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Sanibel City Council Forum series: Part two

By Staff | Feb 11, 2015

The Sanibel City Council will have two seats open, with three candidates on the ballot. The city elections will be Tuesday, March 3.

The candidates are Chauncey Goss, Frances Slane and incumbent Jim Jennings.

The Island Reporter will be running a four-part series, featuring a question which will be affecting the City of Sanibel in the upcoming year. Each of the candidates’ answers have been limited to 150 words.

This week’s Island Reporter question for the three Sanibel City Council candidates (Chauncey Goss, incumbent Jim Jennings and Frances Slane) is a vital one for the City of Sanibel and a key to its survival – water quality.

The City of Sanibel and its City Council, spearheaded by Mayor Kevin Ruane, has been a major proponent of water quality for Southwest Florida. It will be an issue which will be a priority of every SW Florida City Council for many years to come.

“How important is the inland water quality issue on your platform and explain your stance on the issues.”

Chauncey Goss

Clean water is essential to Sanibel’s environment, economy and quality of life.

It is my view the City must aggressively engage those who knowingly threaten this resource. Our current City Council has rightly made water quality a priority.

I had the opportunity to become involved in water quality issues nearly two decades ago when I was working on Boca Grande as the Executive Director of a nonprofit property owner’s association.

Sadly, many of the issues I was grappling with then (freshwater outlfows), are still issues today. Because Sanibel is the “catcher’s mitt” for everything that is discharged from the Caloosahatchee, the City has to be as proactive in ensuring our water quality as it is in protecting all of our natural resources.

I have experience working with the legislative and regulatory processes and I believe that experience will be a benefit if elected to our Council.

Frances Slane

It is vital. Poor water quality is the primary threat facing Sanibel. Polluted water from the northern part of the state and Lake “O” affects Sanibel daily.

The current council has done a marvelous job of fighting this threat by creating a regional alliance to galvanize state and federal officials to action, but the pressure has to be maintained.

I support continued vigilance in the battle for both short-term and long-term clean water outcomes over the short-term interests of others and will do everything in my power to make that result a reality.

Jim Jennings

Water quality is the most important issue facing Sanibel. I have been actively involved with water quality initiatives for the last twelve years as a member of city council.

Water quality supports the wildlife, regulates and assists our vegetation and is the backbone for our island economy.

Excellent water quality is vital to our local economy in Lee County, creating an economic impact of $2.8 billion dollars, which has created 54,000 jobs annually in the tourism area alone.

The trickle down effects on the economy allows major companies to relocate to southwest Florida, allows the real estate values of $150 billion dollars to continue to improve and can impact consumer confidence.

Our advocacy has had a profound impact improving water quality with a statewide fertilizer ordinance, the passage of the WRRDA bill in congress and having the governor announce funding of five billion dollars to restore the Everglades.