Response to the League of Women Voters Questionnaire.

I have been a member of the Florida Bar for 35 years. As a former insurance defense trial lawyer and senior staff attorney to the circuit judiciary, I have extensive experience in the law in both the private and public sectors. I think that if you are going to make, apply and interpret laws, it would be wise to know something about laws and how they’re properly made and applied in a nonpartisan fashion.
I am running for city council because it’s time for me to stop complaining about problems and start doing something about them. I aim to accomplish that by helping government fulfill its primary purpose: to promote the health, safety and welfare of the people. To me, all three are not priorities, they are preconditions. Unhealthy and unsafe conditions need to be cleaned up when discovered, not budgeted for. Polluted land and water, the myriad problems with the FMPD identified in the Freeh Report, and chronic unfunded liabilities are issues of paramount importance.
I support the initiative to create a Children’s Services Council. It’s incumbent upon the city to monitor water quality and preserve water resources. The issues of land use, public transportation and in-fill development need to be part of any effort to amend the comprehensive plan and smart code, both of which should be done together as the product of extensive and prolonged public input. The toxic waste site must be cleaned up and an epidemiologist should be hired to evaluate potentially affected people.

Hello!

I am a former trial lawyer and senior staff attorney for the circuit judiciary with 35 years experience in the practice of law. I have a BA in political science from Florida Technological University and a JD from Stetson University College of Law. I’ve lived in Fort Myers, FL for my entire legal career. I’m running for city council because I think it’s high time I stopped complaining about problems and started doing something about them.
I believe that government functions best when it fulfills its fundamental purpose: to promote the health, safety and welfare of its people. In Fort Myers, we have significant health issues stemming from environmental hazards and unrestrained water releases from Lake Okeechobee. These must be identified and eliminated. Safety issues are fully outlined in the Freeh Report (which contains a damning indictment the police department). I fully support the efforts of the new police chief to implement the recommendations made by former FBI Director Louis Freeh in that report. The welfare of the people needs to be addressed through promotion of the arts, responsible growth, and other fundamental quality-of-life issues. Finally, the issue of unfunded liabilities is like a budgetary storm cloud on the horizon that needs to be consistently, persistently, and repeatedly addressed in a fiscally responsible manner.
Fort Myers city elections are nonpartisan affairs. In my view, the decisions made by an elected council at the municipal level are not really “liberal” or “conservative,” or “Democratic” or “Republican.” They are only “wise” or “unwise.” And wise decisions must always be just. I can’t speak for other democrats, but I do know something about justice.
I am the current president of the Kiwanis Club of Fort Myers – Edison, a Board Trustee of the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, the immediate past chairman of the board of the Sidney and Berne Davis Art Center, a founding member and former president of the Florida Trial Court Staff Attorneys Association, a facilitator for Lee County Pulling Together, a long time reader to the blind at the WGCU Radio Reading Service, a Big Brother in Big Brothers/Big Sisters since 1982 and a former president of and current volunteer for Meals on Wheels. I have also been an actor, director, writer and producer of stage plays at numerous theaters and Southwest Florida for over 30 years.

First blog post