After working for Lake County for 33 years in various positions from Library Services Director to Public Resources Director, Wendy Breeden wants a shot at being on the board of county commissioners. But to get there, she has to beat incumbent Jimmy Conner for the District 3 seat in the November election.
Now a month into her campaign, Breeden said she’s ready for change and thinks she can be the one to enact it.
“I was ready for a change from working for the county,” she said. “But I didn’t want to just ride off into the sunset. I have more to give.”
Breeden said she is “tired of career politicians,” and with her opponent Conner having worked with the City of Tavares as well as the School Board for years in the past, new blood might not be a bad thing.
“I think we need some new ideas,” she said. “A new look at how the county is operating. Fresh perspective is good.”
Breeden said she wanted to help with the county’s goal to be more business-friendly by pushing workers to stay in the area rather than take jobs in Orange County. To do this, she said, would involve smoothing out kinks in the county’s economy.
“We want both higher paying jobs and more commercial businesses to balance out the economy and to keep people in Lake County contributing to the Lake County economy,” she wrote in an email.
Breeden also said she wanted better job training for those in the county.
“I’ve also heard many times that businesses have trouble finding qualified applicants for their existing businesses,” she wrote. “We need to work with educational partners to provide job seekers with the needed skills.”
She wants to take a look at “the complete package of taxes, fees, incentives, infrastructure and regulations, as well as educational opportunities and quality of life,” she wrote, with the end goal being more new businesses hopefully choosing to locate in Lake County.
In a Daily Commercial article, Conner is quoted as alleging that marketing and PR professional Mandy Wettstein, who supports Breeden, is a lobbyist for CEMEX Construction Materials. The County denied CEMEX’s proposal of construction of a 1,196-acre sand mine in the area last year.
Conner alleged that CEMEX was trying to get someone in office who would look favorably on the sand mine, according to the article.
Breeden said she was not being influenced by CEMEX, according to the article.
Conner did not respond to multiple requests for comment by Orlando Rising.