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Solving our problems

By Staff | Feb 18, 2009

To the editor,

I was intrigued and somewhat disappointed by some citizens as their letters to the editor extolled this or that candidate because of their many associations with volunteer groups on the island. They further went on to say and that is why I am voting for this or that candidate in the upcoming election.

I would not vote for a candidate for local office if he was not involved in volunteer organizations and he was not out and about within the community. However, I would never vote for a person solely because of his volunteer activity, the primary reason for casting my vote for a candidate is whether or not he has the education/background/experience to address the challenges facing Sanibel in 2009 and forward.

All five of our candidates for City Council are quite involved in volunteer organizations in our community and beyond. This should not be a concern in this election as all their volunteer contributions are outstanding!

So what is the issue for this election? We have two important election issues facing Sanibel in this election. The first is the financial challenges that will be facing Sanibel in 2009 and probably 2010. These would be the city budget, staff size, potential reduction in essential services, fixing problems within the employee pension plan, etc. The second equally important issue facing us for 2009 and far beyond is the quality of our water and beaches. If we lose the quality of our water and beaches, we could potentially lose what we now call paradise. Reflect back on the mood of the island about two years ago when we had piles of red algae sitting on our beaches and in the water.

We need to study the backgrounds of these five candidates to see which are the three most qualified (education/business background and other experience) to handle these most difficult challenges facing Sanibel in the next several years. Volunteer work is admirable and necessary, but let us vote for the three individuals who can begin to solve our problems.

Gary Greenplate