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Election 2017 Question of the Week: Why are you running for office?

July 14, 2017
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Each week through the primary, The Breeze will ask the candidates for Cape Coral City Council an issue-related question. In the interest of fairness, each candidate is limited to the same amount of space, about 100 words, for their response. As you review the races, please note that Cape Coral City Council races are non-partisan, citywide elections. This means all registered voters can cast a ballot in each race, no matter party affiliation, no matter the district in which they live.

The first Question of the Week is: Why are you running for office?

MAYOR'S RACE:

- Joe Coviello: I'm devoted to serving the citizens of Cape Coral. I will foster a positive change to the City's image for a prosperous sustainable future for all residents. Cape Coral needs strong, professional, no nonsense leadership that can find solutions to complex issues. My experience in both the private and public sector puts me in a unique position to serve our citizens in a leadership role. Through my experience, I will champion innovative ideas to promote economic development, expand our commercial tax base and provide good paying jobs for our children and our families.

* * *

- Derrick Donnell: I love Cape Coral. Cape Coral is a beautiful and safe city because of all the challenging work that elected officials, city employees and residents commit to each year. I am eager to return to work for you to ensure that we remain the envy of all municipalities. I understand the unique opportunity I have to help develop policy that reflects the dynamic change generation X-ers and others seek as they raise their families as well as help preserve policy for baby boomers and others that want to enjoy the historical comforts of our peaceful community. Together we will achieve a renewed sense of unity.

* * *

- Rana Erbrick: This City is poised to take the next step in greatness and growth and I want to ensure we get there. Previous elections have resulted in us placing inexperienced individuals as Mayor, with mixed results. I refuse to see our City go in any direction but up. I will provide this City with an experienced, knowledgeable, vetted, and passionate choice for Mayor. With 6 years on Council, I will hit the ground running from day one, offer a smooth transition of leadership, and use the relationships I have built to ensure we follow a path that leads us to a successful and sustainable future.

* * *

- April Freeman: From a young age, I have felt compelled to serve my community which is why I have spent the last several years running to be a representative in Congress.

As a wife, mother, grandmother, business owner, and an activist for a better community, my goal has always been to advocate policies that will better serve the needs of people here in Southwest Florida. Becoming Mayor will allow me to work as a team player and focus my energy immediately serving our city in a way that will directly benefit the needs of Cape Coral residents.

* * *

- Michael D. Hollow: Since our "home" is in disarray, both leadership and business mind set, I felt the need to step up and bring a business mentality atmosphere to the city. It's time the city starts being run business like. Yoselyn and I are co-owners of the #1 RE/MAX in the state of Florida (2015 & 2016). From a leadership perspective, I have served Lee County and the City of Cape Coral in a multitude of ways. I am a retired Lieutenant from the Lee County Sheriff's Office. It's time we become proactive, with a vision that will be beneficial for the entire city.

* * *

- Kevin Koch: I am running for mayor of Cape Coral because I owe this city everything and I feel the need to give back to the city and its people. We need to move our city forward in a positive spotlight and promote business growth and sustainable expansion. We need to grow Cape Coral into a city where we no longer have to cross the bridge into Fort Myers to spend our money. We need a bold vision for our city's future. I will fight for every single day for this great city and its people to make that vision a reality.

- Daniel James Sheppard III: I, Dan Sheppard have decided to run for Mayor to bring back the respect and faith people have in their local government by protecting their voice, and enhancing our magnets that have drawn so many of us to live in the City that we call home. I have been attending City Council meetings for the last 16 years to express my opinions and support friends, neighbors, and their local businesses in need. I have a vision to help address the needs and wants of the citizens that will help improve our community. I want to make the citizens proud of the city they live in and with your support I hope to do just that.

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DISTRICT 1

- Jim Burch (Incumbent): New Council. The potential for a new council adding maturity, experience and stability. I, along with the rest of the Council, just completed in Tallahassee HB 1241 and it lays out pre-platted communities and the condition they're in. We really have to refine it and look for revenue sources to sustain those communities. I want to continue the growth and monitor spending through the budget review process. We have reduced the millage rate for three years while remedying Cape issues, and have an opportunity this year, for the fourth year, to reduce it again.

* * *

- James Frederick Foraker: I have been in public service my entire life. It is what and who I am. For 28 years I put my life on the line every day to serve the people of Medina County Ohio. When I retired in 2013 my wife and I had our choice to live almost anywhere in the United States. We chose Cape Coral because we fell in love with the city. We chose to pack up and move over 1200 miles to paradise. I want to continue my public service by becoming a intricate part of the continued growth and prosperity of the city that we now call home. My unique skill set and work ethic will enable me to serve the people of Cape Coral effectively.

* * *

- John Gunter: I am running for Cape Coral City Council to greatly improve the quality of life for our citizens of Cape Coral. Our city needs leadership, who will raise the level of expectation, work collectively, and establish a "Vision of Greatness" for our city. As a team, and a community, we need to establish a path of success to achieve our goals, and make our vision become a reality. We must demand Financial Responsibility, Accountability, and Transparency along our journey. As a business owner for 30 years, I apply these principles on a daily basis to obtain my goals and vision in business.

* * *

- Graham Madison Morris: The Future. We have real challenges to confront in this city to meet the future in a meaningful way. From our Land Use and Development Regulations, to Traffic, to Public Safety - now is the time to find and implement more cost-efficient technological solutions. We really need to put a laser focus on innovative ideas and creative solutions all the while ambitiously minding the cost to taxpayers. Being a pre-platted community, we STILL will often have the deck stacked against us; however, I firmly believe that where there exists challenge there is always opportunity. I'm running for a modern city. I'm running for a smarter future.

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DISTRICT 4

- Jeffrey Alan Jones: I believe we need medical institutions, research centers, car dealerships, corporate offices, a community college/university or its equivalent and possibly a professional sports team. We must attract jobs and business to give our younger generation a place to work in so that we can keep our work force base up. If the young people and first time homebuyers cannot find employment locally this may stop any growth and development in Cape Coral. As a city councilman, I would like to attract business opportunities for the younger generation and I would like my children to live near me not with me.

* * *

- Richard Leon (Incumbent): We are on our way to becoming a thriving, modern city. Over the last four years we have continued to build infrastructure, streamlined regulations, and drawn in new and unique businesses to serve our community. When I ran four years ago, I said I was the voice of a new generation. A spark to light a fire to see a new path for our future. That voice, that spark with in me, burns brighter than ever to bring Cape Coral to its potential. I am running today to continue providing Cape Coral a stable, optimistic view of the paradise our forefathers dreamed of years ago.

* * *

- Jennifer I. Nelson: I am excited to run for District 4 as a concerned mother and citizen for the future of Cape Coral. My daughter and I have called Cape Coral home for almost nine years. I'm hoping to elevate the level of professionalism, innovation, and leadership on City Council while offering my experience, knowledge, and expertise. As a proven community leader, I'm confident my fresh perspective will bring ideas that will help sustain our city and allow for more efficiencies in our current processes.

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DISTRICT 5 (General Election ballot only)

- James Schneider: I have been in public civic service for most of my adult life, first in Annapolis, Maryland, and then here for the city of Cape Coral. I am currently serving my third year as a volunteer Planning and Zoning Commissioner for our city, and I see that it seems a good time for me to step in and offer my help to our citizens. We need to have a more cohesive council, open to the public even more, who want to work together to enhance our great city.

* * *

- Dave Stokes: I am running to bring forth positive solutions to the challenges our City will face with the current growth we are experiencing. To keep taxes low, to encourage new business growth which will bring high paying skilled jobs to our City. To ensure that Cape Coral receives from the state and county it's fair share of tax dollars for schools, roads and public safety needs. To participate in City Council meetings in a professional and positive manner treating the public, council members and staff with respect.

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DISTRICT 6 (General Election ballot only)

- John Karcher: As Vice President of the Northwest Neighborhood Association, I have heard too many residents say, "Why speak at citizens input, they already have made their decision." We need to "Listen to the People" and have more transparency in our City Government. I believe I can help accomplish that by using the skills that I have honed in my career in business management and sales over the past 34 years. Listening to BOTH sides to determine the best course of action is paramount. It is important to remember that the Council serves at the "Pleasure of the Citizens of Cape Coral."

* * *

- Rick Williams (Incumbent): When I first was elected to city council in 2013, we had endured years of deep recession. Council and residents were polarized and times were difficult. We have made great strides to restore public confidence in our leaders and move the city forward. We are addressing long-delayed infrastructure repair, have lowered property tax rates for 3 years running, and returned the city to growth and prosperity. My work is far from done. I've been actively involved in our community for 12 years and have the integrity and experience we need. I represent more than empty promises ... I bring a proven record of measurable accomplishments.

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Important dates

PRIMARY, Sept. 12, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Voter Registration Book Closes - Closed Aug. 14

* Early Voting (primary election) -Sept 5-9;

- Lee County Elections Cape Coral Branch Office, 1031 S.E. 9th Place Unit 3

- Cape Coral Library, 921 S.W. 39th Terrace

- GENERAL, Nov. 7, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Voter Registration Book Closes, Oct. 10

* Early Voting (general election), Oct. 30-31 and Nov. 1-4

- Lee County Elections Cape Coral Branch Office, 1031 S.E. 9th Place Unit 3

- Cape Coral Library, 921 S.W. 39th Terrace

- Voter registration:

Applications are available online at www.leeelections.com, at all Lee County libraries, and other locations including Cape Coral City Hall at 1015 Cultural Park Blvd., Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce at 2051 Cape Coral Parkway, Department of Motor Vehicles offices, and all Lee County Supervisor of Elections offices including the one in the Cape at 1031 S.E. 9th Place Unit 3 A full list is available at www.leeelections.com.

 
 

 

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