City Council candidate question of the week: Legislative agenda
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. This week’s question is: What issues would you like to see the local legislative delegation address at the state level?
JOHN CARIOSCIA – Incumbent
I am currently requesting our State Representatives to support legislation that would:
1. Uphold current State Law allowing local governments and their taxpayers to require utilities to relocate utility equipment when the equipment is located with a public easement or right of way and needs to be relocated for public purposes.
2. Increase the per pupil spending and teacher pay for public and charter schools and to continue to set aside Public Education Capital Outlay Funds for Charter Schools to use for new construction, renovation and expansion.
3. Address water quality and quantity issues that affect local communities, specifically efforts to revitalize and protect Florida’s springs, aquifers, surface waters and estuaries.
4. Require additional oversight of persons and businesses providing services for pets, including, but not limited to grooming and boarding.
5. Give more leeway to the local governments to regulate housing rentals and modular homes.
I would like the local delegation to address the runoff from Lake Okeechobee with county and state officials, so that we can improve our water quality. This will protect our waterways and help to insure public safety and wildlife. Also, this will increase our economic development and protect our economy.
I feel that Cape Coral leaders, Lee County and the State of Florida should build a new exit route for Cape Coral residents.
Steve Crane brought this before Cape Coral City Council on Oct. 20, 2015. Cape Coral has needed another exit route in case of hurricanes and it would open up our area for future growth and development.
Why and how Cape Coral should get 1-75 Cape Coral Exit #147: I will work on seeing that we make this happen with Lee County and the State of Florida.
I would like our State Representative to pass a bill to stop illegals that break the laws of Florida and send them back to the country they came from.
While the city has several legislative funding requests and also requests no unfunded mandates, in reviewing their legislative initiatives, I do not see a request to have the statute pertaining to capital outlay funds going to Municipal Charter Schools. The statute reads that a County may share capital funds with charter schools. As of a year ago, I learned of only one county that chose to share those funds. I would request that the word may be changed to the word shall share with any Municipal Charter School in their jurisdiction.
TIMOTHY W. BARRIER
There exists in the current state assessments law a loophole that allows municipal governments in the State of Florida to assess its citizens any amount of money, for any length of time and for any reason that it desires. Our current Fire Assessment falls under this law. Any assessment that the citizens of Cape Coral are required to pay should be for a specific reason, for a specific amount of money, for a specific duration and approved by a majority the voting citizens.
The local legislative delegation should bring this issue to the attention of our representative Dane Eagle for appropriate action.
We need to fight against proposed legislation allowing utility companies to put the burden of line relocation (due to construction) on the taxpayers. Like last year, Cape Coral needs to band with other municipalities in Florida to stop this legislation.
We also need to push for more funding for our municipal charter schools. Student for student, Lee County District schools receive more dollars than our city’s charter schools, due to a lack of direction in state statute regarding capital funds.
We also need to continue to focus on water quality, which has been an ongoing struggle here in Southwest Florida for decades.