The County Commission approved the referendum language and project priorities of a one-cent sales tax increase that will appear on the ballot in November, grappled with failing conditions of some of the County’s busiest roads, and was chided for not dealing with the affordable housing shortage by the Daily News Editorial Board.
Naples City Council needs a new city manager after learning that incumbent Bill Moss will retire at the end of the year, and their Marco Island counterpart needs one, too, after firing embattled Lee Niblock …. Collier Schools officials and Sheriff Kevin Rambosk weighed in on school safety following the Parkland shooting … Superintendent Kamela Patton was recognized by the Florida Commissioner of Education for her use of data to improve students' college and career readiness … and a seventh candidate entered the Collier School Board race.
For more on these and other stories Collier voters should be aware of, read on!
Board of County Commissioners
County sales tax referendum
- Collier County sends sales tax increase referendum to November ballot. Commissioners have picked the 18 major projects they would fund with a sales tax increase of 1 percentage point. Now it's up to voters to decide whether they want to raise the tax to pay for them. Naples Daily News
- Editorial: Has Legislature undermined Collier sales tax votes? While we haven’t yet taken a position on the referendum, we find it reprehensible that such a decision might be wrested from voters. Naples Daily News
- Editorial: Easy to find excuses not to address housing concerns. It was disappointing the County Commission couldn’t muster the resolve needed when recently asked to move forward on a logical next step in bringing a housing plan to fruition. Naples Daily News
- Collier parks officials to vet beach parking garage proposal at Clam Pass Park. A first draft of a new county park system master plan is expected in May. Comments from the public are welcome; survey here. Naples Daily News
- Collier officials plan to redo 3 intersections to speed traffic. Commissioners voted 4–1 to try to improve intersections on Pine Ridge Road between Livingston Road and I–75 with relatively rare designs that have been growing in popularity.Naples Daily News
- Related from Brent Batten: Engineers say Pine Ridge Road problem requires unconventional solutions. Naples Daily News
- Immokalee gets $13 million federal grant for sidewalks, lights, bus shelters, drainage. Commissioner Bill McDaniel said much of the credit for the grant should go to county transportation planners who were instrumental in writing the application, prioritizing needs and capturing the grant. Naples Daily News
- Collier County set to spend more than $400K on Clam Pass maintenance. They are going to dredge the area soon and bring sand to the busiest areas to expand the beach. It’s something they have to do fairly regularly, and it isn't cheap. NBC–2.com
- Medical marijuana dispensaries one vote short of OK in Collier County. Unless Penny Taylor or Donna Fiala switches her vote when the county's land development code change is brought back to the Collier Commission for formal adoption in three months, it won't pass. Naples Daily News
- Naples City Manager Bill Moss to retire with $53,878 in PTO payout. Moss’s last day at work will be Oct. 2, followed by three months of personal leave until his official retirement Jan. 2. Naples Daily News
- Related: Naples City Council will use executive search firm to find new city manager. Naples Daily News
- Kelly's Fish House stays open in Naples; redevelopment plan to be redone. After more than a year of planning, the developer withdrew plans for a major overhaul of the waterfront property after a heated discussion took place during a City Council meeting in January. Naples Daily News
- Marco Island Council votes unanimously to fire City Manager with cause. Lee Niblock had been hired just four months earlier by a 5–2 vote.Naples Daily News
- Commentary: What Marco Island needs to know in deciding ambulance issue. The city is presently working on the wording of a proposed referendum for our citizens to vote Aug. 28 to decide if owning our own ambulances is a good idea. By Victor Rios, Member, Marco Island City Council, via Naples Daily News
- Marco Council bans plastic straws near beaches. Council has discussed banning plastic straws for years, and vice chairwoman Charlotte Roman said she's glad to see the ordinance finally come to fruition. Naples Daily News
- Collier school officials and Sheriff Rambosk weigh in on guardian program to arm staff. Superintendent Patton and Board Chairman Roy Terry said they had faith in the Sheriff’s Office’s ability to protect students. Sheriff Rambosk said, “We have a strong safety plan in place.” His office is reviewing the legislation to determine which elements may be appropriate in Collier County. Naples Daily News
- Commentary: Resource officers help keep Collier schools safe. There is a Youth Relations deputy assigned to each public and charter school in our county and they can be found on campus interacting with students and teachers, providing safety presentations in classrooms, assisting with school activities and carrying out their many other responsibilities. By Kevin Rambosk, Collier County Sheriff, via Naples Daily News
- Collier teachers resistant to carrying in class. Both the Collier and Florida Education Association oppose the measure, and 75% of teachers surveyed statewide oppose the voluntary carry program. FOX4
- Brent Batten: Broward, Collier differ on punishing misdemeanors at schools. When it comes to misdemeanor crimes in Broward County, school administrators make the call. In Collier, law enforcement officers do. Naples Daily News
- Superintendent Kamela Patton honored as Florida’s 2017 District Data Leader of the Year. The program recognizes the critical role superintendents play in supporting and encouraging the use of data to improve students' college and career readiness. CCPS
- City of Marco Island requests $8.1 million in capital funds from Collier County Public Schools. The Collier School Board will discuss the request on behalf of the Marco Island Academy charter school at its April 10 public meeting in Everglades City. City Request CCPS PowerPoint
- Related editorial kick: Should School Board members with a significant stake in charter schools be casting a potential precedent-setting vote? Naples Daily News
- Related editorial: Wrong direction by Collier’s legislative delegation on Marco school campus, shelter. Naples Daily News
- Collier County school principal under investigation for second time. Manatee Middle School Principal Pam Vickaryous was assigned to the school district administration center Jan. 22, pending an ongoing investigation. Naples Daily News
- Estates Elementary teacher Victor Dotres enters Collier School Board race. The seat is currently held by Erika Donalds, who announced she would not be running for re-election. Two other candidates — Kathy Ryan and Jennifer Mitchell — are in the running for the seat. Naples Daily News
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