David Carson 'Just One Person, Working As a Team'
Seat No. 3 candidate David Carson says he still has work to do as Dunedin commissioner.
Commissioner David Carson said he got goose bumps when he heard Dunedin Isles was free of stormwater issues after Tropical Storm Debby.
Stormwater drainage is a neighborhood issue he passionately sought to resolve when he ran for city commission in 2009. Carson is making his second run for commission seat 3 in the upcoming election. He is up against political newcomer Heather Gracy.
Fifteen years ago, he said, Dunedin Isles residents’ yards were retention ponds.
“That’s bologna,” he said. “Infrastructure is the pure essence of government.”
Carson said he and the other commissioners have accomplished a lot, but he’s not done yet. Much-needed storm pipe work is still underway on Orangewood Drive, but President Street, Cedar Creek, Lake Sperry and others are “coming down the pike,” he said.
“I want to continue this push,” he said. “I just think it’s the government’s responsibility to remove stormwater from our streets and our neighborhoods. And as it negatively impacts our neighborhoods we have to step up and fix it.”
Carson, married to wife Martha, was raised one of five children in the small town of Gridley, IL (population 900). He graduated from a high school class of 27 students, where his speech teacher first predicted his future in politics (although, he admits he only took the class because it had several girls in it). He worked the night shift in a factory through two years of collegiate studies at Illinois Central, where he also played basketball, until leaving so he could work fulltime to support his parents the years preceding and following his father's passing.
Carson, who started Carson Pest Control with his brother (his Shih Tzu named Bugsy also helps there), said he has learned the value of patience and working as a team during the last four years.
At work, Carson is the boss, but "I’m not the boss here."
"No body does anything on their own, good, bad or indifferent. You have to make sure you get the consensus of the other commissioners. And hopefully the staff will come along, too," he said. "I was just one person working alongside of the others and working as a team."
Carson is aware that his leadership style can come across as blunt, but he tries to vote in a way he believes benefits all Dunedin residents.
“A lot of special interest groups out there that are constantly asking for money to help their own personal cause,” he said. “...You have to try to understand that they try to make it personal, but you can’t. When you say 'no' to somebody, it’s personal (to them), but you’re making a decision for 35,000 people.”
That's why he said he voted 'nay' to the citywide branding initiative.
"I don’t think the people living in the mobile home parks need to be using their tax money to pay for the branding initiative," Carson said.