We Honor Their Sacrifice – Commissioner Andy Solis

Military Appreciation Month

Throughout the month of May, our nation is given opportunity to pause and to remember the sacrifices necessary to maintain the liberty and justice we can sometimes take for granted. Loyalty Day, VE Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day, Armed Forces Day, and Memorial Day all come together in National Military Appreciation Month.

In this very important month we honor, remember and recognize all military personnel — those men and women who have served throughout our history, all who now serve in uniform and their families, and especially those Americans who have given their lives in defense of our freedoms we all enjoy today. America stands as a beacon of hope to people around the world because of their valor.

On behalf of the Collier County Veterans Council, I invite you to join me at their Memorial Day Celebration on the 31st; see additional details below. I hope to see you there.
If *you* now feel inspired to service, your County has many opportunities for you to play a part in keeping our community the wonderful place we know and love. Scroll down for more information on all the current openings on advisory committees and boards and authorities. Collier is a very citizen-driven county — we’d love to have you be a part!
Also this month we are testing a new survey function — be sure to cast your vote!

Finally, I will be without my trusty Aide, Angela, next week, as she takes care of some family business out of state. As always, feel free to email or leave us a voicemail, but please know it might take a bit longer to hear back from us. Thanks in advance for your patience. And enjoy the holiday weekend!

It’s almost that time of the year again. Hurricane season begins June 1 and runs through November 30.

The last three years have seen four hurricanes make landfall in Florida and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting an “above-normal” 2021 Atlantic hurricane season, with 13-20 named storms expected.

Because of the unexpected nature of these storms, all Floridians are encouraged to be prepared, and have at least seven days’ worth of supplies on hand. And this weekend you can buy some of those supplies at a reduced cost.

Once again, the state is offering Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, from May 28 – June 6. The 10-day tax holiday allows Floridians to prepare for hurricane season while not having to pay sales tax on essential disaster preparedness items.

Examples of tax-free items include flashlights and lanterns costing $40 or less, radios costing $50 or less, tarps costing $100 or less, coolers costing $60 or less, batteries costing $50 or less, and generators costing $1,000 or less.

Not sure what you should have on hand? The Florida Department of Emergency Management has a disaster checklist HERE, as well as other resources so you can feel ready to brave the storm.

Have more questions? This FAQ might help!

My office got feedback from some of you that, with the frenzy of the pandemic and the vaccine rollout, I was showing up in your in-box too frequently. So we backed off a bit on the emails. Help us test a new survey function below by voting for how often you’d like to receive newsletters from me:

How often should I send out my email newsletters?

Once a Week
Twice a Month
Once a Month
Every Other Month

What’s Your Neighborhood?

While I sent out fewer emails to the whole list, I have still been working directly with individual neighborhoods on issues specific to their community and its residents, for instance with Palm River regarding road design and sidewalks, or Pelican Isle Yacht Club and the conditions at Wiggins Pass. If you didn’t hear from me, it might be because I don’t know where you live.

Please consider using the link below to update your profile. To keep us cyber-safe, you will get emailed a link to update, so it will take a minute, but it is worth it. Knowing what community you live in can help me get you better information, more relevant to you and your life here in Collier. Especially during fire and hurricane seasons, it can really make a difference. (By the way, it doesn’t matter at all whether you live in District 2 or not; all are welcome! Location info is helpful whenever there’s an unexpected road closure or utility issue, or any kind of emergency.)

Update My Profile

The Collier County Board of County Commissioners is seeking applications for positions on several advisory committees. To serve, you must be a resident and registered voter in Collier County. Read more to learn if there’s a perfect spot for you or someone you know:

The Black Affairs Advisory Board has multiple opportunities for 4-year terms. In your monthly meetings, you would work to identify and evaluate problems unique to the Black Community, review and recommend ways to ensure open communication between minorities and Collier County Government, and provide periodic reports to the Board of County Commissioners.

The Board of Building Adjustments and Appeals has two 4-year terms available, and three seats expiring in August. Consider applying to this five-member board If you are knowledgeable in the Collier County Codes and in one of the following professions: a licensed plumbing or mechanical contractor, a Class “A” general contractor, a state-certified fire protective equipment contractor or fire fighter with a rank of Lieutenant or higher, a licensed electrical contractor, or a state licensed architect or structural engineer. You would meet as needed to hear appeals on rejections or refusals by the Building Code Compliance Director to approve construction methods or materials. This is a quasi-judicial board. (What does that mean? While most of our citizen committees exist to offer advice and recommendations to the County Commissioners for their action, quasi-judicial boards have the power to take independent action or impose fines or penalties, etc.)

Members of the Contractors Licensing Board also serve for 3 years, meeting monthly to determine the qualifications of applicants for the various categories of the Contractors’ Certificates of Competency, and holding hearings to determine if a certificate of competency should be revoked. This is one of those quasi-judicial boards, and it has one vacancy now and three seats expiring in June to be filled by licensed building professionals — either an architect; an engineer; or a general, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, roofing, residential building, or commercial building contractor.

Two of the five positions on the Industrial Development Authority expire in June; members are appointed for a 4-year term. This authority meets as needed and has has the power to sell industrial revenue bonds. Money generated from the bonds is used to construct industrial plants, equipment and other facilities which would then be leased or sold to private industry.

To apply for an advisory committee vacancy, submit an application online or call 239-252-8400 for more information.

Commissioner Solis Update February 21

A quick update for the week ahead — you may have already heard elsewhere in the media, but I wanted to share the Department of Health’s FAQ on the delayed vaccine shipment, and its effects on their schedules. The current info is in the FAQ section below; I hope to get more information early this week.

For all the retired nurses, etc., who have contacted my office wanted to volunteer to help with the vaccination efforts, the Florida Department of Emergency Management is ready to accept your help! Read more on that below, as well.

With less vaccine info to share this week, I am glad to have a chance to share more about what’s happening at your Board of County Commissioners (BCC)! Pre-Covid, this was the type of thing I most commonly shared via this newsletter — I hope it is of interest to all the new subscribers. So, without further ado, here are the top 7 items we will decide at Tuesday’s BCC meeting, based on what I think you will think is important to our community. You can click on the links to read more details:

#7: Award the contract for the final phase of the Vanderbilt Drive Underground Utility Conversion. This project has been going on since before I was elected, and is finally entering its last phase. I know this will come as a relief for the volunteer members of the MSTU who have been working diligently on this, and to the affected residents. More on that HERE.

#6: Set the place and time for the Clerk of Courts to open and count the mail ballots for the Pelican Bay Services Division Board. Spoiler alert: it’s Wednesday, March 10 at 10:00 a.m. But you can reach more about it HERE.

#5: Award a contract to restore the activity pool at the Sun-N-Fun Lagoon Water Park. Apparently it is in bad shape — delamination of the pool interior is creating a cut hazard, and while it has been patched a few times, it is ready for a complete resurfacing. Read more about it HERE.

#4: Begin conversations about the budget for next year (yes, it’s already time for that). We will learn more about the effects of Covid on our county’s finances, and set guidance for the other constitutional officers to prepare their budgets for submission later this spring. See more on this HERE.

#3: Learn more about the potential for a Great Wolf Resort location adjacent to the Paradise Coast Sports Complex. People I know with kids have a lot of good things to say about these resorts and what a draw they are to a community. I’m looking forward to learning more; you can read the reports HERE.

#2: Select a site to locate the Collier County Mental Health Facility. Most of you know that changing the way Collier County deals with our mental health and addiction needs has been a top priority of mine since day 1 of my service as a county commissioner. And many of you have told me that this item was a main reason for your support of the sales surtax passed in 2018. (More on the surtax coming in the next newsletter!) I am delighted to see this important project progress; more details are HERE.

#1: Adopt an Ordinance creating the Palm River Sidewalk Municipal Service Taxing Unit to install sidewalks in the Palm River Estates community. Another project that has been around since my first year on the BCC — this community has worked to build consensus around creating a special taxing unit to pay for a neighborhood sidewalk. We held a special virtual townhall to go over all the reasons why now is the time — with an upcoming utility project in the community, there will be significant cost savings and reduced disruption to the residents. You can learn more about this project HERE.

All these issues (and many, many more!) will be decided at the meeting of the Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday., Feb 23, at the government complex at 3299 Tamiami Trail East — marked ‘County Admin’ on this map — beginning at 9am. (The meeting begins at 9; we do not know when any particular item will come up.)

As always, you are welcome to attend to participate (there will be appropriate distancing in place and masks are required), or you can watch it live online, or on your cable channel 97. If you wish to participate remotely, you can register to do so HERE. Shortly following the meeting, the video will be available to watch on demand.

I always say it but it’s true – I appreciate you reading and sharing the newsletter. Thank you! Please continue to be careful, enjoy this beautiful weather, and stay safe.

Want to be a Volunteer Vaccinator?

Many retired medical professionals have reached out asking about how they might volunteer their time to help with the vaccination efforts. The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) is now seeking volunteers to administer COVID-19 vaccinations.

If you have received one of the following medical licenses, follow this link to add yourself to the FDEM volunteer roster for vaccination sites. (You’ll need to have your license number to register; they will activate it for you if necessary.)
Home Health Nurse * Physician * Medical Doctor * Paramedic