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You have a choice

By Staff | Sep 22, 2022

To the editor:

Are you satisfied with the way our current county commissioners have been running the county? You have a choice in the upcoming election.

Is it responsible to vote to increase residential density by 70% in the Coastal High Hazard Flood Zone (Owl Creek development)? Is it responsible to approve a 96-slip marina (which requires dredging) where seagrasses are being restored? Do we want starving Manatees as has occurred on the east coast?

Are you satisfied with the lack of funding for road improvements, resulting in increased traffic congestion? Are you happy with reduced impact fees resulting in the current residents subsidizing new infrastructure costs in order to increase developers’ profits? Other counties have maintained full impact fees and kept ample growth.

Is it responsible to approve a settlement agreement that will allow 10,000 homes on 6676 acres in the DR/GR area (Density Reduction/ Groundwater Resource), including 2,474 acres that were not involved in the original lawsuit? Is it responsible to continue to overdevelop rural areas, significantly reducing wildlife habitat, including habitat for panthers, gopher tortoises, and other threatened and endangered species?

Is it a conflict of interest when Commissioner Hamman serves both as a Lee County Commissioner and head of the Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce? When he votes on the commission, is he representing the citizens of Lee County or the interests of the Chamber’s members?

Is it in the public interest to prohibit communications with commissioners regarding zoning applications when other counties allow these communications? Under the current Lee County rules there is never an opportunity for a citizen to have a conversation with any commissioner or the Hearing Examiner when there is a rezoning application.

Do you want commissioners who get most of their campaign funds from developers, and then say it has no impact when they vote on development applications?

You have a choice. You can send a message to the commission that the county is headed in the wrong direction. If there is enough dissatisfaction demonstrated in November it will encourage candidates who are committed to the peoples’ interests to run in the future.

If you want the commission to change direction, write in Karen Watson for commission District 2 and Jim Sheets for commission District 4.

Steve Brodkin

47 year Lee County resident

Former Local Planning Agency member

Former Land Development Code Advisory Committee member