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Thursday, 28 July 2016 15:57

Politics

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I’m a Republican candidate for the
Lee County Commission in District
3. I’m seeking election because
the decisions the Board of
County Commissioners make
today will determine the quality of
life in our county for years to
come.
In four years in office, my opponent
Larry Kiker has shown he favors
short-sighted, politically
expedient actions over tough long
term decisions that will benefit all
residents. He boasts he has balanced
the county budget. Bravo!
A balanced budget is required by
state law. Kiker likes to say he has
reduced debt. Really? What he
actually reduced are impact fees
designed to help growth pay for
growth (costing our schools and
road projects $50 million in just
the last 3 years!) It’s almost as if
Kiker is not aware that we are one
of the fastest growing communities
in the nation, with a $600 million
transportation funding deficit!
Kiker’s lack of vision includes diverting
$40 million from the Conservation
20/20 program. This
program is vital to acquiring the
environmentally sensitive lands
that will support the explosive
growth already programmed for
Lee County. The 25,000 acres acquired
so far are our best hedge
against overbuilding and to provide
valuable lands for flood attenuation,
surface water quality improvements
and drinking water
supplies. Although Kiker’s most
recent op-ed seems to take credit
for the history of Conservation
20/20, less than 100 acres of conservation
lands have been acquired
since he took office.
He has had issues with accurate
record keeping, which has led to a
Florida State Ethics Commission
review. In fact, Kiker’s recent support
of the Grand Resorts on Fort
Myers Beach would have jeopardized
our beachfront with a half
mile seawall that would have exacerbated
coastal beach erosion.
Kiker has done nothing, other than
putting his name on a couple of
error-riddled newspaper columns,
to deal with the polluted water that
is destroying our beaches and estuaries
and damaging our reputation
as a great place to visit and relocate.
Voters recall that Kiker was
the beneficiary of approximately
$1 million of special interest funding
during his 2012 political campaign.
A large percentage of that
funding came from Big Sugar interests
which occupy lands south of
Lake Okeechobee. No wonder
Kiker has been a “no-show” in advocating
for the real solution to our
dirty water crisis – send the water
south.
When you elect me, I will do better.
Here’s why. I know our
county—I’ve lived here for more
than 40 years. I have the educational
background and work experience
to tackle these tough issues.
My master’s degree is in Education
and Urban and Regional Planning.
I worked as principal planner for
Lee County. I was a member of
the grass roots team that got Conservation
20/20 off the ground 20
years ago. I have business experience
as the manager of operations
for WCI Communities, and educational
experience as an instructor at
FGCU having developed and
taught the course entitled The Economics
of the Environment. I will
use my skills and background to
work with county, state and federal
officials to start tackling, rather
than avoiding, our problems.
Lee County is at a critical juncture.
In less than 20 years, we will have
one million permanent residents.
Where will our water come from?
Will we reinvigorate Conservation
20/20 to preserve natural areas or
change our priorities and pave over
our open spaces like other Florida
counties have done? We do not
need to worry about stimulating
growth—we need to manage it so
that our children and their children
will love this place as much as we
do.
As a candidate, I am offering voters
integrity today and a vision for
a livable Lee County tomorrow.
When you vote for me in the August
Republican primary, I will
vote for your interests as a member
of the Board of County Commissioners.

Dick Anderson
A Republican Candidate for Lee
County Commission District 3.
Resides in Bonita Springs.

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