ALACHUA – Incumbents for two City of Alachua commission seats are being challenged during the April 12 election.
Mayor Gib Coerper (Seat 1) and Commissioner Robert W. Wilford (Seat 2) are running against Tamara Robbins and Linda Lundy, respectively.
Coerper, 69, is the first Alachua mayor elected by citizens and has held the position since 2010. He has served five previous terms as either city commissioner or mayor. He is active in the Alachua Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council.
Coerper said he is his harshest critic. “If I am not having fun and being effective, I wouldn't want to continue to serve,” he said. “But I am having fun and I believe I have been effective in serving the citizens of Alachua, so I am ready to continue.”
Robbins, 57, is challenging Coerper for the mayor's seat. She previously served as city commissioner from 2001 to 2004. She considers herself a citizen advocate and said, “I am running because I have witnessed the entire City commission neglecting its sworn duties to represent the public to which they are elected to serve. Many policies are neglected and ignored in exchange for meeting the needs of special interests.”
Wilford, 71, has served on the city commission for two terms and was vice mayor from 2012-2013. He served as the CEO of Central Florida Community Action Agency, retiring in 2014.
He is a city commission alternate to the Alachua League of Cities and the commission liaison to the Senior Resources Advisory Board and the North Central Florida Regional Planning Council. He is a U.S. Navy Vietnam-era Veteran who completed his 20-year career in 1983.
“I moved here in 2007 and started attending city commission meetings to see how the city functioned,” said Wilford. “After watching for a while, I thought I might have something to offer our citizens and decided to run for commissioner and won. As a commission, we have accomplished a lot, but still have more to do. Reducing utility costs while also insuring we have controlled growth while protecting the environment."
Challenging Wilford for Seat 2 is Lundy, 68. She was born and raised in Alachua and graduated from A.L. Mebane High School. Lundy graduated from St. Leo University with a degree in criminology. She taught elementary education in Duval County from 2002-2010 and holds a dual certification in Elementary Education and Exceptional Student Education. Currently, Lundy is a private reading tutor and public speaker, as well as an evangelistic preacher.
“I am a voice for the people who are not able to speak for themselves,” said Lundy. “Sometimes it helps to have someone interpret what is going on in government for people who may not be familiar with the details of how their government works."
The 2016 City of Alachua Election will be held on Tuesday, April 12.
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