on the Central Florida Commission on Homelessness, has met with, and continues to learn from other officials that have made great strides in different parts of the country, and he dedicates much of his personal time to this fight. This year he was listed among Rethink Homelessness’s “Central Florida 40”.
Jose takes great pride in working with, and for, the community. Over the past 3 years, he has met with more residents and business owners than any other member of the City Commission. And as a positive consequence of this open door policy, he’s recorded more passed motions as well. From introducing the City’s first Homebuyer Down Payment Assistance program to rolling back-business inhibiting ordinances and helping new startups open and grow, Commissioner Alvarez has stayed very busy for the residents of Kissimmee. He also takes pride in the fact that the City has an A+ credit rating and works efficiently, and hasn’t raised the mileage rate on taxpayers during his time in office. He believes that fiscal responsibility is paramount to ensuring a bright future for Kissimmee and consistently advocates for a balanced approach when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars.
In addition to his role at City Hall, Jose serves on the Board of Directors for the Osceola Education Foundation, Help Now Osceola, Transition House, Osceola Arts, and the Hispanic Business Council. He also serves on the Transportation Committee for the National League of Cities, is the current Chair of the Transportation and Intergovernmental Relations Committee for the Florida League of Cities, and is an Alternate on Metro Plan Orlando’s Board of Directors. Additionally, Jose’s passion for expanding homeownership and preserving property rights has led him to serve on various executive committees within the Florida Association of Realtors. And in 2009 he served as President of the Osceola County Association of Realtors, where he still participates in community and industry improving efforts.
Commissioner Alvarez is a married father of 5 daughters and 20-year resident of Osceola County. He volunteers with several local non-profits and has served this community in one capacity or another for many of those years. Today he’s asking for your support in his bid to become the next Mayor of Kissimmee, where he’s sure to continue serving us well.
Paid for and approved by Jose Alvarez for Kissimmee Mayor – Commission Seat 5 (Non-Partisan).
REELECTION for County Commision
Osceola County native Brandon Arrington was elected to the County Commission in 2008, and is seeking your support for reelection. “It has been a great honor to represent Osceola County these last eight years. We, as a commission, have made some great strides, but there is still a lot of work to be done” stated Brandon. While serving as a Commissioner, the county has created the Florida Tech Farm with UCF, broke ground on a new Valencia Campus on Pleasant Hill, invested approximately $300 million in new road projects, and improvements such as resurfacing Pleasant Hill, construction of John Young Flyover, and the Osceola Parkway widening, also the construction of Poinciana Parkway. The county also negotiated a new contract with our trash haulers, to make curbside recycling a reality for Osceola while reducing the cost to residents.
Also, to meet the current and future needs of residents, Brandon has diligently worked to move forward the construction of Sunrail – a 61-mile commuter train in central Florida, the construction of a permanent health clinic to serve district 3, the widening of Poinciana Boulevard, and increased Lynx service to allow residents better access to and from their homes.
These past eight years Osceola County has placed a premium on operating effectively. By creating efficiencies such as Paperless Permitting, Osceola has been able to reduce cost and time for applicants and the county. Osceola County operates today with less employees than we had in 2005. Saving on operating costs has allowed Osceola to keep property taxes stable, while making much needed improvements to our infrastructure.
Brandon helped lobby for the creation of Osceola’s Expressway Authority, which led to the construction of Poinciana Parkway. This new way out of Poinciana will be the first leg in connecting I-4 to the turnpike through Poinciana. This has been a top priority and one that Brandon hopes to champion over the next four years.
Serving on the Public Safety Coordinating Council, Brandon understands the issues our first responders and court system face. That is why he has supported the creation of a new training facility for the sheriff. Osceola has also invested in a Central Receiving Facility, to allow for intake of those having addiction or mental health issues. This facility will allow for treatment as opposed to being incarcerated. Osceola has also begun the construction of a new fire station on Pleasant Hill Road, which will serve as the model for future stations.
He is a graduate of Osceola High School, where he met his wife Kristen, and he is also a graduate of Auburn University, “War Eagle”. Personal improvement is very important to Brandon, so other education and enrichment endeavors include Leadership Osceola, Political Leadership Institute, Certified County Commission Training, Advanced Commissioner Training, and MPO training. Outside of serving his community he enjoys spending his free time outdoors.
He is a member of the Rotary Club of Poinciana and a mentor for Take Stock in Children. He also served as the past chair for Alzheimer’s Walk in Kissimmee and helped fundraise for Cystic Fibrosis, Relay for Life, The Osceola Council on Aging, the YMCA, and is a proud participant in Read Across America. Brandon also works as the Executive Director for Osceola Arts, our local art agency.
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Brandon Arrington, Democrat for Osceola County Commission district 3.
for OSCEOLA COUNTY PROPERTY APPRAISER
A 28-year veteran in the property appraiser field, Katrina has worked in almost every area of the Osceola County Property Appraiser’s Office, and in the field. She briefly left the Property Appraiser’s Office to work on the senior management staff for Tax Collector Patsy Heffner, and in 2006, Katrina returned to the Property Appraiser’s Office to serve as Chief of Staff. In this position, she managed daily operations of the office, maintained the Tax Roll and Property Ownership Records, and administered the annual budget.
Katrina is a Certified Florida Appraiser, Certified Cadastralist of Florida, and Master Cadastralist of Florida. She is a member of the International Association of Assessing Officers, Florida Chapter of International Association of Assessing Officers, Property Appraiser’s Association of Florida, and Florida Association of Cadastral Mappers. The Property Appraiser office has won multiple awards under Katrina’s leadership. The office received the “Certificate of Excellence” by the IAAO (International Association of Assessing Officers) in 2010, for using best practices in Assessment Administration, and the SAG Award (Special Achievement in GIS) in 2015.
Katrina is currently the President of the Board of Directors for the Osceola County Historical Society and the Osceola Council on Aging and holds the position of Vice President for the Property Appraiser’s Association of Florida. She also serves on the board of directors for Christmas for the Kids and is a past board member of the Kissimmee/Osceola Chamber of Commerce. In addition, she is a graduate of the 2008 Leadership Osceola Class.
- 30 years of experience
- Most qualified for the position
- Created the Homestead Fraud Detection Program
- Created the Community Outreach Program
- Helped improve technology for more fair and accurate property assessments
- Upgraded the Property Appraiser’s website to better facilitate services to our citizens
“It is with great honor that I announce to you that your firefighters have voted to support your re-election campaign for Osceola County Property Appraiser. We feel that you have the leadership and knowledge to make the right decisions in making our community and our County a better place by your actions.”
Adam Seithel, President
Osceola County Professional Firefighters IAFF Local #3284
“I feel strongly that Katrina Scarborough is the most qualified candidate for Property Appraiser. With over 30 years of experience under her belt, Katrina is someone who is invested in our community and the future of Osceola County. She respects our heritage while finding new ways to improve technology that makes the office more efficient and provides great customer service to taxpayers. I hope you will join me in supporting her re-election campaign.”
Jo Thacker, Partner
Broad and Cassel
“Experience Matters” please vote Katrina Scarborough for your Osceola County Property Appraiser Office.
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Katrina Scarborough, Democrat for Osceola County Property Appraiser.
for SHERIFF OF OSCEOLA COUNTY
No Osceola County resident needs to look very far into recent news accounts to know that these are challenging times. Keeping communities safe, being sensitive to the needs of citizens of all backgrounds, operating with transparency, and practicing good stewardship of both public funds and public trust must be the guiding principles for anyone running for public office, most particularly in the law-enforcement community. In the campaign for Osceola Sheriff, candidate Dave Sklarek, most recently the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy, embodies these principles in ways seldom seen in such abundance.
Reflecting a lifetime of public service, Sklarek’s credentials are impressive. He is a United States Marine, has decades of successful police work for Osceola County, a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy, a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Administration, and a graduate of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Chief Executive Seminar. These, and other accolades, are what Dave Sklarek brings to the table, as he campaigns to earn your trust – and your vote – for Sheriff of Osceola County.
While pondering your vote, other factors describing the true measure of the man should be evaluated. Consider this: Dave Sklarek has received the endorsement of incumbent Sheriff, Bob Hansell. He has also earned the coveted endorsement of many of central Florida’s Sheriffs. These endorsements are not given casually, as they reflect upon the professional reputation of those who bestow them.
Also, consider these additional assets: Sklarek is a graduate of Leadership Osceola, and he is the Volunteer Director for the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Florida, which raises awareness, and millions of dollars nationwide, in support of Special Olympics. He also is the former Chairman of Osceola County’s Substance Abuse Policy Advisory Board, and board member of Public Safety Coordinating Council, he also currently is a sitting board member for Community Vision. These positions, and others, are not mandated. Instead, they reflect a love of community, and a concern for public welfare, which transcends merely being on the public payroll.
Other areas for consideration are his proven performance. Sklarek has risen through the ranks of the Sheriff’s Office, being appointed by Sheriff Bob Hansell in 2005 as the Chief Deputy, second in command. He has successfully managed a budget of over 65 million dollars, and directed, on behalf of the incumbent, all aspects of the Office from enforcement, administration, human resources, and internal affairs. He is a state-certified firearms, defensive tactics, and general subject’s instructor, specializing in high risk tactical training and officer stress, survival, and leadership. He is a certified practitioner of personal fitness and nutrition, a former team commander and instructor of the SWAT team, a court recognized expert in use of force practice and policy, and more. That he is superbly prepared to take up the mantle of Sheriff from day one is an understatement.
And finally, consider the man. Married father of four sons, member and Sunday-school teacher in his church, youth sports coach, and mentor. How many of those who run for office can offer such depth and breadth of life experience and proven record of excellence in public service?
Dave Sklarek hopes to continue his legacy of service to the county he loves. As we all face the uncertainties and challenges of the future, he asks for your favorable consideration and trust by granting him the honor of being elected as your Sheriff for Osceola County.
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Dave Sklarek, Republican for Osceola County Sheriff.