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Bath’s candidacy for Council based on concern for future

By Staff | Jan 28, 2009

Although Sanibel resident David Bath may appear to be a newcomer to the political scene, having thrown hit hat into the ring as a candidate for Sanibel’s City Council, his public service is neither new nor non-political.

Having served on the election campaigns of both Mayor Mick Denham and Councilman Peter Pappas, Bath said that he has already achieved political success, as evidenced by the election of both gentlemen.

As a member of the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (C.R.O.W.), the

Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) and Friends In Service Here (F.I.S.H.), bath is certainly no stranger to public service.

“I was a board member of Quality Life Center in Dunbar and treasurer of the Committee of the Islands,” he added.

Born in the United Kingdom, Bath is a naturalized citizen of the United States, and his patriotism is evident in his reply to a question concerning his greatest accomplishment.

“Immigrating with my family to the United States was my biggest accomplishment,” Bath said proudly. “We thank this country, and our friends, for helping the four of us become citizens in the early 1970s. The freedom and opportunity to serve is unlimited for all Americans, and we have tried, in our different ways, to contribute.”

As a trained futurist, Bath said he had a role in identifying, producing and selling new product ideas for Procter and Gamble. Among the ideas Bath helped to bring to your local supermarket shelves are calcium in orange juice and Folgers Singles.

Bath, who has been a Sanibel resident for the past decade, said he and his family first same to Sanibel Island in 1986, and immediately fell in love with the island’s ambiance.

“We love the complete picture… how much we who live here receive… the birds, the wildlife, the beaches and the goodwill and talent of our neighbors,” said Bath enthusiastically. “We call it paradise – and it is!”

Protecting that paradise is paramount to Bath, who expressed his concern for the future of Sanibel as an important reason why he has decided to seek election to the City Council.

“The biggest immediate challenge is the possible unraveling of our building code, should all the incumbents be elected,” he warned, referencing the Council’s recent Planning Commission appointments as evidence of this challenge. “The failure of this Council to re-appoint Dr. David Berger to the Planning Commission has unbalanced that Commission. It now has the power to vote for development interests, should they wish. Without a Council willing to resist, the protection of ‘rhythm and harmony’ in our neighborhoods will be lost, and oversized houses will be unstoppable.”

Bath said he is also concerned about the continued deterioration of the economy, and the effect it will have on the future of Sanibel’s financial health, especially as regards pension funding.

“I would work diligently to share all of the facts with residents and taxpayers,” said Bath. “Some of the critical facts, such as our long-term pension obligations, have not been publicly shared to date. Sanibel is not immune to the global financial meltdown, and we, as a community, need to address our pension liabilities while we have time to resolve them fairly.”

When asked about his most unforgettable moment in public service, Bath is quick to answer. “It occurs every time I have the privilege of meeting a F.I.S.H. client for the first time, and driving them to a medical appointment on the mainland,” explained Bath. “Mostly, they live alone and are unable to drive. Their stories are an incredible witness to courage: they are tough, enduring, independent role models for us all.”

The election will be held on Tuesday, March 3. For more information, call the City Manager’s office at 472-3700, or the Lee County Supervisor of Elections office at 239-533-8683.

(Editor’s Note: There are three Sanibel City Council seats up for election in March. Those seats are currently occupied by Mayor Mick Denham, Vice Mayor Kevin Ruane and Councilman Marty Harrity. All three incumbents have filed for candidacy, as well as Dr. David Berger and David Bath. This article is the third in a series of weekly profiles on each of the candidates.)