Addressing Mental Health and Addiction
Collier County, like most counties nation-wide, relies upon its jail as its largest mental health facility. This a poor fiscal policy due to the cost of holding the mentally ill and addicted in the jail. It also presents a considerable public safety risk, as evidenced by the recent stabbing on 5th Avenue. We see the unfortunate effects of this poor policy across the country in the news almost every week. Our community has the opportunity to change the paradigm and deal with this issue in new, more effective, and fiscally sound ways.
I will continue working with the stakeholders in the fields of mental health and addiction to develop fiscally sound alternatives to the incarceration for those suffering from mental illness and addiction. At my request, the County Commission will hold its second Mental Health and Addiction Workshop on June 5, 2018, and will discuss the beginnings of a county-wide strategic plan. I am committed to continue working towards a strategic plan for addressing this important issue that impacts all aspects of our community, including many of our veterans. They deserve better.
Responsible County Growth
Collier County must responsibly manage its rapid growth and address the backlog of deferred maintenance and capital replacement projects. There is approximately $400 million of infrastructure projects and maintenance that has been identified by County Staff that must be addressed immediately. Impact fees will not be sufficient to pay for both needs because impact fees may not be used for maintenance or replacement.
I will continue to work to find creative ways to fund the construction of the new infrastructure and to perform the deferred maintenance without raising property taxes. This is necessary to keep the previously developed parts of Collier County at the level of service we all expect.
A Diversified and Sustainable Economy
Diversifying the economy is essential for the County’s future sustainability. Creating a business-friendly environment and streamlining the permitting process is essential for Collier County to reach its full potential. If re-elected, I will continue to lead the economic development efforts that started with the creation of the County’s Office of Economic Development. The Naples Accelerator and the Culinary Accelerator in Immokalee are an examples of the kind of public-private partnerships that can work to attract the clean, high tech, and health related companies that will help sustain the County’s long-term economic growth and diversification.
I will work to support existing businesses and to attract new businesses that will create better income opportunities for all Collier County residents.
Protecting our Natural Resources
Collier County’s natural resources are the main reason many of us moved here and they must be protected. Development pressures in eastern Collier County must be managed responsibly in order to ensure that our natural resources remain our greatest asset. This must be accomplished while respecting the private property rights of the landowners. The current Growth Management Plans for eastern Collier County are old and must be updated.
I will support the protection of our water supply and resolutions demanding the development of viable solutions to the Lake Okeechobee discharges. In addition, I will support the re-instatement of the Conservation Collier Program if approved by the voters of Collier County through a referendum.
Political Advertisement Paid for and Approved by Andy Solis, Republican for Collier County Commission, District 2