Thomas Gaume

Every candidate is given the opportunity to answer our candidate questionnaire. Below are the answers to the question this candidate chose to answer as submitted.

Thomas Gaume (Facebook Photo)

Political Party: Nonpartisan Race

Education: US Navy

Office Running For: Palm Bay City Council Seat 2


Current Employment: Retired computer tech. / Disabled Veteran

Where are you from: Middlebury, IN

Are you a veteran? If so, which branch and rank? US Navy – E6 (FC1 SW)

Why are you running:

I’ve been on a crusade to exterminate many of the problems we have in Palm Bay.

I started talking about fixing our roads with a road bond in 2016. After my research and a rough plan this option was brought forward to the voters in 2018 and approved.

I also lead the petition to change the City Charter and remove the power of assessment from an over zealous Council that had raised Palm Bay stormwater fee by over 300% in one year.

What are your top three priorities if you are elected:

Finish the fixing ALL of the roads in Palm Bay. Dissolve the Bayfront CRA and the Business improvement districts and concentrate those resources on the Babcock corridor.

Palm Bay leadership has often said we need a downtown and a Main St. Now with two interchanges within our City Limits connected by a single road we’ve been handed a great economic catalyst.

We can organically grow a Main St. environment and Downtown with proper changes to the comprehensive plan and smart zoning. The best part is that this can all happen organically, without using special taxing districts or tax increment financing.

What do you think is the number 1 problem in your district related to the office you are running for:

Leadership. Very little present. Absolutely no one willing to own up to their mistakes.

How will you involve your constituents in your decision making: By seeking out Citizens and getting their input. More importantly I’m interested in their ideas. We live in a community of REAL rocket scientist, and probably the most educated workforce anywhere. People have ideas, people have solutions to problems, but for so long they’ve simply been ignored.

Do you plan to run for a higher office: Never. I have aspirations of higher office.

How will you address infrastructure in your district:

Since the roads are a solution in progress my next concern is safe routes to schools for the youth in our community. This involves adding sidewalks and street lights in areas where students are required to walk or provide their own transportation to school.

Pressure also needs to be applied to the State and County to expedite the widening of Babcock Street from Malabar down to the new interchange.

How will you address crime in your district:

1.) We need to bring back our Police Athletic League so that our youth have a place to go, and people they can trust to oversee their safety.

2.) Prop up the neighborhood watch programs.

3.) Put more V-cops (volunteer citizens) in cars to simply patrol and watch for suspicious or criminal activity.

Palm Bay does have major issues, that’s not in question. I’ve lived here 25 years and never in that time have we had 5 murders in 20 days, all related to drugs. We have to create and environment where the drug dealers are not so comfortable.

How will you address affordable housing in your district:Lessen the building restrictions currently in place. Currently you can’t build a home under 1,000 square feet, or without a garage in Palm Bay. My first home here was affordable, but did not meet either of those restrictions that were put in place in early 2000’s. These “starter” homes were a basic shell of the house and the owner had to finish the inside (cabinets, flooring, painting). That sweat equity saved the owners thousands of dollars over the life of their mortgage and made the payments affordable. Lessen the restrictions and let the demand dictate what the supply should be.

How will you address environmental concerns in your district: The environment is our most precious resource and should be protected as we have designed sustainable policies and practices to ensure the environment is a top priority. Also ensuring developers are held accountable and building green buildings and promoting green energy.

Quite simply our waste water facilities in Palm Bay are nearing capacity. If we don’t build a new plant in the south end of the City soon there will be major environmental impact. This must be priority one in this category.

In each neighborhood the City has small parcels of land. I’d like to see these used as Victory (community) gardens. The main goal of this would be to encourage young people to learn how to sustain themselves. Teach low impact gardening, and FL friendly landscaping.

Why are you a better choice than your opponents:

Proven track record. I’m about action, not words.

I don’t play party politics. My only concern is what’s best for the City, and by that I mean the Citizens. The Citizens are the City, and therefore any personal agendas should be abandoned.

What is your past political experience:

I was in the Navy for 12 1/2 years. If you don’t think the Military is political……

Palm Bay Chamber Chairman, then ran their Government affairs for 2 years.

Always involved as a vocal, and active citizen.

Opponents and the media research public records, police reports, credit information and do other background checks in an effort to discover tax liens, lawsuits, arrest records and other unfortunate things. Are there any issues your opponent could use against you that you wish to disclose:

I’m 56. I’ve made mistakes in my life. I was in the Navy for 12 1/2 years, I have lots of sea stories. They can look all they want, I’m proud of who I am and have nothing to be ashamed of.

Any other comments you’d like to make:

The 2020 election is going to be a tipping point for the City of Palm Bay. We have great opportunities in front of us that can make up for many bad decisions in the past.

I’m not a social person. I’d rather be researching and finding solutions to problems than attending social events several times a week. I’m asking to be hired for a job, that job will be my focus, not the social events.

Please list any websites or social media links to your campaign if you have any: (work in progress)