As Collier County grows and traffic demands increase only to be multiplied by workforce demands, the current schedule and routing of our public transportation system has proven to be inadequate at best. Present service that basically ends at 7 p.m., fails to serve the people who actually work in the restaurants, hotels, the cleaning crews of Naples, Golden Gate, Immokalee, East Naples and Marco Island. Additionally, as we develop to the east where there are increases in the need to commute for services for food shopping, etc. and residents need a way to economically take care of their day-to-day business and to get to their jobs Monday through Friday. If we want to maintain our world-class reputation as a premier tourist destination, attract business and encourage new residents we must improve the way we efficiently and smoothly move traffic and deliver employees to their jobs.
I have developed a detailed proposal with the cooperation of the Collier County Public Transportation Department, a Re-Designed Routing System that would replace most of the current “Point A to Z” or “Spaghetti String” routes with 3 Main Circular Routes. I refer to this as the Heartbeat System. The Heartbeat has North, Central and East independent circulating routes encompassing the County from Immokalee Rd and Collier Blvd, west to US 41, south to US 41 East, east to Collier Blvd and north back to Immokalee Road. These circular routes can be simply turned UP and Down by controlling the number of buses servicing the routes. Routes have connection points where patrons can TRANSFER from one circular to the other. And I propose this service provides a bus at determined times of the day, EVERY 30 MINUTES. A state of the art service is only good if it serves the community’s needs. Additionally I propose this service operates 22 if not 24 hours a day.
Additionally, a restructured Public Transportation System services the SPECIAL needs of the community. For instance, adding additional buses for Fourth of July, & other holidays facilitating offsite parking and alleviating congestion and parking inavailability. Likewise, in the case of a CAT 3 or 4 (God forbid 5) HURRICANE coming onshore, we need to have the system on steroids for evacuation needs.
NO WHERE in North America or Europe does EFFECTIVE Public Transportation “PAY FOR ITSELF.” But EVERYTHING that it SERVES does. Our businesses, our tourism industry and most of all the CITIZENS will benefit from County Leaders preparing for a future of PROSPERITY FOR ALL.
As a county, we must take proactive measures to protect our water quality. The state has abdicated responsibility by withholding baseline data. While I applaud Gov. Desantis’ language and dedication of funding to environmental concerns, I have yet to SEE ANYTHING SIGNIFICANT being done to ARREST Red-Tide, Blue-Green Algae Blooms and the SIGNIFICANT AND DIRE THREAT that Climate Change poses to SWFL. I back and applaud Rep. Francis Rooney on his support for the Carbon Dividend Act (H.R. 763) as this issue relates to District 1 specifically, the ENVIRONMENT IS OUR #1 CONCERN!!! District 1 is 100% dependent on our Environment! We hold some of the most pristine land in all of Collier County. From Rookery Bay to the Fakahatchee Strand to the Everglades Watershed, to the white sandy beaches of Marco Island and all the mini habitats and Keys (including “Jenkins Key” off Port of the Islands).
From our fishing industry and our crabbing industry, to our tourism industry, our business communities, our Real Estate Industry, our RESIDENTS depend on the HEALTH of our Environment. If we don’t take proactive measures to PROTECT our environment, our children and thiers will inherit a toxic wasteland, not a jewel.
THE FIERCE URGENCY OF NOW!!!
“Bans” don’t work. Endless legal issues have resulted in bans being reversed in other Florida counties even though the Gov. seems to be in favor??? Anyway, I propose RESTRICTING the use of “SINGLE USE PLASTICS.” This plan involves an “End User Fee” that would be assessed by the County to FUND LOCAL environmental efforts as deemed appropriate by the County.
I AM ABSOLUTELY OPPOSED TO FRACKING IN THE EVERGLADES OF COLLIER COUNTY!!!
Collier County is home to unique environmentally sensitive land and as we develop we must remain vigilant in maintaining the ecosystem to enhance the quality of life for our citizens and the health of our environment. Also, as eco-tourism gains in popularity, we want to mitigate the causes of blights such as Red Tide that not only damage the environment but also our bottom line. We know some of the causes of such issues and we need to make them a priority. THE ENVIRONMENT AROUND US PAYS FOR US. I completely understand that PROGRESS means DEVELOPMENT. However, we have to approach the development of our rural agricultural and rural NATURAL lands not only with our intelligence and desire for aesthetic value but with RESPECT FOR THE LAND! I propose a ”moratorium” on ALL NEW development projects in Districts 1, 3, 5 and 4 until areas within these districts ARE IDENTIFIED and PRESERVED IN PERPETUITY, as protected lands are NOT TO BE DEVELOPED!
This is an idea that everyone likes in theory until you get serious and start talking about actually building in their neighborhood so let me be clear: workforce housing is not subsidized housing. It is housing geared to working people, teachers, firefighters, police, “the overlooked middle-class” who have been pushed out of the housing market where they work. Essential workers such as these, workers who are part of the fabric of our community should be able to afford to live where they work. Working with imaginative developers, bankers, and chambers the smart people of Collier County can muster the political will to accommodate those who make Collier County such a great place to live.
I propose a specific County lead project to combat this problem. As many realtors know about the SHIP program in Collier. Consider this SHIP ON STEROIDS.
This plan includes the purchase of land by Community Banks in cooperation with a Licenced Manufacturer/Lender build Manufactured Home Communities. Manufactured homes today are NOT the “mobile homes” of yesterday. I live in one that is CAT 4 Certified, I rode directly through the path of IRMA with minimal cosmetic damage. Five surrounding older residences had to be declared unsalvageable. Pending on land acquisition cost, a 3 bdrm, 2 bth, with carport, screened in lanai and a shed costs $175,000.00 in 2017. The PROBLEM is that these units do originally come on wheels so normally there is an FRAME under the building which causes almost impossible financing as the investment can virtually disappear overnight if the axel and wheels were to be reattached. Obviously, the frames would be replaced with a fixed solution to overcome this issue. These properties would be LEASE-TO-OWN with security restrictions guaranteeing value protection to Community banks and Lenders. People therefore have a vested interest in their community and the community in the people.
It is disgraceful that our county has no Department devoted to seniors. There is no central location where our seniors can go for resources and information.
Not all seniors are fortunate enough to have family close by, or they may not even have a family. We do our aging population a grave disservice by not providing a lifeline for them. The aforementioned Public Transportation System will work hand in hand in providing reliable, frequent and dependable transportation to these services wherever they are located.
As part of this Department, I propose the creation of a “Seniors Advocate Service.” This service can assist in filling out forms, assist navigating Medicare and prescription drugs, and provide assistance in dealing with resident grandchildren (schools, doctors, etc). Additionally, family members taking care of seniors can be certified through this program to receive a municipal tax discount for documented care and support.
I pledge to introduce as a sitting Commissioner for District 1, a Basic Human Rights Ordinance that will respect EVERY resident in Collier County. Purpose and Intent is listed below and the full text of the Ordinance is available upon request.
It is the intent of the Collier County Commission (the Commission), in enacting this chapter, to protect and safeguard the right and opportunity of all persons to be free from discrimination, including discrimination based on age, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, familial status, veterans status, marital status, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or physical characteristic. The Commission further seeks to protect the equal rights and opportunities of the people of Collier County through the creation of a Human Relations Council (the Council) that will serve as a public forum for discussion, addressing citizen complaints, making recommendations, and educating on matters affecting human relations and civil rights issues in the Collier County Community as a whole. The Commission’s purpose in enacting this chapter is to promote the public health and welfare of all persons who live, work and visit in Collier County. It is important for the County to ensure that all persons within the County have equal access to employment, housing, public accommodations, and education.
Making Collier County Work for the People
Who Make Collier County Work