Leon County Commission candidate Jay Revell appeared on the Steve Stewart Show on Tuesday, May 17th, to discuss his priorities should he win the election. (Listen to audio.) He also touched on contentious topics like the FAMU and FSU stadium vote by the Blueprint Board.
Revell is running for Leon County Commission District 5, which is currently held by Kristin Dozier.
Revell is vying for the seat with four other candidates campaigning in the primary. After the vote in August, the top two candidates will move onto the polls in November.
Revell was born in Havana, Florida, and graduated from Florida State University with his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science. Revell said he grew up a University of Florida fan and applied to attend school there. However, he was not accepted and instead attended FSU. Revell expressed he “fell in love with” the Noles and the Tallahassee community.
He interned for four years with then-Commissioner John Dailey and eventually was hired to work for the Tallahassee Downtown Improvement Authority (TDIA). Some of his accomplishments with the TDIA were establishing the concert series at Cascades Park and the downtown market.
When Revell was asked what prompted him to run for commission, he explained that he believes many in the community are frustrated and do not think the community is reaching its full potential. “There’s just a lack of vision,” Revell said.
Stewart also asked Revell what challenges the community faces and where his focus is. “Quality of life, public safety, and building a thriving economy,” Revell said. He stated that his focus is housing affordability regarding the quality of life. With public safety, the two significant issues are crime and homelessness. Lastly, concerning the economy, he wants to concentrate on higher-paying jobs and fighting poverty.
Revell was asked how he would have voted to give Blueprint economic dollars to FAMU and FSU for stadium improvements. “I would have voted against it,” he said. “Any of those expenditures for stadium improvements, you know they gave some money to TCC too. I think that is a symptom of lacking vision.”
Revell said that though he too loves the universities and their athletic programs, the expenditure comes at a massive opportunity loss for future ventures. “That is not what that money was set aside for,” he said.
Revell also touched on the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency, stating, “it has been and still has the opportunity to be the most impactful organization in our governing structure.” He said that Blueprint has allowed the community to achieve some grand ambitions that may not have been if left up to the individual local governments.
When discussing why residents should vote for him, Revell said that there are a lot of great candidates running, but, “The big difference between me and everyone else is, I have always spent every waking day trying to leave Tallahassee and Leon County better than I found it. I know how to do that,” Revell said. “I know how to build consensus. I know how to create a vision. It comes from the best intentions and ambitions from various corners of our community.”
“My number one focus is that our community has a vision for the future and moving us boldly toward it,” Revell said.