Four years ago, Larry Kiker ran for County Commission with a promise for ” A Better Tomorrow”. Kiker was swept into office with tremendous financial support from Clewiston based U.S. Sugar Corporation. So not only did a powerful corporation outside Lee County determine the outcome of a local Lee County Commission race but, they have an ally on the Lee County Commission concerning water policy issues.
During Kiker’s tenure in office, water quality in the Caloosahatchee and our coastal estuaries have deteriorated resulting in harm to our tourism and real estate based economy, environment and public health. In his disingenuous attempt to address our dirty water crises, Kiker’s commentaries and trips to Washington D.C. alleged the need for greater funding and involvement from the Federal government.
Kiker is working off the same playbook as Big Sugar, to redirect resources and attention away from restoring a flow-way from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades. The real heavy lifting should be focused on Governor Scott and the state legislature. For it is the state that has jurisdiction over water quality.
Kiker’s recent support of the Grand Resorts on Fort Myers Beach not only led to an state ethics investigation but would have given away Cresent Beach Park and jeopardized beach front homeowners with a half-mile sea wall that would have exacerbated coastal beach erosion.
In violation of the public trust, Kiker voted to raid the Conservation 2020 Trust Fund in excess of $40 million dollars, to balance the budget, effectively undermining a program designed to conserve our precious land and water resources, enhance property values, and provide open space for public enjoyment and quality of life.
Voters should reject Kiker’s failed promises and elect Dick Anderson, a man genuinely committed to representing the public interest not the special interest.