By Jessica Tuggle
SEBASTIAN - Election Day is coming soon and the four candidates for Sebastian City Council are ready to battle it out.
Damien Gilliams, a local businessman and frequent government critic, is joined in the race for two seats on the council by sitting Mayor Jim Hill, Jerome Adams and Tim Slaven.
Mr. Gilliams has not held public office, but has served on a number of Sebastian boards or committees, including the code enforcement board and the community redevelopment association.
His reasons for running are the same as they have ever been, Mr. Gilliams said.
Fiscal responsibility and government transparency are at the top of his list. They are joined with concerns about preserving the environment and especially the Indian River Lagoon.
Advertising the lagoon and fishing on billboards when the sea grass beds in the lagoon are dying, leading to fewer fish in the waters, just isn't a good policy, Mr. Gilliams said.
Mr. Gilliam says council has not been pro-active to helping this situation and open to outside environmentalist help for this issue.
He said the working waterfront project is a boondoggle.
The project has stalled, the museum has never been opened and a restaurant on the project property was allowed to open and then abruptly closed.
Mr. Gilliams said the group undertaking the project is quite friendly with the council and proper procedure hasn't been followed in the bidding process.
"It's a sinkhole. It's good old boy politics as usual and I want to stand against it," Mr. Gilliams said.
He would like to see changes made within the city, including establishing a grant-writing department paid on commission and establishing a citizen's volunteer academy, similar to the volunteer police academy. The volunteers could help the city save thousands, Mr. Gilliams said.
Another idea Mr. Gilliams has is to create a revenue- producing environmental learning center within the city.
Hometown News is attempting to contact all candidates for Sebastian City Council for a profile. To see more candidate profiles, read Hometown News or search online at www.myhometownnews.net.