County Commissioner District 4 - DEM
2022 General - Voter Guide Ranking
County Commissioner District 4 - DEM
2022 Clean Water Questionnaire Responses
To read each question, answer and candidate comments click below.
- Question 1 : Yes1) The Piney Point disaster spotlighted the problems inherent to Florida's phosphate mining industry, even as that industry seeks to expand. In 2018 the DeSoto County Commission rejected an application from The Mosaic Company to rezone 14,000 acres from agricultural to mining. However, the state has required the Commission to readdress the issue in 2023. If elected, would you support DeSoto County Commissioners and oppose ANY further expansion of phosphate mining in Florida?
- Question 2 : Yes2) New scientific research directly links human activity to harmful algal blooms, with researchers reporting that nitrogen flowing from the Caloosahatchee River, Lake Okeechobee and areas upstream of the lake contributed to red tide in Charlotte Harbor, the Caloosahatchee Estuary, and presumably beyond, between 2012 and 2021. If elected, would you support aggressive local measures to address this, such as a moratorium on new septic systems, establishment of a stormwater system inspection and monitoring program and acquisition of additional land for water storage and treatment?
We no longer have time to slowly implement measures when evidence has proven their ability to prevent environmental disasters. Instead, it is time that we address these issues more aggressively.
- Question 3 : No3) State legislation, FDEP data and the Blue-Green Algae Task Force all report agriculture as the dominant source of phosphorus and nitrogen within most impaired watersheds of Florida. Do you agree industries and property owners should be held to clearly enforceable pollution standards and penalties; including mandatory adoption and verification of best management practices, and to implement inspection programs targeting septic, agriculture and industrial wastewater?
I support implementing inspection programs targeting septic, agriculture, and industrial wastewater. Industries and property owners also need enforceable pollution standards and penalties. However, as the son of a farmer, who spent many years growing up on a working farm in rural Ohio, I know that the above question oversimplifies the challenges facing many in this group. Clumping the two together does not give the intricacies of the problem justice. Instead, we should focus on holding corporate farms and industry to task while helping the private land owners and small farmers execute the needed actions to reach the set standards.
- Question 4 : Yes2) Florida is booming, with an estimated 1,000 people moving here every day. As a result, development is pushing growth further into Florida’s rural and natural areas, imperiling wildlife and natural resources like clean water. Will you oppose changes to your county’s Comprehensive Plan/Urban Development Boundary that would allow non-agricultural development in rural areas outside the urban, most densely developed area(s) in your county?
Comprehensive Plans are hardly perfect, but elected officials frequently bend to developers' wishes. Therefore, we must adhere to the restrictions and the predetermined requirements and instead focus on redeveloping vacant buildings and finding new ways to redevelop other areas of our already established cities.
- Question 5 : Yes5) Special interests in Florida spend lavishly to influence elections at the local, state and federal level. The sugar industry, phosphate mining industry and big utilities, among others, spend millions to aid candidates who then back their preferred legislation - too often, at the expense of clean water. Do you agree your campaign will accept no contributions from any source with ties to polluting industries including, but not limited to, the sugar, phosphate and utility industries?
My campaign believes that the environment should be at the forefront of any decision. Unfortunately, too often, the effects of our choices are only addressed after a disaster makes itself evident. Therefore, I will not accept any contributions from polluting industries.
The DeSoto County Commission has been courageous in its effort to stand up against phosphate mining. We should all have elected officials that put the long-term needs of their citizens and the environment ahead of a quick paycheck.