As Collier County continues to grow, it is important that we proceed in an environmental, community driven, and fiscally responsible way. There should never be a financial burden placed on everyday working people to fund new developments that are not for them. We must shift the mindset of developers from investing into housing to investing into communities. That includes; requiring more green space, incorporating nature for improved pedestrian ability in the neighborhood, variety of housing options to include the working class, and more. I take pride in being the Smart Growth candidate and will work diligently to ensure it is enforced for future developments to come.
Clean water is not just a District 5 issue, but a Florida issue. Traditionally, water flowed down to SWFL from Lake Okeechobee and filtered itself, but overdevelopment has caused issues to our precious water supply. We must enact simple policies to get us moving in the right direction. Such as; implementing a fertilizer ordinance during the wet season, placing an emphasis on switching from septic to sewer systems, and NO FRACKING. With your help we can ensure clean water for future generations to come.
What makes District 5 great is its diversity. However, we are lacking diversity when it comes to job industries. Agriculture, fishing, and tourism are the anchors of this district's economy. I will fight to continue the growth in those industries, but also look to grow more areas. Arthrex is a global leader located in our district, and I would like to draw more manufacturing and green jobs to this area. We must also make sure we support the backbone of this country and provide as many options to current and future small business owners with ways to be successful.
Access to Health Care
It is 100% unacceptable that we do not have quality healthcare for all. It is not a conservative or liberal issue, it is a humanitarian issue. I WILL work diligently to bring either a hospital or 24/7 urgent care to Immokalee and any other rural areas in need to make sure everyone has access to health care at all hours.
As we continue to grow, we must make sure our foundation is laid properly before building on it. We have roads that need to be widen, such as Immokalee Road from Immokalee to Collier County Fair Grounds, and sewer systems that need to be in place to not affect our water. As your County Commissioner, I can assure you I will never vote in favor of having you pay for infrastructure that developers must pay and provide. We must also ensure we have accessibility for all when it comes to visiting businesses and more in our county. That includes ramps and parking access for those in need.
The handling of COVID-19 has been a disaster. We are the world leader and our actions showed the world how not to lead. We delayed the closure of airports and harbors. Those factors, along with poor leadership, have put us in this predicament. To put things into perspective, if Florida were a country we would be ranked 6th in the world for total cases! Something needed to be done, and a county wide mask mandate was exactly that. This simple adjustment can help lower the transmission and spread of this virus. In order to win this war against COVID-19 sooner, we must work together. That includes; doing your part in wearing a mask, washing your hands regularly, and staying home if you are showing symptoms. The department of health offers free testing at a number of sites in our county. Please do not hesitate to get tested. There is light at the end of the tunnel, and if we work together, we will get there sooner than later.