Mike Hargreaves is one of four candidates running for Windermere Town Council.
Family: Three children
Education: Studied criminal justice and related courses at Lake-Sumter State College and Seminole State College; earned dual certification in law enforcement and corrections from the Kenneth A. Bragg Regional Public Safety Training Complex
Relevant experience: President and owner of PCI Security Inc.; former Orange County law enforcement officer
** Note: An earlier version of this story stated incorrectly Hargreaves' position with the Orange County Sheriff's office as a sheriff's deputy. Hargreaves' biography on his company website states that he served as an Orange County law-enforcement officer for five years.
Why do you want to serve on Town Council?
After this eye-opening, behind-the-curtain view on the real politics in this country, it’s urgent we all pitch in to put a stop to corruption in our government — both federally and on the local levels. Starting with helping to protect our community is a top priority for all our families. I have spent my entire life solving the world’s problems, and being on the Windermere council is another step in helping the public, which happens to be our town’s residents.
If elected, what would be your top three priorities for the town?
No. 1 is to investigate what vote-tallying machines we use to cast our votes from local to federal. Making our votes count is a crucial part of our democracy, and I’d like to ensure our town’s resident’s votes are accurately counted and the county is following the proper chain of custody. I have been in business now for 20 years, and saving other people’s money is a priority.
Why should residents vote for you?
I am hoping voters see me as the local family man just wanting to help our beautiful piece of heaven in keeping its small-town charm, while others may have other plans to change that.
What is the best way for the town to handle its ongoing cut-through traffic issues?
I have two easy fixes for our main roads’ long lines of bumper-to-bumper traffic jams and long-lasting costly damages to our roads. One — which has worked very well on one local Windermere street — is a simple no-right-turn restriction from 4 to 7 p.m., which has stopped the cut-through traffic like night and day. A few speed bumps slow the now very few lawbreakers down, which protects the unsuspecting local dog-walkers from any unsuspecting speeders. Again, this simple, low-cost fix did the trick!
What is your stance on plans for bringing residents access to potable water?
I would have to research this on every level first; protecting our town and lakes is priority.
If you had a magic wand, what three issues for Windermere would you change?
Traffic jams is No. 1, and finding ways to save money and more each budget year would be my No. 2 wish. I don’t have a third wish, as the town has been running so well with its current town manager and the great employees, who all work so hard for our safety and happiness here in Windermere.
How can the town of Windermere best support its residents and businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
There are a few ways, and one would be to use the billions of federal monies sent to local communities to help all residents equally. Let’s work to discover all the efforts currently offered by federal and state to funnel monies and help to our town’s residents. This also goes for local COVID vaccinations, as we have such a large senior population here but not one local vaccination site for only our senior residents, which I see as one more passover to our town.
If elected, how will you ensure transparency and open communication with residents?
(I want) a live video feed of our meetings (and also) include stored past video meetings. I would send out questionnaires to our residents on exactly what they want the town to show on transparency first versus assume our ways are what the town wants to see and hear.
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