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GPICA and commission candidate support

March 11, 2020
Pine Island Eagle

To the editor:

As a resident of Matlacha, I continue to marvel at the exploits of the Greater Pine Island Civic Association. On Tuesday evening March 3, the GPICA hosted a candidates' forum with Pine Island's own Dr. Michael Dreikorn and Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane, candidates for Lee County Commissioner for our district. Yet only days before, almost the entire Board of Directors of GPICA announced they are sponsoring a fund raiser for Mayor Ruane to be held in Matlacha.

Not surprisingly, at the conclusion of the candidates' forum, Mayor Ruane thanked the GPICA for "endorsing" him for Lee County Commissioner. The president of the GPICA clearly alarmed at the obvious quickly announced several times that GPICA is not endorsing anyone, as it would be "inappropriate" for it to do so.

So what gives? Well, it is easy to read the tea leaves. This small band of board members of an association that has a membership of about .014% of the island wants incorporation so much they will turn their back on their own best candidate for Lee County Commissioner, Michael Dreikorn. So they sell out to Mayor Ruane, no doubt in exchange for his support of incorporation, which was obviously on display at the forum.

I don't need to reiterate the problem with GPICA's form of incorporation, other than to say it unabashedly intends to disenfranchise Matlacha residents from any say in the new city. And GPICA has refused to support Matlacha in defeating annexation and in protecting our waters against Cape Coral.

More important is what we learned about Mayor Ruane. In his term as Mayor of Sanibel, his City refused to join Matlacha's lawsuit to prevent Cape Coral from removing the Chiquita Lock. In my view, he is part of the swamp, now serving as president of the Florida League of Mayors. Sanibel won't sue Cape Coral because Ruane and Coviello are buddies. Sanibel won't sue Fort Myers, even though it dumps thousands of gallons of pollutants into the Caloosahatchee River on a daily basis. Clean water is a local responsibility.

Michael Dreikorn has a real college degree and a real doctorate, and served our country in the U.S. Army. He is the most independent leader you can find, beholding to no politician or financial contributor. He was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and there was no family business for him to inherit.

Maybe the GPICA wants to turn Pine Island into Sanibel-Captiva?

Michael Hannon




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