Third candidate files for County Commission District 4 seat


Keith Poole [supplied]

Home » Politics
Posted March 25, 2022 | By James Blevins
james@ocalagazette.com

Keith Poole has filed the necessary paperwork to run for the District 4 seat on the Marion County Board of County Commissioners (MCBOCC), according to the Marion County Supervisor of Elections website.

Poole, a general contractor who owns KAP Design Group, LLC, said he feels the county commission could benefit from new viewpoints. 

“I believe in term limits, and so, it’s time for a change. It’s time for a different perspective. This is my home and I offer myself up for public service,” Poole said. 

His associations and affiliations with various county, professional and service organizations, Poole said he believes that provided him with the necessary experience for the position. 

“I sit on the License Review Board for the county. I used to sit on the Affordable Housing Committee. I’m a past president of the [Marion County} Builders Association,” he said. “I’m networked into the county. I know quite a few folks, and I understand the inner workings of the side of government that I deal with.”

Poole cited growth as the most pressing issue he believes Marion County is facing at the moment. 

“We need to have a plan,” he said. “We need to be able to manage growth, to understand where we’re at, understand where we’ve been, realize why folks will want to live here, and try and preserve and protect that quality of life.” 

“We can’t stop people from coming here,” he added; “but we need to be more proactive instead of reactive [when it comes to growth]. We need to work on infrastructure. We got to have our roads, our sewer. We’ve got to have plans for these things.”

Should he be elected, Poole said his focus would be on improving what he sees as a disconnection between the board and it’s employees. 

“I believe there’s a breakdown between county staff and [the] county commission,” he said. “And so what I would like to do is get in and understand the inner workings of the departments and their relationship back to the county commission.” 

As an example of a breakdown of communication, Poole said he thinks that county staff brings the commission three “bad versions” of an idea, and they pick the “least of the three.”

“I don’t think it should be that way,” he said. 

Poole sees himself as someone who wouldn’t be afraid to speak up when necessary, but knows to take notes when it’s time to listen. 

“My vision is somebody to ask the tough questions. You know, we can’t just rubber-stamp everything that comes through. We’ve got to look at it. We’ve got to know what we’re dealing with,” he said.

Poole joins current MCBOCC Chair Carl Zalak III and Rachel Sams as candidates for the District 4 seat. 

According to the Marion County Supervisor of Elections website, Poole currently has $6,500 in contributions as of March 15. Sams has $22,935 (with $2,735.48 in-kind and $3,547.23 in expenditures). Zalak has $77,000 in contributions. 

The general election will be held on Nov. 8, 2022.