State Rep. Alexander talks jobs at chamber event

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By Erin Hill

At this past Thursday’s Go Gadsden meeting, newly elected State Rep. Ramon Alexander gave an update on what he has been working on.
Alexander said this year the Legislature is being asked to cut $3 million to $5 million from education — grades K through 12 and the state and university system.
In an effort to cause chaos, Alexander said other members of the Legislature are trying to pit projects against
each other.
“Not in my back yard,” Alexander said.  “You can cut everybody else’s stuff, but not mine.”
Alexander said there is a civil war going on in the state Legislature—the house versus the governor’s office, the

governor’s office ersus the senate.  He said he thinks the Legislature will end up in a special session this year.
Alexander also touched on the job situation in Gadsden County.  He said Gadsden County needs smart industry and to have more job training.
“We’re trying to find what makes Gadsden County special and use our political capital,” Alexander said.
Juvenile justice and criminal justice reform are among other issues Alexander said he is fighting for.     
“I believe the system is designed for our future to fail,” Alexander said.
Alexander said he is not always out in front of cameras because he spends the majority of his time behind the scenes working to make positive change in his district.
“I’m not playing the short game and getting sound bytes, but I am playing the long game and bringing home the bacon,” Alexander said.
Bradford May, owner of May Nurseries, also during the Go Gadsden meeting gave an update on the marijuana industry and how it would affect the county.
“When they’re saying it’s going to be like mini-marts all over the state, that’s not true,” May said.
He said the business has a lot of potential, but they have a long way to go.  May said they’re losing a lot of money right now, but one day it would be very lucrative.
Tripp Transou, owner of Tri-Eagle Sales, said when the the beverage distributing business opened its Midway location in 1996, they sold 12 brands of beer, had 64 employees, one laptop and one car phone.  Fast-forward a little more than 20 years later and Transou said they are now the primary supplier of 2,000 kinds of beer. He also said the business has 130 light-duty vans and cars, 40 trucks and trailers — and 180 laptops.  He said they now have 215 employees, 110 of whom work at the Midway location.
Transou said what Gadsden has is different from everywhere else.  He said it’s different from Leon, Wakulla and Jefferson, and it’s important to make sure the Legislature knows that.