Local News in Review – January 2018

Again in January, the Board of County Commissioners remained focused on how to plan for and manage the county’s exploding growth, pay for years of backlogged infrastructure repairs, and maintain our quality of life.

Its 4–1 vote to approve a tentative sales-tax plan was the most significant local news this month, so in this post, I’ll begin my review of local news with that.

Then, I’ll share news from the Naples and Marco Island City Councils and the Collier County schools and School Board.

But first, I’ll review some of the local government offices that will be on our ballot this year and the candidates running to-date.

As always, my hope is that by reading these monthly posts, you’ll be a more informed voter come Election Day.

The 2018 elections

Two seats on the Board of Collier County Commissioners will be on the ballot this year: District 2, currently held by Andy Solis, and District 4, currently held by Penny Taylor. Find your Commission District here. At this time, neither candidate has a challenger.

Three seats on the Collier County School Board will be on the ballot on August 28: District 1, currently held by Kelly Lichter; District 3, currently held by Erika Donalds, and District 5, currently held by Roy Terry. School Board elections are non-partisan and at-large, meaning all Collier voters vote for all Board seats, regardless of their party affiliation or where they live.

Of the School Board incumbents, only Roy Terry has filed to run for re-election. He is being challenged by Mary Ellen Cash. Cash is aligned with the Florida Citizens’ Alliance, last year objecting to “objectionable materials in curriculum,” claiming to have “witnessed students being taught evolution as a fact of creation rather than a theory.”

One School Board candidate has filed to run in District 1. As reported this month:

As reported previously, two candidates have filed to run in District 3: Jen Mitchell and Kathy Ryan.

Naples City Council elections are February 6. See my endorsements here. In the news this month:

The proposed one-cent county sales tax

It is now likely that a sales tax referendum will be on our November ballot. What projects will be funded with the revenue stream and what provisions will exist to convince the necessary 60 percent of Collier voters to vote for it must be finalized by June.

If you have views on the tax itself or how the funds should be prioritized, be sure to let your Commissioner know!

Other county news

Collier Schools and the School Board

Naples City Council

Marco Island City Council

That does it for January. Thanks for your interest in being an informed voter. See you next month!

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