Groveland Mayor Tim Loucks‘ term is up in November, and he’s wasting no time contesting Commissioner Timothy Sullivan for the District 1 seat in the November election.
Loucks says he’s just fed up with Sullivan’s lack of representing the district, saying Sullivan doesn’t live in his district as is required per Florida law and that Sullivan never comes to the district he represents.
“I don’t think I’ve seen him in the county more than twice,” Loucks told Orlando Rising. “He has no presence in the county. I thought for two years that Sean Parks was our commissioner.”
Sullivan owns an apartment in District 1, but lives in Leesburg – in District 3 – with his family, he told Orlando Rising. He said if he found out that he was somehow violating a rule, he would make changes accordingly so he was in compliance with regulations.
But as far as he knows, he isn’t breaking a rule, he said.
“I firmly believe that I am in line with what the law requires,” he said.
Loucks said the “final straw” for him and others came when Sullivan voted last year for a proposal to bring CEMEX Construction Materials’ 1,196-acre sand mine to the area, which would have interfered with the area proposed for the Wellness Way Area Plan – a hub that could bring high-tech industry jobs to the area if approved.
The Wellness Way Area Plan would bring thousands of jobs to the area and, according to Loucks, bring high-tech jobs to the area that would put Lake County in competition with some of the most bustling areas in Orange County.
By contrast, the CEMEX sand mine that would have come in the middle of the project would only bring 25 jobs, Loucks said.
The CEMEX proposal wasn’t passed through by the county, but Loucks’ worries haven’t been alleviated. In fact, those worries are part of what spurred him to run for the county seat, he said.
“I think [Sullivan] caters to special interests,” he said. “I want to be on the county to argue why a special use permit should not be approved for [CEMEX].”
When asked why people should vote for him, Sullivan touted his fiscally conservative voting record and his long and decorative history of military service and other public service positions.
“I know the rules and play by them,” he said.
Due to the pending lawsuit against the county by CEMEX, Sullivan said he couldn’t comment on his reasoning for voting in favor of the sand mine last year.
“So my opponent has the advantage,” Sullivan said.