Would you believe we are already in the 6th month of our New Year! Where did the time go? Nothing is the same! But the good thing is we are finally seeing some much-needed rainfall! That should help many people and trees and grass and crops and animals.
*First, I’d like to announce I am endorsing William Douglass for the District One County Commission seat! William has lived in Collier County for over 35 years and served on the East Naples Fire District for 30 of those years. He’s a fine family man! He has a wife, one son and one daughter who graduated from Lely High School before there was even another high school in this area, so his kids probably went to school with the Marco and Capri kids at Lely. Now that he has retired, his entire time will be spent as our commissioner! He plans on being the commissioner for the entire district, not just one region. We ALL want a commissioner to serve us! And each district needs one. Although Marco Island has their own City Council, they cannot solve many of the boating and beach issues, which fall upon the Commissioners. Being that there are two other areas also in this district that have water issues, he will be needed constantly—as I know—by Marco Island, Goodland, and Isles of Capri! Of course, E.N. doesn’t enter into that need with barely any water to have issues with. Nor does Copeland who has no boating or beach issues. William will be a full–time commissioner, and then some! His wife used to work as the Public Relations Officer for Marco Island, so that name (Lisa) Douglass might ring a bell. The man is honest and hard working. He will serve ALL of us! Each area has its own needs, and he will be there for all of us. Each of us wants special attention when we need it, and he is prepared to give his time to make that happen. He’s a good listener and wants to help those who seek his help! Let’s face it, he’s a fireman first of all, and that’s what firemen do! You will see him around everywhere because his kids are grown and on their own, so he’s all OURS! His wife is supporting him every step of the way. He has no time limitations, just us! I could go on and on, but that gives you an idea of the kind of man I am endorsing! William Douglass! The man for the job! I will try to accompany him when he is in each of our communities as he calls upon different groups. It’s been difficult for all these candidates, without the ability to speak to groups that meet or to join organizations because of the virus. I just want you to know this IS the candidate we need!
*Last week I mentioned that someone on Marco Island said I had never done anything for Marco. I have quite a few more stories, but then Goodland called me and said, “tell them what you did for us!” Shortly after, the people on Capri said they wanted me to also tell you about how we solved some of their problems. So, I’ll start with Goodland this week, go to Isles of Capri next week, and then back to Marco again. This week though, Goodland reminded me that when we first got started, they told me about a huge problem they were having—their water bills! Many of you will remember that Goodland’s water bills were higher than other water bills per ratepayer in the State of Florida! They told me of the huge amount they were charged each time they received their water bills. Gosh, I had no idea what to do there, but it really wasn’t fair to them. So, I contacted the county’s water department and they went to work with Marco Island trying to figure out how they all got so high and how they could be reduced. Would you believe that within 6 months we were able to find the problem and reduced their water bills by over HALF?! They’ve never forgotten that, and they always have very nice things to say about the county helping them. Well, they also have another huge, huge problem! Flooding on the road to Goodland! I’m sure many of you remember how we fought to rid them of that problem. No, it isn’t finished yet, but the flooding issue has been addressed as much as we can at this time. We worked very closely with the Conservancy regarding their concerns about the ever-important Mangroves! Now we are just waiting for the Army Corps approval to move forward. What will happen is the county will have to elevate the road to Goodland about two to two-and-a-half feet. On a two-lane road with no sidewalks, that will be quite an accomplishment in itself! Keeping one lane open so the residents can get in and out of their home Island will be challenging to say the least, but we’ll do it! As I said, we are waiting for the approval of the Army Corps so we can move forward. I hope that they move a little faster than usual to get those approvals through for the Island’s safety! There were some very dirty tricks played on these Islanders by some, but those culprits are mostly gone now. Let’s just hope it’s sooner rather than later. Once we receive the approval, we’d like to start the construction right after the rainy season ends so the road will generally be complete before the next storm season!
*One of the things that happened at Hideaway—Dick Freeman will remember clearly, as will Erick Brechnitz and John Barto, and quite a few others—when they were almost flooded out over there! The water was almost lapping against the walls of the condos! They called me and we worked together a lot, meeting in their garages under the buildings, etc. It was a long road and a lot of work, BUT we (the county and Hideaway) accomplished so much together. There you go—teamwork again. There is so much to this story, but I only have a little space, so just ask these gentlemen. They know the WHOLE story! It always works better as a team. I don’t ever pretend to know everything, but I sure know where to go to find the people who DO!
*So, there you have it with a few more stories from the past, being there isn’t much going on right now anyway. I remember when I was elected, the people on the Islands weren’t really sure they should elect a person who had never lived on an island, much less never been in County Government. Yet they accepted me anyway, and that’s when the “love affair began.” It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ve loved every minute of it. That’s why I don’t want to give this position to just anyone. I want someone to replace me who will work for EVERYONE! Equal representation! Fair and trustworthy. And with that, ladies and gentlemen, I’ll close for this week.