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Candidate bios: District 6

By Staff | Oct 6, 2017

The race for Cape Coral City Council District 6, which was not on the Primary ballot, features two candidates, John Karcher and Rick Williams, the incumbent:*

* Candidate name: John Karcher

* Seat sought/district: Cape Coral City Council, District 6

* Age: 66

* Education/degrees:

Two years of Community College in Louisville, Ky (Jefferson Community College), followed by 34 years of experience with Hartz Mountain.

* Occupation and place of employment:

Retired from Hartz Mountain Pet Supplies after 34 years

* Time in the district in which you are running/years of residency: I have lived in Cape Coral, District 6 for the past 10 years.

* Business experience applicable to the office you are seeking:

– Setting and meeting goals: Meeting profit goals within budget constraints for Hartz and doing it in a way that helped customers meet their goals. How do you do that? This is accomplished by knowing the market, your product, and mainly by listening to your customers. You can’t have the success and longevity in sales that I’ve had without bringing all those elements together.

– Team building and leading: As a leader, you have to bring your employees together to understand what you’re selling and who you’re selling to. Everyone needs to be on the same page. When you build a good sales team, you never fully start on the same page, but when you work together, you eventually get there. The ability to listen to input from others, merge it with what you would like to see and then try to be persuasive as you can be is crucial. I’ve spent my whole career doing exactly that. I had from 4 to 18 direct reports during most of my career.

– Reality based decision making: In selling products to retailers, you’re always analyzing data and looking at business models to get the right fit for the market your customers are trying to be successful in. You work with them to help them reach their goals. Part of that, is to look beyond the business models hatched in an office miles away and visit them. When you’re “on the ground,” you get a better idea of what the retailer is facing in certain market areas. I would approach being a council member the same way.

* Political Experience/offices held:

This is my first time running for a political office.

* Civic/Community involvement:

Community Service: I have been a board member of the Northwest Cape Coral Neighborhood Association (NWNA) for 2 years. During this time, I’ve represented the NWNA in working with the city on issues ranging from parks, boating, shoreline enhancement issues, development issues, transportation, and bike lanes. I’m currently the Vice-President of the NWNA, representing over 1,040 members. I have held a seat representing Cape Coral on the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Lee County M.P.O traffic planning. I also have a seat on the Cape Coral Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan Committee.

* Family:

Between Debbie and I we have 5 adult children and 13 grandchildren. Two of the younger grandchildren live in Cape Coral and go to Oasis Elementary School. We also have a 5 pound Yorki Mix that thinks she is in charge of our household!

* Website where voters can find more information on your candidacy:



* Candidate name: Rick Williams (incumbent)

* Seat sought/district: City Council District 6

* Age: 72

* Education/degrees:

AS degree in Hospital Equipment Technology (Biomedical Engineering) Edinboro University, Edinboro PA.

* Occupation and place of employment:

City Council member / Mayor Pro Tem /Council Office Manager, City of Cape Coral

* Time in the district in which you are running/years of residency.

13 Years residing full time in the NW Cape.

* Business experience applicable to the office you are seeking:

Eight years in senior Biomedical Service Management. Included personnel management, budget development and management, and strategic planning. 22 year navy career, the last 6 in senior leadership positions.

* Political Experience/offices held:

4 Years as Cape Coral Council Member

2 Years as Mayor Pro Tem

Current Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) Board Chairman

Chairman of the MPO Executive Committee

Current Cape Coral Transportation Advisory Commission Chairman

Member of the Florida League of Cities Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Legislative Committee

Completed the 3 part Institute for Elected Municipal Officials provided by the Florida League of Cities

Community Redevelopment Agency Commissioner

Chairman of the Burnt Store Road right of way committee

Council Liaison and advisor to the Cape Coral Youth Council

* Civic/Community involvement:

Member of the Guardian Angels for Special Populations

Board of Directors for the Mayor’s Scholarship fund

Past President of the Northwest Neighborhood Assn.

Stakeholder, Northwest Spreader Ecosystem Management environmental study (2 Years)

Cape Coral American Legion Post 90 member

Fleet Reserve Association #118 member

North Cape Elks Lodge #2874 charter member

* Family:

Engaged, no children

* Military Experience:

22 years in US Navy and Navy reserve. Retired as Chief Petty Officer. Completed training in leadership, Navy Instructor and Career Councilor.

Retired as Fire Controlman Chief. The Fire Control rating is responsible for maintenance and operation of the radars and computers that control the ships weapons system. (High stress, technology based position)

* Website where voters can find more information on your candidacy:




* Editor’s Note: All biographical information provided by the candidates.


Important Dates:

– GENERAL, Nov. 7, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Voter Registration Book Closes, Oct. 10

* Early Voting (general election), Oct. 30-31 and Nov. 1-4

– Lee County Elections Cape Coral Branch Office, 1031 S.E. 9th Place Unit 3

– Cape Coral Library, 921 S.W. 39th Terrace

– Voter registration:

Applications are available online at www.leeelections.com, at all Lee County libraries, and other locations including Cape Coral City Hall at 1015 Cultural Park Blvd., Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce at 2051 Cape Coral Parkway, Department of Motor Vehicles offices, and all Lee County Supervisor of Elections offices including the one in the Cape at 1031 S.E. 9th Place Unit 3 A full list is available at www.leeelections.com.