By Chris Fish
MELBOURNE - Two candidates will vie to take on the role of Melbounre Mayor in the upcoming election.
Mark LaRusso and Kathy Meehan will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Current Melbourne Mayor Harry Goode is ineligible to seek reelection as mayor, but he is running for District 3 of the Melbourne City Council.
Basic information about the candidates is as follows:
. Age: 56
. City: Melbourne
. Years as resident: 17
. Occupation: Owner of Paper and Plastics Direct, LLC, appointed Melbourne's vice mayor in 2006 and 2009, elected city councilman in 2004, 2006 and 2010.
. Education: Brevard Community College
. Organizations affiliated with: Habitat for Humanity of Brevard County, Club Esteem in Melbourne , American Legion Post 81 Vietnam Veteran's Reunion, Brevard Schools Foundation scholarship sponsor, City of Melbourne's Zoning Board of Adjustment board member 2003-04, Florida Police Benevolent Association's Distinguished Service Award for Outstanding Leadership in 2005, recipient of the Friend of Florida Taxpayers Award by State Senator Bill Posey in 2008.
. Marital status: Married 25 years to wife, Randy
. Children: one
. In 100 words, explain what makes you the best candidate for this seat: "The biggest challenge facing Melbourne is that of economic development. As a small business owner and sitting councilmember, I understand the needs of businesses to create and retain jobs. This includes the easing of certain business regulations. Our city's home foreclosure ratio remains high. I have voted to reduce tax burdens, while providing viable cost-cutting solutions that maintain the integrity of our city services. I believe that I have the vision, experience and leadership skills that will be required to guide us through the next four years and continue to make Melbourne a great place to live and work."
. Age: 57
. City: Melbourne
. Years as resident: 32
. Occupation: Manager at Meehans' Office Products in Historic Downtown Melbourne, appointed vice mayor from 2007-08 and 2010-11, has served as a Melbourne City Councilwoman since 2004
. Education: Bachelor of Science in Psychology with Honors from the Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne
. Organizations affiliated with: Board member of the Space Coast League of Cities since 2004 and president from 2009-10, vice chairman of the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization since 2011 and member since 2006, past member of the board of directors of the Melbourne Downtown Progress Association, past coordinator at Melbourne Riverview Crime Watch, past member of the Neighbor's Against Crime, member of the Melbourne Police Community Relations Council, past member of the School Improvement Committee for West Shore Junior/Senior High School, member of the Brevard Brush Strokes, member of the Planning and Zoning Board, member of the Ad Hoc Committee, member of the Melbourne Police Community/Relations Council
. Marital status: Married 28 years to husband, Dennis
. Children: two
. In 100 words, explain what makes you the best candidate for this seat: "As mayor, I will build partnerships between the diverse neighborhoods that make up our city, the businesses that drive our economy and the educational institutions that hold promise of our future. With my leadership, experience and qualifications, I will continue to improve our city. I will continue to bring more jobs to our community, improve our roads and provide safer neighborhoods. I will also support fiscal responsibility, maintain our parks and make them safe for everyone and support our police and fire departments. My vision is to make Melbourne the best place to work, play and proudly call our home."
Voters may head to the polls in the General Election on Nov. 6.
For more information, visit www.votebrevard.com.