What We Think – The Op-Ed Saloon
Our opinion/editorial, or Op-Ed Page is reserved for opinion pieces written by a Gazette journalist or a group of journalists. The articles appearing here differ from most news pieces in that they advocate a particular point of view, policy or other non-objective opinion. They may contain assertions that are controversial or non-factual and they usually don’t seek to be as unbiased and objective as true newspaper stories should – and must. Gazette editorials are found on this Op/Ed section of a website to make it especially clear that something is an opinion, rather than an objective news story.
Sometimes, an entire newspaper will collectively print and endorse an editorial written by a staff member or a few staff members. For example, conservatives tend to deride the New York Times because its editorials tend to espouse “liberal/progressive” points of view. Conversely, progressives make similar claims about the Wall Street Journal However, the pure news content of both papers seeks to be objective.
Other times, the Gazette will print editorial pieces written by a single individual who is credited with its authorship. In the latter case, the views of the author should not be construed to represent the views of the Gazette as a whole. Today, you can find editorials all over the Internet on various blogs and websites.
Publisher Comments (Editorial) by Robert Anderson Publisher Lehigh Acres Gazette
Though I have great respect for the Firefighters and the staff of the Lehigh Acres Fire Control & Rescue District. the current fire board is a mess.
Wonder Woman Linda Carter (transgender man) currently under mental evaluation. It works for FEMA also would you want a person under mental evaluation helping you in a crisis?
Chairman Cathy Kruse lies to Florida Department of Law Enforcement about her statement about bribes in the Fire Department in the September 2016 board meeting and could be facing ethics charges.
And now Debra Cunningham who ran on a platform to remove the fire fee assessment and currently not paying for the assessment because she and her husband are exempt.
Editorial written by Jemzee Barrett Editor Lehigh Acres Gazette
After reviewing all the photos of the fire board meeting on Nov 29, we came across a photo of Fire Commissioner Linda Carter. Is this commissioner actually a sleep? Look at the photo, eyes closed and hand holding up head ……
Also, the Lehigh Acres Gazette has been told that Linda Carter has removed herself off of the Metropolitan Planning Organization – Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) because she had missed to many meeting due to health issues.
So, is Linda Carter actually able to serve the community of Lehigh Acres with these health disorders?
To the Editor:
Written: Ray Judah
It’s been said that the times makes the person and 2016 is calling out for Dick Anderson, candidate for Lee County Commission District 3.
Dick is devoted to his loving family and is motivated to work as a public servant to leave a legacy for our children and grandchildren that protects our unique natural environment and provides high quality educational and employment opportunities.
Having worked in the public and private sector, Dick brings a balanced perspective in operating local government as a business but with the vision to ensure responsible stewardship of our land and water resources. Dick worked as a land planner for Lee County Government and WCI Communities, as well as for the Little Pine Island Wetland Restoration and Mitigation Bank. Strongly immersed in our community, Dick has served as an adjunct instructor at Florida Gulf Coast University teaching courses on economics and the environment and has volunteered on numerous organizations including American Red Cross, Lee County Chapter, Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium and Edison Learning Center Board.
Ahh. but Tom Rooney’s a Republican. That’s the only thing that counts with the Republican leadership. My conscience said no, and I resigned from the Charlotte County Republican Executive Committee, and my Chair position on the Ted Cruz Campaign.
Lee County is historically known for its natural and cultural beauty. Nowadays, it’s also known for its crime. Sheriff Scott believes crime is “Everywhere USA” and “all relative” and the victims usually have criminal pasts.
I disagree. Many of victims of crimes each year in SWFL are not criminals. Plus, as cops, we have a duty to protect everyone in our community.
Instead of blaming victims of countywide crime, let’s look at the Sheriff’s Office. A $160 million dollar budget but no considerable salary raises in nearly 10 years. We’re over 35 deputies short on road patrol and losing more to better paying jobs by the week.
Some local police at www.LEOAFFAIRS.com believe the only way to get ahead at LCSO is to pay for a promotion by joining the “$1000 club”. Curiously, the Sheriff’s campaign donation list and recent LCSO promotional list nearly match up.
What happened to promotions based on years of service and achievements?
Morale among LCSO deputies is low. They struggle on $35,294 a year while working a dangerous job for days on end and can barely afford to pay rent or give their kids a nice Christmas.
It’s time for a new sheriff.
Written by Stephanie Eller: Candidate for Lee County Sheriff
During my 15 years at the Lee County Sheriff’s Office I witnessed many decisions that were not relevant to serving and protecting the citizens. I realized we had lost focus of our core competency: “To protect and serve.” I also witnessed reckless and irresponsible spending, but watched the citizens and reporters who questioned these expenditures become easily “pacified” with an alarming response of “We can’t cut any money from public safety!” Many citizens were comfortable with the response, yet many realized there was something seriously wrong. I was, and remain, one of the latter.
When I made the decision to run for sheriff, I had an opportunity to speak with a former elected official who wanted to hear what I had to say. Once he realized I had the practical experience as a law enforcement officer, a college education including a Masters in Management, had successfully managed a family business, and had the discipline to become debt-free, he knew I had something special. He told me to get a 5 point plan on paper and to tell everyone about it.
Here is my 5 point plan:
1. Cut the fat at the top. There have been 3 ranks added to this sheriff’s bloated bureaucracy: Colonel, Commander and Executive Staff Officer. These will be eliminated. While these high-salary positions were added, two subordinate ranks were eliminated: Corporal and Master Corporal. A new rank structure and step plan allowing employees to test, train and advance will be implemented.
2. Put more boots on the ground. “Immediately reviewing Every Position in the Sheriff’s Office Top to Bottom to Address the Bloated Bureaucracy and ensuring the Every Tax Dollar Entrusted to the Sheriff is spent with You, the Taxpayer in mind.” (Mike Scott Campaign Flyer, 2004 – punctuation as printed in flyer). Utilize those resources for their intended purpose – protection and service to Lee County citizens.
Written by Ray Judah
There has been a great deal of press recently concerning several of our local Mayors traveling to Washington DC to speak to our Congressional delegation and United States Army Corps of Engineers about the dirty water crises stemming from the excessive release of polluted water from Lake Okeechobee.
Fortunately, Senator Bill Nelson and Congressman Curt Clawson are extremely supportive and responsive in working to address the harm to coastal estuaries on the west and east coast of Florida. In fact, Senator Nelson and Congressman Clawson are supporting legislation that would expedite federal funding for the Central Everglades Planning Project to facilitate water flow to the Everglades.
However, the real heavy lifting should be focused on Governor Scott and the state legislature. For it is the state that has jurisdiction over water quality. It was the Governor and state legislature that refused to use Amendment 1 funds to purchase land south of the lake to store, treat and convey water to the Everglades. And, it is the Governor and state legislature, during the 2016 legislative session, that recently approved a “Water Bill” that will all but make it impossible to clean up the dirty water by giving the sugar industry safe harbor from being held accountable in efforts to restore Lake Okeechobee, Caloosahatchee and our coastal estuaries.
By Glenn Mollette
The Pope messed up. The media has reported that the Pope questioned Trump’s Christianity because he wants to build a wall. ”A person, who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian.”
Interestingly enough Pope Francis lives surrounded by a 37 foot wall that was completed in 852. The wall has been reinforced over the centuries and has saved previous Popes in the past when the city was under siege.
Therefore, The Vatican must keep staunch security and they do. They have a tremendous wall and a small fierce army. Pope Francis, like all good men, has the ability to make a mistake and he did. Thus, the Pope is not perfect. Pope Francis is a holy man. He is a good man. He is loved by most of us, even those who are not Catholic. ISIS doesn’t love him and would love to infiltrate Rome, invade the Vatican and kill the Pope.
Editorial by Ray Judah
During the 2016 State legislative session, Representative Matt Caldwell (R) sponsored a new
‘Water Policy Bill’, recently signed by Governor Rick Scott, that undermines water resource protection from Appalachacola bay to the Florida Keys. The bill greatly impedes efforts to cost effectively prevent water pollution at its source and is silent on enhancing sound water conservation practices.
The replacement of the regulatory permitting process that included performance standards to address potential pollutant loading of lakes, rivers, streams and coastal estuaries with the sole reliance on ineffective Basin Management Action Plans (BMAP) will lead to a reactive, ineffective and costly approach to management of the state’s water resources. BMAP’s only go into effect after water bodies are severely polluted, with the costs paid by taxpayers, instead of those responsible for the pollution.
The Water bill also delays Lake Okeechobee clean up by eliminating a January 2015 deadline -which the state didn’t meet – for compliance with nutrient levels without creating a new deadline. More than 400 tons of phosphorus enter the lake each year and the state was supposed to reduce it to 105 tons. Water quality is under the purview of the state, so it is incumbent upon the state to enact proactive measures to restore Lake Okeechobee and downstream rivers and estuaries with timely enforceable deadlines for compliance.
By Glenn Mollette
Sarah Palin recently came out in support of Donald Trump for President. We hadn’t heard much from Palin in a while so this was a grand opportunity for her to get back into the spotlight. Her Alaska reality show that paid her millions of dollars is now a distant memory and most of us are glad. Palin is often referred to as Governor Palin but if you resign without finishing your term you shouldn’t be able to run around the country being called Governor. Instead people should refer to her as the “former Governor who departed her office because she could make more money and obtain more fame elsewhere” or something like that.