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Democracy Watch

  • The Collier County Board of Commissioners will meet May 10 to vote on a Local Rental Ordinance which would require landlords to give their tenants 60 days written notice for rent increases over 5%.
  • Dozens of people who live at the Fort Myers Yacht Basin showed up to express their concerns and have questions answered by Fort Myers City Council member Liston Bochette and City Manager Marty Lawing. They did so at a recent meeting at the basin. This follows the City of Fort Myers' request for proposal for developers to manage, lease and/or redevelop the basin. The city has had contact from five developers offering changes to the marina that include, but are not limited to, demolishing the current yacht basin and building a new marina with stores, restaurants and other buildings.
  • The Florida Prepaid College Board is urging families to lock in the future cost of college with a Florida 529 Prepaid Plan. The program is the largest and the longest-running prepaid college program in the nation, and for the first time ever it offers families an incentive for enrollment. Families that enroll in a Prepaid Plan prior to April 30, 2022, will earn a bonus that can be used toward additional college expenses. For each year of college or university Prepaid Plan purchased, Florida Prepaid will put $125 into a Florida 529 Savings Plan, up to $500.
  • The Edison Awards and Latimer Fellows have made their way to Fort Myers. The awards were presented Thursday evening, and on Friday, attendees will hold the first-ever event at the new Caloosa Sound Amphitheater along the Caloosahatchee River in downtown Fort Myers.
  • Dr. James Douglass of the FGCU Water School, along with two FGCU biology students, Tori Guarino and Carter Oleckna, are on a mission to restore the pond at Fairwinds in Bonita Springs, from both a plant and water quality standpoint. The project could become a model for other communities in Southwest Florida.
  • Former Tennessee nurse RaDonda Vaught was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide and abuse of an impaired adult for giving a patient the wrong medication. Vaught now faces a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison, and some nurses believe the case sets a worrisome precedent for the criminalization of medical mistakes.
  • The Collier Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved adding 12 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) positions to the county’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) division.The hiring of 12 people is supposed to ensure the county’s EMS operations has sufficient staffing to support ambulance services, reduce overtime for paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and to provide plans for EMS expansion throughout the next two years.
  • Ahead of the 2022 hurricane season beginning June 1, the Collier County Public Utilities Department is working on a project to increase critical infrastructure resiliency. The goal is to make it more certain that residents will have water services after a big storm.
  • Bonita Springs will continue to put two communities into different districts for city council elections. That means people in Bonita Bay and Pelican Landing will be in different districts when voting for candidates for council.
  • One grocery store in a community of roughly 25,000 people. This community has a poverty rate of 32%. The majority of the population is either Black or Latino. The median household income is roughly $33,000 a year, just $7,000 above Florida’s federal poverty line.About 50 miles away in the same county, an affluent city bursts with life and luxury. The City of Naples has an average household income of $118,141 with a poverty rate of 8%.Social determinants of health are a major reason why people born in one part of Collier County are expected to live 15 years longer than those in other parts of the county, according to life expectancy estimates from the U.S. Census Tract and the National Center for Health Statistics.