2016 Election Endorsement Information
Dear Estero Supporter,
Ever since 2004 an ad-hoc group of involved Estero citizens have gotten together to interview the candidates for important local offices that don’t get a lot of publicity. We did so once again this year with an even larger number of communities being represented.
The Supervisor of Elections will be mailing absentee ballots out to the 10,500 Estero Voters who have requested them. When the votes are counted over 80% of Estero’s vote will be Absentee Ballots.
A copy of the Committee’s recommendations for these important local races is linked below.
We hope you will look it over and, if you find it useful, share it with your Estero friends and neighbors and, of course support these fine candidates when you vote.
Throughout the summer and fall the Estero Candidate Screening Committee has interviewed candidates seeking local offices with an impact on the community. Since the August 30th Primary Election the committee met on two occasions to interview the candidates with contested races in the November 8th General Election.
Please share the following Committee recommendations
throughout your community and Estero:
State Representative, District 76
After interviewing both candidates for this office, two term Republican State Rep. Ray Rodrigues and a resident of Estero and Charles Messina, a No Party Affiliation candidate from Pine Island, the Committee decided not to endorse either one on the basis that neither had shown sufficient commitment to pursuing an agenda beneficial to the Estero community.
Frank Mann, Board of County Commissioners, District 5 Republican
Frank Mann of Alva is a lifelong resident of Lee County including over two decades of public service in the Florida legislature and on the County Board. He has been a consistent supporter of Estero and Lee County’s planning, environmental and conservation goals and needs.
He favors the restoration of full impact fees and an effective Conservation 2020 program. He is committed to working closely with the Village Council on all regional needs impacting the Village.
Jane E. Kuckel, Member School Board, District 6 Nonpartisan
Jane Kuckel, a resident of Pelican Sound in Estero, is a professional educator and administrator, a 12-year veteran of the Lee County School Board and an experienced team builder.
When Jane was on the Board, the Lee County School District was the only large (of the top nine) school districts in Florida that achieved academic improvement for 6 years in a row. That improvement included achieving and maintaining an “A” rating from the State of Florida, receiving stellar financial audits, developing career academies in every high school, and reducing the drop-out rate from 7% to 1.3%. Since Jane’s departure some of these gains have been significantly reduced.
Jane is running for this two-year term to return the Board to its earlier successful path.
Cathleen O’Daniel Morgan, Member School Board, District 7 Nonpartisan
Cathleen Morgan of Bonita Springs is a former banking and finance professional with a strong commitment to public schools that prepare children for success in their chosen field or trade as socially responsible adults. Before relocating to Lee County Cathleen served on a School Board that worked as a high performing team. She has served on the Lee County School Board for the last 4 years constantly trying to get the Board to work together better.
Cathleen is committed to helping the students in Lee County schools achieve grade level competency in English language arts and math; create a learning culture that fosters creativity and initiative and responsible budgeting and long-term planning.
Amendment 1 – Florida Solar Energy Subsidies and Personal Solar Use Initiative.
Endorsement: Vote No on Amendment 1
This utility-backed and poorly worded amendment, if passed, paves the way for even more barriers to solar use in Florida It includes a confusing section which might allow utilities to tack on high fees on solar customers that could stunt solar growth. Florida Supreme Court Justice Pariente has warned voters to “beware” and described this amendment as a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”.
Amendment 3 – Florida Tax Exemptions for Disabled First Responders Amendment
Endorsement: Vote Yes on Amendment 3
A Yes vote supports providing property tax exemptions to first responders who have been permanently disabled in the line of duty. The amendment recognizes the sacrifice our first responders give in the line of duty protecting our liberties and way of life.
Amendment 5 – Florida Property Tax Exemptions for Senior Citizens Amendment
Endorsement: Vote Yes on Amendment 5
Amendment 5 would provide a tax break for homes valued at less than $250,000 owned by individuals over 65 who have lived in that home for at least 25 years. The exemption would also be available to permanently disabled veterans aged 65 or older and surviving spouses of veterans or first responders who died in the line of duty. Eligible seniors would be able to keep their tax exemption even if their home value exceeds $250,000.
Endorsement: Vote Yes on Conservation 20/20
This Lee County program, in effect since 1996, is the county’s willing-seller conservation lands acquisition program. Conservation 20/20 lands provide vital quality of life, environmental and economic benefits. Voting “Yes” will not increase your taxes, nor will voting No lower them. A Yes vote expresses your desire to our county commissioners that conserving environmentally sensitive land for future generations is a responsibility they need to continue to fulfill.
Screening Committee Members
Bob King Bella Terra | Jane McNew Moran Belle Lago | John Neville Breckenridge | Judy Cochran Corkscrew Preserve | Corie Gessler Corkscrew Woodlands | Dick Schweers Fountain Lakes | Joe Pavich Fountain Lakes & Business Community | Jim Shields Grandezza | Al Meyer Grandezza | Bill Savage Island Club | Phil Douglas Lighthouse Bay | Bev MacNellis Marsh Landing | Joyce Johnson Marsh Landing | Marlene Rodak Meadowbrook | Steve Bolte Pelican Sound | Frank Moser Rapallo | Larry Horton Riverwoods Plantation | Terry Furhovden Shadow Wood in the Brooks | Don Rowe Shadow Wood in the Brooks | Jim Merritt Shadow Wood in the Brooks | Linda Tecco-Roach Spring Run at the Brooks | Bonnie Brandt Sunny Grove Park | Vicki Olson The Colony | Ben Korbly The Colony | Ray Pothier Villages of Country Creek | John Wood Wildcat Run |