Collier County voters who live in the Collier Mosquito Control District (CMCD) will choose two of the five members of the District’s board in nonpartisan, at-large elections. The position pays a salary of $400/month.
For Seat 1, incumbent John Johnson was unopposed and will serve another term. For Seat 2, incumbent Sandra Lee Buxton is being challenged by Elizabeth Yiachos. For Seat 3, Ed Brandt and Emily Dalto are running for the position long held by Jackie Fresenius, who is not seeking a fifth term.
In this post, I review what voters should know about the District, and what I learned about each candidate.
The Collier Mosquito Control District
The CMCD serves more than 330,000 of Collier County’s 370,000 residents from its primary location at the Naples Municipal Airport and substation at the Immokalee Airport. Its mission is “to provide valuable service to the community through suppression of both disease carrying and nuisance mosquito populations by and through the safest and most economical means available.”
Explosive growth in eastern Collier County prompted CMCD leaders earlier this year to seek approval of the District’s tenth expansion since it was founded in 1950. The referendum was overwhelmingly approved in August by voters who would be affected by the expansion. It must next be approved by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by the Governor. The soonest the new boundaries will go into effect is likely October 2023.
Seat 2 — Sandra Lee Buxton
Buxton has lived in Collier County for more than three decades. She is a trained medical professional (RN, BSN, MA), Licensed Healthcare Risk Manager, and healthcare administrator. She has also owned and sold three businesses, and currently co-owns Life in Naples Magazine.
A graduate of the Leadership Institute, Greater Naples Leadership, and the Naples Citizens Police Academy, Buxton also serves on the Sheriff’s Citizens Review Panel. She was honored as a Woman of Initiative through the Community Foundation.
Buxton says her background in healthcare and passion for community service qualify her for the position, and points out that as a Registered Nurse, she brings a unique perspective. She is running for a second term “to continue the strides that we as a District have made.”
In a second term, she would want to:
- Expand community educational programs,
- Oversee the expansion of the CMCD aircraft facilities in Immokalee,
- Enhance CMCD research and development to increase effectiveness of treatment with an environmental sensitivity.
Her long list of endorsements includes Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk, Naples Fire Chief Pete DiMaria, and President of the Veterans Council Chief William Carl.
- Website — electsandraleebuxton.com
- Facebook — Elect Sandra Lee Buxton
- LInkedIn — Sandra Lee Buxton
- Sparker’s Soapbox Candidate Questionnaire
- Candidate Statement
Seat 3 — Ed Brandt
Ed Brandt, age 63, lived in Falls Church, VA, before moving to Collier County about 18 months ago. He has a BA from the University of Findlay, an M. Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, a D. Min. from Lancaster Theological Seminary, and a Master of Strategic Studies (MSS) from the US Army War College. He served for 32 years in the National Guard, deployed to Iraq, and completed his career in 2020 as Chief Chaplain for the entire U.S. National Guard based in Arlington, VA. He now serves as pastor at Lely Presbyterian Church.
Brandt says that, by nature, he is a collaborative person with a bedrock belief in community service. He is running for this position because it “is an opportunity to serve the community in a non-partisan position, bringing my leadership abilities and strategic background to a key function of local government.”
If elected, he would like to:
- be a representative of the public to ensure their concerns are represented;
- ensure good stewardship of public resources; and
- be involved in making sure the Collier Mosquito Control District remains forward-looking in service to the community.
- Website — Vote Ed Brandt for Collier Mosquito Control District 3
- LinkedIn — Ed Brandt
In the News
“It’s safe to say that Lely Presbyterian Church’s new pastor, Ed Brandt, was kind of a big deal in his last position, although, true to his calling, he’s too humble to say so himself.”
- Retired Brigadier General’s Latest Mission: Lely Presbyterian Church, Coastal Breeze News, 6/24/21
“A congregation that reaches 150 only during the tourist season seemed an unlikely move for a man who had delivered the 2019 Easter sunrise service homily to 2,000 at Arlington National Cemetery.”
- Lely Presbyterian searches through pandemic to find its pastor-plus, Naples Daily News, 3/31/21
Elizabeth Yiachos and Emily Dalto
It appears that Seat 2 candidate Elizabeth Yiachos and Seat 3 candidate Emily Dalto are “ghost candidates.”
They did not provide a Candidate’s Statement to the Supervisor of Elections or respond to my or the League of Women Voters’ candidate questionnaires. They do not have websites and have not filed any financial reports with the Supervisor of Elections.
A Google search revealed they are on a slate of candidates endorsed by the Christian Conservative Coalition. That organization’s purpose is “to recruit those pastors, priests and believers in Christ who have never been active in politics before and to encourage them to use their God-given talents for various effective projects, campaigns, and organizations so as to be salt and light, representing Christ, in the political realm locally.”
They are also supported by Patriot Project, whose tagline is “Organizing, Educating & Activating Citizens in Defense of our Constitution” and whose website includes a link to Alfie Oakes’ website, Alfie for America.
Elections matter. I hope what you’ve learned in this post will help you make informed decisions in these Mosquito Control elections.