Back to Top


When I returned home in July 2014 after long years of public service to the country in South Korea, I just wanted to be an "active citizen", able to be an honest broker regarding issues I cared about.  That's exactly what I told friends last year when several asked me to run for office.  I consistently said, even to my opponent last month when he asked, "why would I want to do that (at this point in my life)?

In addition, as I was no longer bound by Federal civil service or US military rules regarding speaking or writing, I truly enjoyed recovering my "freedom of speech".  It was liberating.

What follows here are representative samples of my community activism and writings regarding three major issues dividing our city, the GNV R.I.S.E. high-density infill proposal, the biomass plant, and finally, the need for a change of culture in City governance.  I have always focused respectfully on trying to help our elected officials "do the right thing".

In these opinion pieces, all written before my decision to run for office, and with no intention of running for office in the future, my only goal was to raise serious questions of public policy, not go after someone's job. I have not  accused any official, past or present of criminal wrongdoing or fraud, although there are certain "red flags" in the case of the biomass plant that warranted further investigation, only failures in leadership and mistakes in judgment. And, for me at least, it was never personal.


A timely cartoon reprinted in the Gainesville Sun on Sunday, February 10, 2019


Unfortunately, some of my most critical advice "fell on deaf ears".  That is why I am finally running for office.  It is time to hold the incumbents running for reelection accountable for their mistakes, mistakes which threaten to throw my beloved hometown into bankruptcy if not addressed.  If not now, when?

Special to the Sun: GNV R.I.S.E. (Analysis)

Initial analysis of GNV R.I.S.E. and "Affordable Housing" (ultimately defeated on November 29, 2018)

"First Do No Harm"

My letter as President, University Park Neighborhood Association, expressing our Board's unanimous concerns regarding Department of Doing's proposed Update to the Comprehensive Plan.

GNV R.I.S.E. a ruse beneffiting developers

Another "Special to the Sun" in opposition to the Department of Doing's attempt to sell GNV R.I.S.E. as an "affordable housing"plan.

Letter to Mayor: Is Coverup Worse Than the Crime

This is one of my letters to the Mayor and the City Commission regarding the "Asset Purchase Agreement" to purchase the biomass plant.

If I Were Your Lawyer

My letter to the Mayor: If I Were Your Lawyer

Epitaph: Biomass Plant Buyout (They did it anyway and now they "own it").

Special to the Sun: GREC Buyout "Falling on Deaf Ears"

Now, having ignored my advice, the Mayor and my opponent in District 4 should be held accountable for this folly, which the Gainesville Sun now views as the reason GRU reserves are being depleted in order to "service the debt" ($750 million plus).

City Government Needs a Culture Change

My last Op-Ed before deciding to run, was published in the Gainesville Sun on Sunday, January 27, 2019. The opinion piece was focused on the failure of the current City government to "put people first", especially in the Department of Doing, and at Commission meetings 

Resident Asks My Ideas for Koppers "superfund" site

Robert, what ideas do you have regarding development of the Koppers superfund site? How can the site be developed in a way that will benefit the Stephen Foster neighborhood? The county is proposing a 100-yard-wide wooded parkway stretching north-south along the western border of Koppers to serve as a buffer zone protecting the neighborhood from any commercial development. This would be the first good news that neighborhood has received in many years. What are your ideas?

Submitted on:

Robert's response:

Aside from limited discussion over the possible location for an Event Center, which no one seems to support, the Koppers superfund site has not been an issue in the current City Commission campaign.  What you report concerning the county's proposal for a 100-yard wide wooded parkway along the western border as a "buffer zone" sounds positive to me if welcome to the neighborhood as I am all about protecting neighborhoods from unwanted development. My approach when elected will always be to ask neighbors what they would like to see, and what they need from the city?  I will not be among those pursuing their own agenda for development.

Incidentally, I am advised that a consultant asked to evaluate both the Koppers site and a site on Waldo Road at NE 8th Avenue for an Event Center recently told the Commission that neither site would be appropriate as there is no nearby major airport, or major highway.  Thus, it would not generate the economic development on the east side they think it would.  Yet days later, the current mayor was positively giddy at a Candidate Forum about placing the Event Center on the Waldo Road site (using funds that cannot be spent for that purpose), which I see as yet another empty promise to do something for the east side.  To my knowledge, no one has asked the Northeast neighbors, residing in a quiet, middle-class residential neighborhood, what they thought of it.

Personal website.
Powered by - Political Websites