County Commission District 3

Dave Kerner

  • Party nominating: Democratic
  • City: Lake Worth
  • Family: Married
  • Education: Doctorate degree
  • JD, University of Florida, 2010
  • BA, Polictical Science, University of Florida, 2006
  • Police Academy, Santa Fe College, 2004
    • Recent Job: Civil Trial Attorney, 2010-2016
  • Civil Trial Attorney, 2010-2016
  • Special Prosecutor, Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office, 2010
  • State Representative, 2012-2016
  • Police Officer, Alachua, Florida Wildlife Commission, 2004-2012.
  • Contributions reported

    Last updated: Oct. 31, 2016. Details.

    Previous races


    State Representative District 87, Palm Beach County (2012 - Present)

    Other Political Experience

  • Judiciary Committee - Ranking Member (2012 - Present)
  • Criminal Justice Subcommittee (2012 - Present)
  • Highway and Waterway Safety Subcommittee (2012 - Present)
  • Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission (2012 - Present)
  • Palm Beach County Juvenile Justice Working Group (2012 - Present)
  • Do you think Palm Beach County voters should approve the penny-per-dollar sales tax increase?
    I will be voting for this referendum. It may not be the most popular position, but elected officials ought to be honest with their constituents. There is a real need for infrastructure improvements in our county, and a defined, sales tax driven effort is fiscally prudent. By paying for what we need now (not a bond), we ensure that needed educational/government projects are funded, without paying unneeded interest, and by ensuring our county visitors chip in, as well. The referendum ensures our ability to keep our millage rates low, while catching up on property revenues lost during recession. Our ability to live free of a state income tax is enshrined in our state constitution. Thus, voters will need to, on occasion, ensure proper revenues are collected to responsibly fund capital improvement projects. It is a difficult balancing act, and should not be taken lightly. However, elected officials hold the public's trust, and should speak truthfully regarding the needs of our community.
    Are there government records or meetings subject to public disclosure that should be exempt from Florida’s government-in-the-sunshine laws?
    At this time, I cannot think of any government records or meetings that should be exempted from Florida sunshine. I am very supportive of the open government mandates that our Florida Constitution and statutes place upon government officials. Ensuring that our elected leaders operate in the sunshine is central to our goal of having honest, effective, and fully transparent government. However, I am proud of the public records exemptions I have passed into law in the past. For example, HB 361 allows our Criminal Justice Commission to be exempted from Chapter 119 when criminal or investigative information is shared, thus allowing our Sheriff to attend said meetings. HB 731 exempts the names of spouses and children of law enforcement officers from being disclosed pursuant to a public records request. Last session, I filed HB 741 (failed), which would have protected the identity of mental health patients from being disclosed, via court records, from public disclosure.
    If the sales tax referendum fails, would you support an increase in property taxes to pay for a backlog of county infrastructure projects?
    If it fails, I would immediately begin vetting the projects in order of importance, with input of community leaders and our county engineer. I would attempt to rank projects in order of importance, time wise, and seek to fund projects with the greatest need first. My hope would be to fund as many of the projects, in order of importance, with revenues on hand, so that millage rates can stay stable as long as possible. However, I believe in the principle that deferred maintenance eventually leads to greater fiscal exposure. While I would attempt to allocate funds for projects on an “immediate need” basis, I would also be considerate of our need to raise ad valorem rates, if necessary. It would be politically expedient to say that I would never vote for a “tax increase,” but I will never let the “politically easy” route guide my votes. Leaving my community with a worsening, and more expensive, capital improvement plan for the sake of popularity is not part of my public service.
    Should there be a moratorium on commercial and/or residential development in the county’s Agricultural Reserve?
    Protecting the Ag Reserve was one of the most important issues that inspired me to run for the Palm Beach County Commission. I do believe there should be a moratorium on commercial and/or residential development in the county's agriculture reserve. I am fully cognizant of the intricate and nuanced definition of the "ag reserve" and "ag preserve." At the end of the day, it will take loud, informed, and principled leadership to protect our community interests in this agricultural marvel. I was born and raised here, and I share the sincere frustration that my neighbors feel about unrestricted development. If “Westlake” has taught us anything, it is that the members of our community, and elected leaders, have to protect our way of life from overdevelopment. I believe that I will bring a voice of legitimacy, reason, and unrelenting passion to the County Commission on this issue, and it would be an incredible honor to be a leader on this issue.
    Do you favor a proposed tax swap whereby Fire-Rescue's property tax rate would be cut and partially replaced by a county sales tax increase?
    I find this to be a very interesting policy initiative. In general, I am a supporter of policy initiatives that diversify our tax revenues. I believe Florida has a pretty undiversified tax structure. I am, in principle, supportive of this concept in that it does not increase the tax burden on Palm Beach County residents, and in fact, would lead to a greater share of local taxes being paid by out of county visitors. It could also lead to less reliance on new development to properly fund our first responder services. However, I am concerned that the savings in ad valorem taxes would not be passed down to renters in our community. If low income residents have to shoulder both a higher sales tax, with no corresponding reduction in rent, they will shoulder the burden disproportionately, and they cannot afford to. In short, I am personally supportive of this concept, but would work to ensure that our low income residents share in the ad valorem reductions, if it were to pass.

    Competitors for this race

    Sean C. Hogan

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