County Commissioner District 5 - REP
2022 General - Voter Guide Ranking
County Commissioner District 5 - REP
2022 Clean Water Questionnaire Responses
To read each question, answer and candidate comments click below.
- Question 1 : Yes1) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is finalizing the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM), and while the plan should reduce harmful discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries, discharges will still occur when the level of the lake gets too high. Do you agree the Army Corps and the South Florida Water Management District must send more water south during the dry season in order to minimize the possibility of discharges and their impact on human health and the environment?
- Question 2 : No2) 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?
I cannot give a blanket yes or no to such a broad question. If development can eliminate harmful vegetation and improve flow-way productivity backed by science, then I would consider this option. However, a buyer should know the allowable density when buying a property and I see no reason to mention that amount without a scientifically obvious benefit.
- Question 3 : Yes3) 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?
Appropriate standards need to be properly created and enforced as stated. Predictability and consistency are the standards I seek to achieve so the rules, and their implementation, fair to all.
- Question 4 : Yes4) Key water bodies along the Florida coast, including the Indian River Lagoon and Biscayne Bay, are plagued by excess nutrient pollution which kills seagrass. This in turn has led to increased turbidity and reduced habitat essential for fish, birds, marine mammals, and other marine species. If elected, would you support aggressive measures to address water quality problems, including (but not limited to) a mandatory septic inspection program, increased investment in septic-to-sewer conversions and upgrades to municipal sewage treatment facilities, increased stormwater pollution controls and tougher fertilizer restrictions coupled with strict enforcement?
4. If fair to private property rights, I strongly support the work of State Representative Adam Botanna and approved by Gov. DeSantis to provide state funding to convert more septic systems to central sewer for homes along the Caloosahatchee River. The program needs to continue being funded and Lee County should lobby for more funds. We must work to find answers to start getting more of Lehigh Acres off septic systems and on to a central water sewer system. I know of no plans at present for the Florida Government Utility Authority (FGUA) to move in this direction. I would work with Lee County Utilities and the state and federal governments to try to find an answer.
- Question 5 : No5) 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?
I am unsure how to answer this question. I will not investigate all home builders if they may put in a septic system for a home. The industries listed, to my knowledge, do not participate in Lee County commission elections. To my recollection, I have never accepted money from the stated industries in this question in any of my prior county commission elections in 1992, 1996, 2000, or 2004. Expect no change this year. I would accept a contribution from a home builder who has no choice if central water and sewer is not available.
The ACOE gives the order on lake level and SFWAD performs the discharge. I have seen during drought years how clear and clean our waters became. The lack of dead fish poisoning our beaches and air compared to dolphins in clean water coming close to the shore. I will personally join Commissioner Ruane and all others in this important battle. Our citizens, our visitors, and our sea environment deserve cleaning our waters as a very high priority.