Commission Candidate Dustin Rivest Advocates for Problem Solving

Commission Candidate Dustin Rivest Advocates for Problem Solving

Leon County Commission Candidate Dustin Rivest recently joined Steve Stewart on The Steve Stewart Show to discuss his campaign and the issues facing the community.

Rivest, a Tallahassee native, was raised in District 5, for which seat he is currently running. The district spans from Tram Road north to Mahan Drive and from Sandy Acres Trail west to North Monroe Street.

Rivest is a graduate of Lincoln High School who, after graduation, received a scholarship to Florida International University in Miami for football. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in business real estate and eventually returned home to Tallahassee.

Rivest, now a local business owner, says elected officials need to know how to solve problems, “As a business owner… you’re solving problems every single day.”

When asked what issues he hears about most from citizens while on the campaign trail.

“The number one issue I hear, especially from the business community, is jobs. Not only the business community though, but it’s a lot of folks looking for jobs, right. So, workforce educational opportunities are a big thing for me.”

He says there needs to be more people in the workforce, and the best way to accomplish that is through training.

Rivest believes Amazon’s impact on the community will overall be beneficial. “I think Amazon is going to create more jobs, and it’s going to attract other businesses to our community, especially out in the Mahan area.”

Stewart asked Rivest what challenges are facing the community now.

He stated homelessness and the need to increase businesses are two significant challenges. “I want us to focus on how we fix the homelessness problem,” Rivest said. He suggested gathering better data concerning the homeless to understand what is needed.

In regards to growing business, he also addressed taxes, suggesting that an increase in small business means an increase in the tax base instead of higher taxes.

Rivest said he would have voted no on the Blueprint dollars to the FSU and FAMU stadiums. He argued there needed to be more discussion and negotiation, or maybe even an RFP to allow more people to present proposals for the money.

Rivest said, if he gets elected, he wants to be sure there is a better and more transparent process in place.

Stewart also asked Rivest whether the upper management of the Blueprint organization should abide by Sunshine laws.

“…Reese Goad and Vince Long are the two most powerful people because they don’t have to abide by Sunshine laws… I’d be fighting for that. There is a lot of talk that happens behind the scenes, staff recommendations and stuff like that, that need to come to light more,” Rivest answered.

Another area Rivest believes he can improve is citizen engagement. He wants to see more meaningful feedback from citizens. He proposes that technology may aid in collecting data using surveys and allowing residents to provide input while remaining anonymous.

“I believe I am uniquely positioned to lead our community for a variety of reasons.” He said that his experience building teams and his data-driven perspective on bringing about solutions are two reasons. Lastly, he has never earned a paycheck from taxpayer money and is outside the establishment. “I firmly believe that if you want something different, you should give me a chance to lead our community in the direction I think we are all looking for.”

9 Responses to "Commission Candidate Dustin Rivest Advocates for Problem Solving"

  1. Fluff. The author did her level best to make it sound like Rivest possesses any substance whatsoever. Would have been good to press him about just why he’s running, given that he had so little to say (hey, let’s study homelessness a little more!) Let’s see whether O’Keefe gets an interview, too. The man has an impressive story.

  2. Steve, instead of asking him what he wants to do you might want to ask what he would have done had he been on the county commission. He was opposed to the Blueprint going to TCC, FAMU and FSU that tells me something. Would he have voted for the option to buy the old school house off Thomasville Road? Does he favor spending money to renovate the old school house to replace the Miccosukee Community Center? Did he favor the creation of the Children’s Services Council? Although it has nothing to do with decisions he might make on the county commission I might ask if he were pro-life or pro-abortion as that answer will tell readers a lot about a person. It’s nice to know what he wants to do but it is better to know how he thinks.

    1. Thanks for the input Dennis. I have two candidates on next week and I will ask some “what he would have done” questions. Steve S.

  3. I haven’t heard or read anything about him that is alarming. And I want something different, so I’ll give him a chance.

  4. @ Hope…… O’Keefe lost me when he said that he will Vote Democrat all the way no matter WHO the Candidate is.

  5. Pat A,

    There is a candidate in this race who is a CPA and stated that he will not have any other job other than if he is elected he will totally commit to being a full-time county commissioner. I thought that was impressive, also. I believe that candidate is David O’Keefe.

  6. (Insert sarcasm), Justin a successful entrepreneur with three businesses has the time and talent to assume additional duties wants to represent you. Come on Steve/TR put some effort into your stories. Those that cannot perform seek good paying jobs in local government. If this guy is so great, why is he looking for a new job. A background check of our beloved City and County commissioners should show the members could never make their salaries and benefits in the private sector.

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