“We live in paradise, let’s take care of it!”
Having lived here since the early 1970’s I have seen the area grow by leaps and bounds. That growth has reached a point where our most valuable resources, clean drinking water and clean water for recreation are threatened. Housing prices are skyrocketing beyond what are work force can afford. The current path the County is on will make our area just more of the same in the blur of helter-skelter growth our great state is experiencing. I am not in this to become a politician. I am in this to be a Pubic Servant. To serve in the best interests of all the people.
Bill Taylor’s top priorities are:
– Preservation of natural resources,
– Protection of unique communities (Alva, Pine Island, Estero, North Fort Myers etc.) and – Job growth in Lehigh Acres and Cape Coral which will ease the burden on our roads.
- What do you hope to achieve if elected? What are the issues on which you hope to make the biggest difference? Lee County is at a “tipping point”. If we do not act now to preserve our resources and community identities they will be lost forever. It is better to manage growth now than attempt to fix the damage later. Our future environment and quality of life depend on the decisions we make today. If I wanted to live in Miami, which we are rapidly becoming, I would move there. I love it here, I love the uniqueness of our communities and want to keep our quality of life and maintain Lee County as a place to live, work and recreate.
My first issue, clean drinking water. Southeast Lee County where we get the majority of our clean drinking water is being decimated by helter-skelter growth. My opponent, Cecil Pendergrass, has continually approved development plans that allow 10 times the current density limit set on development.
Mining companies are now lining up to consume and destroy this sensitive area. Studies have shown that mine expansion is not needed until 2038. It is not necessary to add thousands of dangerous dump truck trips onto our already crowded roads. Lehigh and Gateway residents who are getting a newly expanded State Road 82 do not need the traffic hazards these mines will add. These mines will not get my support.
Protections and density limits must be enforced before we destroy our most valuable clean water resource. It is better policy to manage growth now than attempt to fix the damage later. Our future environment and quality of life depend on the decisions we make today.
I’m not against growth as long as it is done responsibly and intelligently. It is incumbent on us to preserve our vital resources! Let’s make a sensible plan for land use and development not only in our crucial water resource area, but throughout the entire County.
Second, The Conservation 20/20 land acquisition fund that 84% of voters reapproved in 2016. While my opponent was chairman of the Commission millions of dollars were diverted from Conservation 20/20 into the County’s General Fund. He also voted to take the County’s original 0.5 millage tax rate for 20/20 and shift it into the General Fund back in 2013. Since that time not one penny of your tax dollars has been added to the acquisition fund. NOT ONE PENNY. They RAISED your taxes without telling you and stopped funding the land acquisition program from Conservation 20/20.
The 0.5 millage rate originally designated for the 20/20 fund would have brought in $30 million dollars a year from 2013 to today. That is over $150 million dollars that has been taken from Conservation 20/20 during my opponent’s time in office.
Third, every 5 years the County is required to hire experts to report that Impact Fees are in line with the public infrastructure costs associated with development. My opponent decided to ignore the information provided by the experts. Lee County now charges only 45% of the allowable rate for impact fees for education, parks and roads. Just 45% for education! Is it any wonder the Lee County School Board is begging voters to approve a ½ cent sales tax? 45% of the allowable rate will NOT address our clogged road system and crowded underfunded schools.
It is being argued that raising Impact Fees to the allowable rate will keep middle and low income families from building new homes. Not if we create an Impact Fee deferral program for new single family building permits and for workforce housing. This voluntary program will allow fees to be deferred so that families can purchase their home without a large upfront fee and provide them with their well-deserved slice of the American dream.
Finally. 100% Renewable energy by 2045.
How many people want fracking to continue in Lee County? How many people want off shore drilling anywhere near our coast? Virtually no one. So why aren’t we doing everything we can to ensure fossil fuels are no longer needed? We must take these options off the table for good.
We live in the sunshine state. Solar should be our number one option for energy. Wind, biomass, and ocean energy should also be options. These technologies will make our families healthier and more prosperous by improving our air quality, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, addressing global warming, adding quality jobs to the economy and protecting water quality and environmental habitats.
Bill Taylor will work with FPL, Lee County Electrical Coop and other companies to transition our energy consumption to renewable energy. A plan will be developed to take steps to decrease county-wide energy use through the investment in and utilization of efficient technologies (LED, building efficiency standards, hybrid and electric vehicles) while also increasing development of renewable energy projects. We must take a long term view of energy consumption, a view that benefits all of our communities.
For more information about Bill Taylor and his in-depth plans for Lee County please visit his website.