On my vacation this year in Ohio we saw some really terrible roads! Some were so bad that you had to drive around the big holes, afraid your tire would get caught in them, and this was in Amish Country where the horses could step into one of them and break a leg. Yes, the horses cause much of the problem because of their weight and horseshoes and the impact they make on a road. Anyway, it got to be so dangerous that the farmers and locals took it into their own hands and planted flowers in the holes, or put potted plants in the smaller holes. Speaking of entertainment for the public! It put a smile on your face rather than a frown to see the “road gardens,” and the transportation department took notice as well. The roads still aren’t fixed, although the flowers have been removed, and the pots have been taken up, but in another week the repair crews will be coming out to begin the road repair to this four-mile stretch of hazardous road. It’s so needed, but in this case, the roads also need to be widened on each side to accommodate the buggies, so the cars will have their own road and the buggies will have theirs. It’s like adding an extra ½ lane divided between the two sides of the road. What a difference it has made on the roads that have already been improved! Bet you never heard about those problems here in Florida!
- The Arts are coming to Collier County! We have many pockets of the Arts to enjoy already, and now the United Arts Council wants to hear from the public to find out what they are looking for and what we, as a community, can do to encourage more of the arts. You know, it’s always important to ASK what the people are looking for so that you can determine the best use of their time and resources to produce a successful outcome. So often a department or committee want to TELL you what you are looking for, and so many times it falls flat on the idea rather than growing it. This is our opportunity to let the organizers know what we hope to see, what we love to listen to, how they can best please the audiences, etc. One of our greatest assets within the arts community are all the wonderful play houses we have scattered around Collier County, either huge buildings or tucked into small buildings that people love to rub elbows in and talk with the performers who offer their talent to all who have come to see them perform. Then there is music and all that it has to offer; public art from students to major artists; and even the art of cooking and then classes to teach interested people how it is done! Then the dance: ahh the dance! Many love to dance (I always think of Bryan and Rondi Hauser, who even bring their own instruments and dance their hearts away) and enjoy all the music that goes with every type of dancing. Then you have serious art, serious sculpting, and very expensive entertainment, or you have the amateur artists who want to begin to perform, but need a start or a venue. Well, here we have an answer to unite all the arts in a cooperative effort to gauge the pulse of the public. Many different forms of art ask many questions, but this forum invites you to discuss the arts, cultural and creative opportunities for all residents in our community, as well as a vision for the future. They begin on Tuesday, September 17th from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM at the Headquarters Public Library at 2385 Orange Blossom Drive (and remember, it’s not season yet, so it’s an easy drive), and by the way, the Collier County Public Library does NOT sponsor or endorse this program! This effort is purely originating from the arts community who is looking to find the best ways to stimulate the arts in all of us. On Wednesday, September 18th from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM in the County Commissioners Board Room in the main government complex, building F, on the corner of U.S. 41E and Airport Road – the eight-story building facing U.S. 41 – 3rd floor, and finally on Wednesday September 18th from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM at the Naples Art Association at 585 Park Street in downtown Naples. Sponsors are Artis-Naples, Collier County, Community Foundation of Collier County, and United Arts Council.
- It’s the beginning of the voting season, where candidates for office begin to file to run for certain positions. There will be three open districts for County Commissioner – the odd numbers 1-3 and 5, and for the school board the even numbers 2 and 4. Candidates are already lining up for District 1. If my figures are correct today, and it changes pretty regularly, there are four candidates who have already filed to run, and another one getting ready to submit his papers. It will be interesting to see what each candidate plans to bring to the office. Many have asked who I would endorse, but this is way too early to even consider a candidate to endorse… heck, I don’t even know how many other candidates plan to submit their papers, and they have until the middle of June to qualify. However, I plan on getting to know each candidate, listen to what they want to bring to the office, what their plans are to give great service to the constituents in District One, and try to figure out who I would vote for when it comes to the voting booth. I doubt I could endorse anyone before February. I’ve learned a lot in this position as your county commissioner, but it took me a long time. It might go a lot faster for others, but for me, as a neophyte, I knew nothing about being a commissioner, nor what a commissioner does. I had no idea of all the reading that had to be done if you want to be an informed commissioner rather than a staff-led commissioner, and all the time involved to serve the people who need you to support them! In other cases and other places, some run for office for their own ego, some for control, and some as a stepping stone. As a united community, who do we want that will serve each section of our district as though it was the only section they loved? In my opinion, dedication to the community is paramount. Here we go folks! Keep your eyes and ears open.