On Saturday, July 7, 2012 I appeared before the Lee County Republican Executive Committee Republican Forum held at Edison State College and made the following presentation regarding critical issues facing Lee County and how Frank Mann, Sr.’s political actions belie his 2006 conversion from Democrat to Republican. In summary I stated the following:
1. 2008 Presidential Donor Public records show campaign contributions from Frank Mann’s immediate family members to Barak Obama’s presidential campaign more than $2000. This fact may be verified by conducting a public records search using the Donor Lookup: Find Individual and Soft Money Contributors-Open Secrets, www.opensecrets.org. Frank Mann called me a liar in public and said no family member has contributed to Obama. He stated he didn’t know where I had come up with those “idiotic allegations”
2. Frank Mann’s recent News-Press editorial attempting to provide an explanation for Jet Blue Park Funding was smoke and mirrors and written so that voters could easily be misled into thinking that Jet Blue Park has already been paid for by tourist tax dollars.
According to Lee County Clerk of Court public records, Jet Blue Park was initially funded by internal bridge loans from Lee County MSTUs and Parks and Recreation Budget funds. Ultimately, these bridge loans were paid off without voter approval with bonds funded by Obama stimulus money, the acceptance of which was approved by Frank Mann, Sr.
3. Lehigh Acres’ fate as a Section 8 housing community was sealed by Lee County Commissions’, and yes, Frank Mann’s vote, implementing the Obama funded Neighborhood Stabilization Program of Lee County. Lehigh Acres’ realtors claim this action has all but destroyed Lehigh Acres property values. This program even contemplates a Lee County funded second mortgage program that properly belongs in the private sector.
4. Frank Mann, Sr., the champion and staunch defender of the integrity of Lee County Conservation 20/20 program, has through his actions called into question his own integrity. I believe that integrity must start at the top and Frank Mann, Sr., owes the voters of Lee County an explanation of why his Statement of Financial Interest reflects no agricultural income, yet he claims the benefit of an agricultural exemption on his 15.5 acres in Alva. The privilege of claiming an agricultural exemption on real property is contingent upon the existence of bonafide agricultural activity. According to Lee County Property Appraiser staffers, none of the records provided by landowners to the property appraiser are Public records and absent a court order, the only person who can explain this apparent inconsistency is Frank Mann, Sr. A reasonable explanation could be that the agricultural operations of Frank Mann, Sr. are operating at a loss, and therefore no income is reflected on his Statement of Financial Interest. Alva residents have approached me in my campaign activities and requested I look into this issue. The voters of Lee County, especially the taxpayers of Lee County, deserve an explanation from Frank Mann, Sr., their elected commissioner, who is claiming a tax exemption that has the appearance of impropriety. The Florida Secretary of State public records have no record of Frank Mann, Sr. being connected with any Florida corporation, limited liability corporation or registered partnership. In the past, Mann has claimed that he allows not for profit organizations to pick fruit from citrus trees on his Alva property. Again, according to Lee County Property Appraiser staffers, this activity does not give rise to the benefit of an agricultural exemption. I challenge Frank Mann, Sr. to explain the apparent discrepancy between his Statement of Financial interest and his claim of an agricultural exemption on his real property in Alva.
5. Integrity is a serious issue and the problems facing Lee County are serious. Lee County is dead last in exports and has the 2nd highest unemployment rate in Florida. Like President Obama, Frank Mann, Sr. has tried to spend our way out of a recession. I propose we work our way out of a recession. Let’s have that voter referendum on whether the voters want Tallahassee to allow a destination resort that includes a casino in Lee County. Let’s have a referendum on consolidation of emergency services. Frank Mann, Sr. has run Lee County by indecision. I will make decisions that will restore Lee County’s economy at the local level. We can’t rely on Washington or Tallahassee to do our work for us.
I am asking you to vote for me as your full time District Five Republican Lee County Commissioner. I am a proven conservative who has previously reduced the debt of a fire department to zero and reduced ad valorum taxes 2 years in a year. Please vote for me on August 14th! Thank you!
Candidate for Lee County Commissioner Seat 5