Change of guard at BCC
Collier Commissioners selected Commissioner Bill McDaniel , who represents District 5, to serve as the 2019 chairman of the Collier Board of County Commissioners. McDaniel replaces Commissioner Andy Solis , who represents District 2, as the board chair. Commissioners appointed Commissioner Burt Saunders , who represents District 3, as the board’s vice chairman.

Short-term vacation rentals reviewed
Collier commissioners have asked staff to research the impact short-term vacation rentals . The report will look at how other counties handle vacation rentals and where vacation rentals are in Collier. Collier has zoning rules that prohibit short-term rentals in some parts of the county, but state law would preempt any new ordinances. However, county staff said it could require annual inspections, registration and occupancy caps to regulate rentals. 

Oversight committee picked
The Collier Board of County Commissioners appointed members to the newly created Infrastructure Surtax Citizen Oversight Committee. Commissioners appointed Jacob Winge , Stephen Osborne , Ron Kezeske , Justin Land , Beth Rozansky , Juliana Meek , and Scott Lepore to the committee. Jamie Andersen and Jim Delony were selected as alternates. The ad hoc advisory committee will be tasked with reviewing the expenditure of sales tax dollars.
Plan tweaked for Rural Lands West
Collier Enterprises is changing its approach to a long-planned community in eastern Collier. The company recently withdrew its application for a 4,000-acre town off Oil Well Road. However, developing the land isn’t totally off the table. Collier Enterprises is expected to file an application to build a village, which growth plans say could be up to 1,000 acres, in the coming weeks.
CCPS eyeing location for new school
A new high school could be coming to North Naples. Collier School Board members recently received a presentation about a plan for a new high school on 60 acres between Livingston and Old 41 roads. The new high school would provide relief to Gulf Coast High School, which is currently over capacity. The school district estimates the new school would serve as many as 4,500 high schoolers by 2028.

Collier County needs you!

Collier County is looking to fill vacancies on several advisory committees and boards, including the public transit advisory committee and the affordable housing advisory committee.

The public transit advisory committee has a vacancy for a member representing health care services, social services or large employers. The seven-member committee makes recommendations to the BCC about transit policies, issues and programs. Terms are for three years.

The affordable housing advisory committee is looking to fill three vacant seats – a member representing labor engaged in home building, a member representing the banking and mortgage industry, and a member representing a for-profit affordable housing provider. The committee reviews policies, procedures and regulations to encourage affordable housing.

Click here to learn more or apply for a seat on an advisory board.
Change in leadership in Tallahassee
There’s a new man in the Governor’s Mansion. Ron DeSantis was sworn in as Florida’s 46th governor on Tuesday. DeSantis touched on water quality, health care and creating a business friendly environment, among other things, in his inaugural address. And he didn’t waste much time before getting to work, appointing 3 rd District Court of Appeals Judge Barbara Lagoa to the Florida Supreme Court. Attorney General Ashley Moody Agriculture Commissioner Nikkie Fried and CFO Jimmy Patronis were also sworn into office this week. 

Water quality top priority
Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order this week aimed at protecting Florida’s environment and water quality. The executive order directs state agencies to secure $2.5 billon over the next four years to invest in Everglades restoration; establish a blue-green algae task force to reduce the impact of algae blooms; tell the South Florida Water Management District to begin the next phase of the Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir Project; and continue a red tide emergency grant program to support local governments clean-up efforts. The order, among other things, also calls on the Department of Environmental Protection to appoint a chief science officer.

Florida Senate talks septic
A Florida Atlantic University researcher told a Florida Senate committee this week that septic tanks are a significant contributor to algae blooms. Brian Lapointe, an FAU researcher who has produced work for the Florida Chamber on this topic, told the committee that the use of septic tanks across the state contribute to the pollution, allowing algae to thrive. Lapointe encouraged lawmakers to secure funding to help municipalities transition from septic to centralized sewer.

Scott sworn in as U.S. Senator
Rick Scott was sworn-in as Florida’s newest United States senator on Tuesday. Scott was among the last senators to be sworn in, opting to delay taking office until the end of his term as governor. The Naples resident said has said he will donate his $174,000 salary while in office.

More legislation to ban oil drilling filed
Rep. Kathy Castor reintroduced legislation – dubbed the Florida Coastal Protection Act – that would make permanent the moratorium on oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. The moratorium currently protects waters up to 235 miles of the west coast of Florida but is set to expire in June 2022 unless made permanent. Reps. Vern Buchanan, Charlie Crist and Francis Rooney have signed on as co-sponsors. Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio has introduced legislation that would extend the moratorium through 2027.
The city of Naples will hold its first vision and goals workshop at 1 p.m. on Jan. 14 in Rooney Hall at St. Ann’s Catholic Church. The city will hold a second workshop at 6 p.m. on Jan. 16 at the River Park Community Center. The workshops are part of the city’s effort to evaluate Naples current vision plan. For more information on the process, visit
Collier County Public Schools wants your input on the 2020-21 academic calendar. The school district is asking employees, parents and community members to complete a survey and provide feedback on the draft calendar. The deadline to complete the survey is 4 p.m. on Jan. 22.
Collier County will hold a public meeting to discuss the Palm River Boulevard over Palm River Canal bridge replacement project at 5 p.m. on Jan. 15 at the LaPlaya Golf Club Clubhouse. The meeting will be conducted in an informal, open house setting with no formal presentations.
The Chamber of Southwest Florida will host a panel discussion with Southwest Florida’s legislative delegation at 11:30 a.m. on Jan. 30 at the Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport at Town Center. The cost is $40 for non-members. Click here for more information or to register.
Interested in water quality? Then make sure to reserve a spot at next month’s Wake Up Naples. The monthly breakfast will feature a panel discussion about water quality issues in Southwest Florida. The event is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 13. Click here for more information or to register.
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