Election 2022: Candidate Question of the Week – 11-4-22 – With election day approaching, what would you like to share with Cape voters?
Each week through the General Election, The Breeze will ask the candidates for Cape Coral City Council an issue-related question. In the interest of fairness, each candidate is limited to the same amount of space, about 100 words, for their response.
This week’s question:
With election day approaching, what would you like to share with Cape voters?
The 2022 municipal election for Cape Coral City Council features four races — the seats for mayor and Districts 1, 4 and 6. While candidates must live in the district they seek to represent, Cape Coral City Council races are non-partisan, citywide races, meaning every registered Cape voter, no matter their party affiliation or city address, may cast a ballot in every race.
Here are this week’s responses:
• John Gunter, incumbent
I was elected in 2017 and during my tenure I have always advocated for the best interest of our community. I have been committed and dedicated while serving and never missed a Council meeting in five years.
Public Safety was always a priority and during my tenure we have added 40 additional Police Officers and 58 additional Firefighters. Also, we have added three additional Fire Stations, and construction will soon begin on a Fire & Police Training facility.
Water Quality was also a priority, and I was a stakeholder on the committee to help advocate for Southwest Florida to develop the new LOSOM plan for releases in the Caloosahatchee River. Water Quality is the heartbeat of our community, and we need to always protect our interest moving forward.
Infrastructure improvements was also a priority and we have completed many projects including broadband enhancements in the northern part of our city. These improvements will also help facilitate smart growth and additional commercial economic development throughout our city.
This year I advocated for, and we approved the LARGEST TAX CUT ever in the history of Cape Coral. I will continue this fiscal conservative approach for our community.
• Tom Shadrach
Thank you for engaging in this process and informing yourselves on the issues we face. As a private citizen, I have been working for a better Cape Coral over the last two years. I will make a positive impact on the future of the city. We have so many challenges that require tested leadership; from storm recovery, permitting, removal of the Chiquita lock, D&D Marina boat ramp, our city fleet, the Police and Fire Department training facilities, and the lack of any discernable progress of our parks. Your elected leaders must take action to create a real plan on all the other projects that are in the pipeline. I will not accept excuses. I will address the shortfalls in our emergency plan and LCEC & Waste Pro contracts and keep a constant watch on our water quality while improving access to the waterfront. I will work to provide resources and support to communicate our city values to businesses and ease regulations on new and existing businesses. Lastly, long-term infrastructure of utilities and roads need to be accelerated. I commit now to serve the residents, not the special interest groups, while keeping our taxes low and spending wisely.
• Dr. Carol Rae Culliton
I am a business leader and a community leader. I am strong, independent and not owing to any one or group. I can not be bought or intimidated. I am not a politician and I have no personal agenda. My only interest is in the betterment of our city. As my history shows, I look for a problem or issue. Then seek or develop a solution. I do not act on impulse or emotion. I follow the facts. After Hurricane Ian, now more than ever, doing things right and solely in the interest of our residents are paramount. During the long recovery, we will critique our preparation, responses and recovery. We need someone who can establish priorities and exert leadership to build back better and stronger. I am that person. My goal is to be the ears and voice of the residents. I may not always agree with everyone, but I will always treat everyone with dignity and respect.
• Bill Steinke
My quest for our brighter future has not been thwarted by Ian. If anything, it has increased the fire in my belly for our City to be the “poster city” for Florida. My care and concern for you and for our City is extremely evident if you look at my posts on FB since the day before Ian hit — nothing but resources to recover and efforts I had initiated or was privy to share. We WILL improve and expand infrastructure. We WILL increase Public Safety. We WILL eliminate wasteful spending, reduce taxes where possible and make wise investments in our communities. I have years of successful experience in the business world, please help me put that to work for you and those to come, on or before Nov. 8. God bless you and our great City of Cape Coral!
• Patty Cummings
I want to thank everyone who has believed in me and helped us in this campaign. We couldn’t of done any of this without all of you. We made it through this horrific Hurricane Ian and we have come out stronger than ever.
I promise each and everyone of you I will make sure we remove the tax burden on the citizens of Cape Coral and I will be your voice and work hard to help make positive change to our community.
It is very important to keep relationships open, keep people informed and involved. I will keep my office door open as well as the phone lines, social media outlets, email and town hall meetings.
• Jennifer I. Nelson, incumbent
Being fiscally conservative is important to me as evidenced by never voting to increase our mileage rate. This will become even more important as we rebuild our city.
Hurricane Ian may have devastated our city but it did not devastate our spirit. We will come back better and stronger
I’m incredibly humbled by the amount of support I have received from our residents, first responders, labor unions and the endorsements from fellow elected leaders Their trust in me and my leadership speaks volumes to the work I do as a council member.
Experience, leadership, and compassion is what our city needs and I would be honored to receive your vote.
• Wayne Hecht
Due to the devastation from Hurricane Ian this upcoming election holds more significance to the future of Cape Coral than elections in the past. Now more than ever we need a council member with longtime large corporate budgeting, project management and planning experience to look out for the interests of our residents. I have not asked for nor received special interest or PAC money. I am only beholden to the citizens of Cape Coral, not developers and commercial Realtors, and I will stand up to “Keep Cape Coral, Cape Coral.” I ask you to compare my resume and I believe you will see I am the clear choice for your voice on City Council.
• Keith Long, incumbent
First, I want to thank The Breeze for the opportunity to engage with the voters in this weekly series to help inform them on where the candidates stand on these important topics.
For my final word, I would like to share again with the voters my “why.” It’s simple, to protect the integrity and beauty of this City and the interests of its residents through this significant growth period. As a lifelong resident, I have watched this city grow to levels most couldn’t have imagined — and the growth has only just begun. Who we elect to help navigate this growth and ensure it is done responsibly and with the best interests of the residents in mind is crucial. As an attorney and local business owner, I have the experience necessary to fight for your interests and be your voice on council to continue to advocate for responsible growth and putting our infrastructure at the forefront of rebuilding efforts while ensuring your hard-earned tax dollars are put to good use to serve your interests.
A vote for me is a vote for transparency and accountability in our local government. A vote to cut through the red tape and simply get things done. I look forward to serving you over the next four years.