A candidate who narrowly lost to Lee County Commissioner Larry Kiker has applied for an appointment to fill his post.
Dick Anderson submitted his application to be considered for the vacancy on the Commission following Kiker’s death.
“When I ran for Lee County Commission in 2016, my goals were to manage our burgeoning growth, safeguard water quality, ensure sensitive lands are protected and preserve the environment while allowing for compatible economic development,” Anderson said.
“We have seen water quality issues emerge over the past year that have affected both our quality of life and our economy. I believe my extensive experience in government and growth management uniquely qualifies me for this position at this critical time.”
Anderson ran for the seat in 2016, challenging Kiker. He ultimately lost by 1,016 votes, or 1.56 percent of all votes cast.
He hopes the solid showing proves to Gov. Ron DeSantis that he remains many voters’ choice for the job.
Of course, Anderson ran as an alternative to Kiker before, and he promises to deliver a shift in agenda for the region should he land the job.
A 40-year Lee County resident, Anderson boasts a master’s degree in education and urban planning. He was heavily involved in the Conservation 20/20 land-preservation initiative in the region, and has worked in Lee and Collier county governments as well as WCI Communities.
If selected, Anderson said he will restore and uphold that Conservation 20/20 plan, adhere to the county’s comprehensive plan and reverse course on density increases he believes will encourage urban sprawl.
He also said he will work to expedite solutions necessary to save local estuaries from fresh water releases from Lake Okeechobee.
Anderson also wants the county to change course on cuts to transportation infrastructure, which he blames for “disastrous funding shortfalls.” Restoring revenue sources will allow the county to better address challenges related to growth, he said.
“Clogged and unsafe roadways are impacting our all important tourism and real estate industries,” reads a release from Anderson. “Our community deserves responsible leadership that will restore every possible transportation funding source and to invest in sustainable public transit alternatives going forward.”