Masks and Vaccinations
I encourage those who can get vaccinations, to get them. And I encourage all to wear masks, if they are so inclined to do so and to be respectful to those who are sensitive to the matter. I do not support vaccines nor mask mandates.
Like Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation says, unlike development practices of 100 years ago, development today can happen in an environmentally sensitive way. Development and the environment can coexist. ”
I agree with that concept and support smart growth policies that protect private property rights while also being sensitive to the environment.
The most beneficial and best use of land should be a top consideration when making land development policies. It should consider things such as ample green space, minimal impacts on the environment, consolidation of resources, and minimizing traffic.
As a native Floridian and avid outdoors person, water quality has always been top of mind to me. I grew up on the water… swimming, boating and skiing. I want all to enjoy the wonders and beauty of our waterways. That is why I support the acceleration of water quality initiatives that keep pollutants from entering our waterways. Initiatives such as:
- Funding of septic to sewer projects
- Diverting fresh water from the Golden Gate canal away from Naples Bay which affects its proper salinity levels,
- Planting draught resistant plants and trees to save on water and reduce runoff
- Storm water improvement projects and updating land codes to reduce runoff
One such initiative I personally brought to the City of Naples was through the introduction of the BioGrow product that was the first ever organic, completely natural fertilizer that has been used in the city since 2018.
Meeting Workforce Needs
With decades of business experience in Collier County, I have always struggled to find talented, innovative, problem solving employees. That is why I strongly support the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and its legislative priorities for workforce education programs, training, internships and apprenticeships so that we can draw highly competent and competitive, job seeking individuals to our businesses and nonprofit organizations.
To address mental health and substance use disorders in Collier County, I was a part of the Collier County Ad Hoc committee that created the first-ever 5 year strategic plan to address these issues in our county. The strategic plan includes the following six priorities:
- Building a centralized receiving facility
- Housing and supportive services
- Increasing the effectiveness of the court system
- Collaborative data reporting
- Improving non-emergency Baker Act and Marchman Act transportation
- Prevention, education and advocacy.
I am now actively involved with the Collier Coalition for Healthy Minds nonprofit group committed to implementing this strategic plan. I will continue to do whatever I can to help individuals and families who are struggling with these heartbreaking, life threating illnesses.
I maintain the core belief that everything important starts at home. Having a safe, healthy and structurally secure home helps build strong and healthy individuals and families. And these homes must be affordable to help ease stressful, financial struggles.
Government has the tools to help encourage housing that is sound and affordable. I support policies that create housing solutions such as with land development incentives, funding for land trust programs, community assistance programs, and strict use of the state’s Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
First and foremost, Collier County needs an economic plan that includes long-range planning for smart growth sustainability. This plan should:
- Entice companies to bring high wage jobs to our area
- Appeal to young professionals
- Diversify the economy
- Create self-sustaining communities
- Support small businesses
- Make available useful resources, be it human or product resources.
- Utilize asset based community resources focusing on social capital.. community helping people.
Once established, the county should use the plan as a working document in policy making to ensure the county’s economic sustainability is a top priority.
I was fortunate to serve on the Naples City Council from 2016 to 2020. In those years, I helped lead the efforts of three significant landmark projects.
- Design and construction of Baker Park
- Reconstruction of the Naples City Dock
- Construction of the City’s Emergency Operation Center
All three of these projects were started and completed within my term, all under budget.
In the county, I have been concerned with the excessive spending that is occurring on landmark projects like what we are seeing with the Paradise Sports Complex which is currently $67 million over budget. Budgeting for a project and sticking to that budget is a fiduciary responsibility of an elected official to its tax payers. I have a proven track record of managing projects in budget which I will caring to the county level.