Collier County Commissioner
District 1
14th Edition
May 11, 2021


Marco Island Executive Airport – Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
Military Appreciation Month – Proclamation
Caxambus Boat Launch
Tigertail Lagoon
Hurricane Preparedness Week
Isles of Capri
Artesia of Naples
Forest Glen
Naples Lakes Country Club
Wounded Warrior – “Bravo House” Ribbon Cutting
Marco Mat Team
Courthouse Shadows
Neglected Golf Courses
“Our Daily Bread” Food Distribution Day
Part Time Patriot Project – Guest Speaker



We “finally” cut the ribbon on our new $9 million airport terminal! We also moved all airport employees into it. We’ve torn the old one down, & converted that footprint into more paid aircraft parking.

NEW Passenger terminal
NEW Pilots’ lounge
NEW Flight planning room
5000-foot runway
AV gas & jet fuel
24-hour service on demand
Computerized weather system
Car rentals
“What a great day for District 1 & all of Collier County. Thanks to all of you who took the time to attend… current County & Marco leaders… & those past leaders who did as well—it truly takes a TEAM. Some may look at this terminal and say it’s a “pretty building but I don’t own a private jet… so how does this help me?“ This is MORE than a pretty building for private aircraft owners & passengers who use it to traverse Collier County. It also increases our outreach, improves our capability, & even our safety preparation.

As a retired Air Force Colonel & former military Base Commander, an airfield & terminal like this in our community is a Godsend. Not just for those who use it to visit our community, support our businesses, add to our tax base… but it’s an incredible capability & resource for all of Collier County. Imagine for once a Hurricane Katrina (not an Irma—but a Katrina) hit this area straight on. What we now have is a landing strip for FEMA, a takeoff & landing resource for personnel to help us recover, deliver supplies, & to keep Collier County connected & accelerate our recovery. This new terminal could quickly be converted to a command post for FEMA, the Red Cross, and a multitude of other agencies looking for command centers with modern capability… THIS IS ONE.

We have so many projects completed… & many in the works in District 1 & across Collier County. We are raising the road at Goodland Drive, addressing many long-standing needs at Tigertail & Caxambas, & we just had an amazing successful U.S. Open pickleball tournament at our East Naples Community Park. All because of projects long ago that now make us a showplace across the country. However, we also need to ensure EVERY project is a learning experience. Often times people don’t want to talk about “past history”… But my view is we MUST always learn from it… and ensure we ALWAYS improve… and don’t repeat mistakes. We ARE public servants… our taxpayers expect & deserve quality projects, the best bang for their buck, and projects that are “ON TIME & ON BUDGET. This is now our NEW District 1 mantra! When that doesn’t happen, we must learn from that history… and not repeat it.

Thank you to everyone who FINALLY made today possible! We have an amazing capability & resource here in District 1 which will be utilized every day… & we hope is never needed for a catastrophe. However, if that ever becomes the case… we will be fortunate & blessed to have this facility. To the many pilots, soon to be pilots, students, passengers, citizens, & guests who pass through these doors… & onto our airfield… those who use this as a pathway to enjoy all the beautiful areas in District 1 & across Collier County… we welcome you to the NEW & IMPROVED Marco Island Executive Airport… Fly Safe & Fly Often… Thank You!”


Proud to have sponsored the May 2021 Military Appreciation Month Proclamation in Collier County. Thank you to all current and former members of the United States Armed Forces and their families for their service and sacrifice for our country. We can never say “Thank you” enough.


Once again visited this small area of Marco utilized heavily by jet ski & kayak rental companies as well as many citizens to figure out how we improve processes & procedures. Use of this location has outpaced its size… & we’ve done little over the years to balance access for all. We have watched rental company trailers doubled in length, but our parking lot hasn’t—& can’t… causing serious safety & congestion issues.

With season over, it may appear the problem has fixed itself—BUT IT HASN’T. We discussed ideas & talked to business owners & citizens to figure out what we CAN DO… instead of ignoring the issues & needed improvements. We also have a large Coast Guard & Community Center being constructed there with completion in early 2022. That will also add to parking & congestion if we don’t get a handle on this issue now—WE WILL.


Tigertail Lagoon is on my long list of priorities. Last month I hosted the first-ever meeting of all stakeholders & decision-makers in one room to have them present their ideas for all to hear. As we learned, one group’s solution is another group’s non-approval. Although time & storms have changed the landscape of Tigertail, we also discovered the slower water flow & more shallow areas have improved it as a wildlife preserve… & many new species now inhabit it. So, as we figure out what we CAN do we are also learning what we CAN’T do. Some want dredging, sand moved, etc… and we’ve had ideas for bridges, boardwalks, etc.… BUT some of those ideas are not realistic & not approvable.

Also met “Nick” the new food & rental equipment concessionaire for Tigertail. He’s worked hard to put the finishing touches on the snack bar & beach equipment rental area. The County has been handing out free rental items, water, etc… for weeks as a courtesy while Nick locks in permitting & preparation to open. He’s got a great menu, energetic team, & planning for a soft opening this weekend! While we restore amenities & rental equipment to Tigertail, our team is also installing a new child’s playground which should be ready for a ribbon cutting soon.… more to follow!


It only takes one storm to change your life and community. Tropical cyclones are among nature’s most powerful and destructive phenomena. If you live in an area prone to tropical cyclones, you need to be prepared. This is a reminder to start your preparations NOW during Hurricane Preparedness Week May 9th – May 15th.

Determine your personal hurricane risk, find out if you live in a hurricane evacuation zone, and review/update insurance policies. You can also make a list of items to replenish hurricane emergency supplies and start thinking about how you will prepare your home for the coming hurricane season. If you live in hurricane-prone areas, you are encouraged to complete these simple preparations before hurricane season begins on June 1. Keep in mind, you may need to adjust any preparedness actions based on the latest health and safety guidelines from the CDC and your local officials.

Click here for the Red Cross’s hurricane safety checklist: Hurricane Safety Checklist



We recently had a record-setting 2nd Capri Town Hall! The citizens scheduled it from 6-8 PM… but we left there well after 9 PM ensuring we answered every question to the packed house! Started the Town Hall recognizing FIVE Vietnam Veterans who live on Isles of Capri… presenting them with the Vietnam Veteran Appreciation pin & a Presidential certificate. To Veterans it’s NOT about the pin or certificate… it’s more about a handshake & a thank you that is long overdue.

Following that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when we then called resident Pat Pschigoda forward. Her brother Kenneth Ott was a Vietnam Veteran who sadly recently passed away from agent orange. I was made aware of this by Pat’s son, William (Bill) Pschigoda, who is a Collier County Sheriff. Both Pat & Bill attended the Town Hall and we presented Pat with a Vietnam Veteran Appreciation pin & Presidential certificate on behalf of her brother. Truly an honor for me to recognize each and everyone of these heroes… in this case Kenneth was certainly looking down from heaven at his sister & nephew… undoubtedly pleased with the recognition he so rightly earned… and the love of his family who ensured he was honored.

Outlined were long-standing projects in surrounding areas that are being successfully accomplished and other major issues that need to be addressed. It is important for tax payers to know how their dollars are being spent across ALL of Collier County and not just their specific neighborhood. As your County Commissioner, I want to get feedback on your community and all of Collier County… and you deserve the same feedback from me. We then discussed topics pertinent to Isles of Capri. Citizen engagement was encouraged and all questions were answered. Isles of Capri is getting the attention it deserves with detailed informative Town Halls and action!

I continue to follow through with my campaign pledge of “bringing the Commissioner to the people“. This was my 2nd Town Hall on Isles of Capri since taking office… and they certainly have a lot of issues, challenges, & opportunities we are addressing aggressively. From speeding, a desire to improve & expand their County park, concerns & support for a proposed “food truck“ area one of their residents is exploring with the County, water/drainage issues, waterway concerns, our discussion concerning septic to sewer exploration, & a host of other things we are working to improve, fix, or get back on track. My thanks to the Isles of Capri Board members who pulled this event together & also especially to Pastor Curt & Pastor Steve from the Capri Christian Church who hosted the event in their amazing facility. We have a lot to do in this part of District 1… and we are working hard with the citizens of Isles of Capri to prioritize their needs & take ACTION!


I also had the privilege of recently meeting with residents of Artesia of Naples in East/South Naples. This 261-acre community of 660+ homes borders Rookery Bay & Eagle Creek. After an engaging 2+ hour Town Hall, providing a personal & County overview… answering questions from ALL appreciative citizens… I returned to the community the following week as promised to tour the property to look at flooding areas, roads, traffic issues, & more!

They’ve been working together & leading from the front for years… even when our County wasn’t. Drive through Artesia and you won’t see a cigarette butt or piece of litter. Manicured landscape by citizens who take pride & initiative in their community… and are now excited to partner with a renewed District 1 County team & an engaged Commissioner. Together WE are going to accomplish much to address long-standing issues they couldn’t tackle on their own… We ARE NOW FIXING THAT TOGETHER!

At our Town Hall, citizens appreciated every second of it… and for the first time (as I promised) their Commissioner “came to them”. We covered everything from projects in Immokalee, topics in EVERY District, & just as we’ve done at every Town Hall—ended with topics closer to their home. I knew right away this was a community that would be easy to partner with to get things done for their citizens! During my return visit, Artesia Board VP, Paul Fried spent several hours with me… meeting & also touring me through their community… pointing out all areas where County ACTION is needed. Paul is a former executive of several Fortune 500 companies… and it shows. Now he is contributing his talents as a dedicated Board member representing this community with Pride, Passion, Professionalism, & Purpose. Excited to work together with Paul… and their Board members & citizens of Artesia of Naples! We have a lot to do in Artesia of Naples & their surrounding area… AND WE ARE! Another amazing community in District 1 who I am PROUD TO WORK FOR!


Fantastic meeting with General Manager & Board members of Forest Glen… an East Naples gated residential & golf community on Collier Blvd. It was great to speak with Board members … & even present several Vietnam Veteran Appreciation pins & Presidential certificates. I took a tour of their East Naples acreage getting a close-up view of their amazing facilities & hear concerns about possible growth in the surrounding area. Proud to serve this beautiful District 1 community!


Thank you Naples Lakes Country Club for your turn out, hospitality, and definite interest in OUR community! Had a well attended Town Hall at Naples Lakes Country Club (and also recognized Vietnam Veterans). In 154 days in the seat… we’ve had over 30 Town Halls or large citizen discussions either in person, over Zoom, or a combination of both.

Interested in having me come meet & talk with your Community, Organization, Business, or even just gathering a group of your Neighbors? Contact me & I will be there!



An honor to be asked by Dale Mullin President & Founder of the Wounded Warriors of Collier County to be the guest speaker at the ribbon cutting of their second Veterans home in Collier County—the “Bravo House”.

Over a year ago they opened the “Alpha House” in the City of Naples. Extremely successful but disappointing the Naples City Council would NOT approve a variance to let them fill all the beds with Veterans in need. However, instead of dealing with the bureaucracy & red tape of waiting for permission allowing two more beds to be filled… they did what Veterans do when they have a problem—they find an amazing solution… and just opened up another house… the “Bravo House” in Naples (District 4)!

Honored to speak at their ribbon cutting but even more proud of Dale & his team. What a surprise to also have the Community Foundation of Collier County & President/CEO Eileen Kessler present a check for $247,500 to cover all house expenses for a year (and more) serving Veterans who need a hand up, assisting them with employment, healthcare, & other services needed while they get back on their feet.

When many of our citizens are oblivious to homelessness & Veterans in need in our community… Wounded Warriors of Collier County has been taking action for years filling the gap & ensuring “NO VETERAN IS LEFT BEHIND”!
To volunteer, donate, or for information:


Met with Erin Mia Milchman from the Marco Patriots & also other amazing citizens who make things happen! Erin has led the charge to put a “beach access mat” at the south end of Marco at the public access point across from the County parking lot.

Our group met at the County parking lot location to ensure we are selecting the right spot, designing best layout, & this mat will do everything we need it to do. We also must properly maintain it as this is a heavy beach traffic area. This mat allows more people safe & convenient access! We already have one at Vanderbilt Beach & Tigertail Lagoon… but this South Beach location would be an enormous leap forward allowing access to those who struggle with the soft sand, wheelchairs, strollers, etc.

These mats are not allowed during turtle season (starts May 1) so that’s why we’re planning NOW, locking in the vendor, financing, & getting ready for a Nov 1 “launch” when turtle season ends. More to follow… but our meeting was a major step forward to make this happen!


Across from our County Government Building is an empty outside strip mall called “Courthouse Shadows“. Former location of Buffalo Wild Wings & a host of outside shops that have been closed for a long time. A 300 multi-family rental unit was approved LAST YEAR for that 20 acre footprint. I attended that Commissioner meeting as a “candidate” running for this position. Residents living in the area were also in attendance praising the plan & the way forward. This very visible dead area definitely needs a facelift… and I walked the site as the demolition of the mall has started. Above is a rendering of the 300 “market-rate” rental units proposed for this location. Starbucks & the out-parcels along US 41 will remain.


Met with the possible new owner of Evergreen Golf Course on Lakewood Blvd. This is one of several dormant & neglected “former” golf courses (another is Riviera Golf Club in Riviera Golf Estates) in District 1 that no longer function… & in some cases are NOT being maintained. You can read articles dating back to 2014 (and even earlier) that address these courses & the many complaints, code violations, etc.… they’ve had over many years with minimal action or improvement.

Regardless if open or not — ownership is STILL required to maintain the landscape. I thank the frustrated citizens who came forward to meet with me to bring this recurring problem to my attention. We jumped on it immediately in the multiple District 1 communities who have been suffering with this issue for quite some time.

I’ve also been in discussions with Lakewood residents & the current owner of the Evergreen Golf Course to aggressively address this issue. Also met with the possible new buyer of the course… and listened to his ideas to work with citizens in that community & County on several possibilities that would refurbish and/or reutilize this golf course eyesore. We ARE making progress!


Proud to be part of a drive-thru food pantry on Saturday, May 1st, FREE for anyone in need of food. From 9:00 AM-Noon huge bags of groceries, fresh produce, bread, meat, eggs, milk, baby food/diapers, paper products, & MUCH more were all loaded into vehicles for 500+ families feeding over 2,000 people!

You can find these volunteer “superheroes” working EVERY Saturday at the Family Church (1450 Winterberry Drive, Marco Island) loading up cars one after the other! This was in Marco Island.. BUT you can find this phenomenal organization passing out food all over Collier County. There was no shortage of citizens in need & cars lined up as far as the eye could see. Working with this amazing group of dedicated volunteers who put it all together, fill the carts, load the cars, and do it all with an amazing smile & servant leadership style… was inspirational! They could always use more hands & donations (food & financial). Our Daily Bread Food Pantry is truly an organization where food donations, dollars, & volunteer sweat equity is utilized to the max to help our community for citizens who need a hand up. It’s obvious during these trying times the need is much greater than ever. TO HELP:


Part Time Patriot Project Founder Dan Cook hosted another amazing gathering of patriotic citizens in Fleischmann Park. Honored to be invited to speak as a “public servant“ & stress the importance of being an active citizen, knowing your elected officials, & making sure long after the election you continue to demand excellence from them/us.

It was also an honor once again to open my remarks recognizing another Vietnam Veteran. This time it was “Vito“ a former combat medic who served his time… we officially awarded him a Vietnam Veteran Appreciation pin, a Presidential Certificate, and most of all our THANKS & WELCOME HOME. You can tell by the photos… Vito was extremely emotional & so were we!

I’m proud to represent ALL citizens of Collier County. As I always stress—our County has a $2 Billion budget & the five County Commissioners have great responsibility to manage our taxpayer dollars wisely & effectively… citizens need to ensure we do!



The DOH call center will remain open Monday – Sunday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Contact numbers: (239) 252-6220 or (239) 252-8200. Continue to monitor the following website for the latest information:
For assistance from the Naples Senior Center, call (239) 324-4444.

Anything you would like to see in the Commissioner’s Report…
or areas of our Community that needs attention?

Share your ideas with me!

As always… I appreciate your trust and confidence. Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter and for sharing the information with others.

Remember… if you would like me to speak to your Community, Organization, Club, Board, HOA, Business, or just a group of your neighbors… in person or via Zoom… please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Working To Exceed Your Expectations
Every Day!

Collier County Commissioner, District 1

Chair – Affordable Housing Advisory Committee
Chair – Public Safety Coordinating Council, Chair
Co-Chair – Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council
Board Member – Blue Zones Steering Committee

Reach out to me anytime via Email, Text, Phone or through Facebook…
…I want to hear from you!

Click HERE to have this Newsletter mailed directly to you.

3299 Tamiami Trl E, Suite 303, Naples FL 34112
Office: (239) 252-8601
Mobile: (239) 777-2452

Aixa Capizzi
Executive Coordinator to Commissioner LoCastro
Office: (239) 252-8601

Commissioner LoCastro Report February 22

It’s important for me to “bring the Commissioner to the people”. Please contact me if you would like me to speak to your Community, Neighborhood, Club, Organization, Company, Business, etc.… in person or via Zoom… I welcome and appreciate the opportunity! Thank you for the opportunity to serve YOU…it’s an honor!!

COVID Update

I share citizen frustrations and Commissioners are doing everything possible to work with our Department of Health. These vaccines come from the federal level to the state…and directly to the Department of Health. Collier County is getting a very small number of doses and that’s why the appointments run out in record time. Other counties like Lee, Dade, and others on the east coast (where some citizens are traveling to get their shots) didn’t work harder to get the vaccine… Federal and state levels directed the vaccine to them sooner and in larger quantities because their Covid outbreak is much more substantial. It’s not a matter of elected officials “lobbying“ for more vaccine or more vaccine locations.

The State launched the ShareCare system on January 28, 2021 with 8 pilot Counties…Collier County was not one they selected. The Counties chosen did not have a registration system in place for the COVID-19 Vaccine rollout as we did; however, DOH-Collier will be transitioning to the ShareCare site when the state gives them the green light.


Due to the winter weather in parts of the country, there has been a delay in the shipment COVID-19 Vaccine, including second doses. The Florida Department of Health in Collier County (DOH-Collier) should have an update over the next several days. Once they have confirmation of the incoming doses arriving, DOH-Collier will notify residents to schedule an appointment. Per CDC Guidelines, the second dose of both the Pfizer and of the Moderna vaccine may be administered up to 6 weeks (42 days) after the first dose.


Click on the link below to get the latest information from the DOH. It includes information on Proof of Residency, Second Dose Information, Publix, Winn-Dixie, Walmart, etc…:
Vaccine Roll Out FAQs


The DOH call center will remain open Monday – Sunday from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Contact numbers: (239) 252-6220 or (239) 252-8200. Monitor the following websites:



Spent last week in several County buildings meeting staff from our Procurement and Risk Management Departments. They both do an extremely important job working contracts and taking care of employees. I was very impressed and proud of the two groups I met… to learn their business… and to get to know my fellow County team members. Always honored and humbled to also again hear… I’m the only Commissioner who has ever visited their offices.


As the newest of your five Collier County Commissioners (having just been elected this past November) two questions I hear a lot are:
• How many people live in each District?
• Who is my Commissioner?
It’s important to know what District you live in and who your Commissioner is. Collier County has an annual budget of $2 Billion & your five County Commissioners are in essence the “CEOs“ who manage, budget, direct, etc.… the use of our taxpayer dollars for the Preservation, Protection, & Improvement of our community. During elections, you can only vote for the County Commissioner in the District where you/they live. However, regardless of District (once elections are over) all five Commissioners vote equally on EVERYTHING that affects Collier County. As you can see by the chart below, District 1 has the 2nd largest population… but my opinion has always been, it’s the most diverse. There are million dollar homes in some areas and also plenty of workforce and affordable housing in others. District 1 also has quite a bit of growth already… but unlike most of the other Districts, still has a fair amount of green space we don’t want to waste by building the wrong things.…unfortunately however, we’ve done plenty of that over the years.

So who are your Commissioners?
• District 1: Rick LoCastro
• District 2: Andy Solis
• District 3: Burt Saunders
• District 4: Penny Taylor
• District 5: Bill McDaniel
KNOW your elected officials! You might not always agree with every single vote… but for me… your voice, your opinion, and your feedback are critical to my preparations going into a vote. Knowing what’s important to you as my constituents. Also, as the only full-time Commissioner, I am completely accessible to you in every way.


* Click on the link to know who your Commissioner is:
Find your Commissioner

* Click on the link to know your State and Federal representatives:
Elected Representatives



• The Vineyards: Honored to be invited by my friend Jean-Marc Katzeff to be the guest speaker at his business owner & resident network gathering at The Vineyards (District 3). It was fantastic meeting more citizens, sharing thoughts about Collier County, and getting feedback on their areas of concern. As a full-time County Commissioner… I’m doing a deep dive into my District (District 1)…but also want to ensure I am visible to citizens and open to discussion all over our County. Extremely valuable to meet business owners and engaged residents to discuss the Past, Present, & Future challenges and opportunities of our County… and to ensure we Preserve, Protect, & Improve our community in EVERY District.
• Riviera Golf Estates: A large community in the heart of East Naples…Riviera Golf Estates hosted me during their annual meeting last week to elect Board members, a new President & VP. While they were counting votes, I spoke to residents for nearly an hour on issues specific to their community as well as Collier County. As I promised during my campaign—I am “Bringing the Commissioner to the People“. No more once a year generic Townhall meetings… we will have regularly scheduled meetings in a multitude of communities. This was my 14th Townhall meeting since starting in December. Congratulations to the new Riviera Golf Estates President Lea Cassetta & VP Alan Carpenter. They will join a group of newly elected Board members to form the leadership representation for their community. I will work closely with them just as I’m doing with the elected members in other District 1 communities.
• Isles of Capri: Great meeting with a select group of citizens to talk about environmental and water issues specific to their community. Productive discussion about a multitude of neglected topics or that need leadership and acceleration to finally take ACTION. We are headed in a great direction… especially after this meeting.
• Rotary Club: Honored to be guest speaker last week for Marco Island Sunrise Rotary Club during our weekly Zoom meeting. Shared what’s going on in District 1 and Collier County from COVID to new initiatives and actions we are leading. Rotarians do amazing things… proud to be a member!


Spent an afternoon with my fellow veterans at the Wounded Warriors of Collier County Alpha House shooting a video of support. This amazing facility houses a small handful of Veterans who need a hand up…and are getting it. The Alpha House completely funded through donations provides a safe roof over the heads of formerly homeless Veterans to give them a faster start finding employment and getting them back on their feet. Our population talks a lot about pride of our country and our Veterans… but it takes more than saying “thanks for your service“… or flying the American flag once a year. Wounded Warriors of Collier County is an organization I FULLY support! One that makes use of every dollar they get …and their successes are miraculous.

It was disappointing late last year when this organization went before the Naples City Council and were denied an adjustment that would allow them to fill the final two empty beds in the house. Certainly we make concessions and give incentives to things in this County far less important than housing and helping Veterans in need. Hopefully these elected “public servants” will have second thoughts and we can fill the two “ready to go” empty beds the Naples City Council voted against utilizing. Proud to also join my fellow Commissioner Andy Solis a few weeks ago supporting the organization’s “VETS COUNT“ initiative. Over 40 volunteers went into wooded & abandoned areas of East Naples immediately discovering Veterans as well as homeless civilians… and assisted them to the maximum. This is the type of amazing work Dale Mullin (President) and this organization does every day. Our Veterans deserve better. Thankfully the Wounded Warriors of Collier County ARE doing everything possible… but they need your help.

For more information visit:


What a moving, patriotic, and meaningful ceremony on Marco Island to honor our American flag and our heroes! The Marco Rotary Club Noontime and YMCA of South Collier presented “Flags For Heroes” where citizens sponsored hundreds of flags for a hero they wanted to honor. Military, First Responders, Teachers, Parents… anyone they consider a person who made a difference to our Nation or in their own lives. Marco Noontime Rotary President Linda Sandlin and husband Alan were fantastic emcees! Proceeds from the event will serve multiple critical community needs. Thanks to the Lely High School JROTC Color guard for another amazing job… and Marco City Council Chair Jared Grifoni for adding moving words and reading a City proclamation marking this first time event which we hope becomes a growing ANNUAL tradition!

As always… I appreciate your trust and confidence. Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter and for sharing the information.

Remember…if you would like me to speak to your Community, Organization, Club, etc… in person or via Zoom… please don’t hesitate to contact me.

We’re working to exceed your expectations every day!

Collier County Commissioner, District 1

Chair – Affordable Housing Advisory Committee
Chair – Public Safety Coordinating Council, Chair
Co-Chair – Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council
Board Member – Blue Zone Steering Committee

Reach out to me anytime via Email, Text, Phone or through Facebook…
…I want to hear from you!

Click Here

3299 Tamiami Trl E, Suite 303, Naples FL 34112
Office: (239) 252-8601
Mobile: (239) 777-2452

Aixa Capizzi
Executive Coordinator to Commissioner LoCastro
Office: (239) 252-8601

Commissioner LoCastro update February 13

We hope you have been enjoying The Commissioner’s Report!  There are over 14,500 subscribers…and still growing!  Great positive feedback has been received…thank you!!  We will continue to keep you informed and work diligently towards enhancing the quality of life in District 1 and all of Collier County. Thank you for the opportunity to serve YOU…it’s an honor!!







Update on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which provides funds to State, & Local governments to offset impacts of COVID:  last June, Governor DeSantis announced a plan to distribute $1.3 billion in CARES funds to Counties, including $67 million to Collier County. As of February 1, 2021, approximately $32 million has been paid throughout our County and approximately $13.5 million is in the process to be paid (see below chart for how the money has been distributed so far). If you have a qualifying need… please contact the County for details to formally apply for funds by calling (239) 252-CARE (2273).




DOH-Collier is in the process of transitioning to the ShareCare site [the MyVaccine system]. This includes training staff and meeting with local and State Emergency Management. Residents are able to call the toll-free number, 866-201-4885, to sign up for the waitlist. They are working with Collier County  Emergency Management (EM) and State Emergency Management to secure that list to schedule clients for the vaccine. Furthermore, they continue to work with our community partners, such as Collier County EMS/Fire, EM, local hospitals, municipalities, and outreach groups to continue to schedule those who are 65+ and healthcare personnel with direct patient contact.




The DOH call center will remain open Monday – Sunday from 9:00am to 5:00pm.  Contact numbers:  (239) 252-6220 or (239) 252-8200    Monitor the following websites:




FEBRUARY 9, 2021



  • Heritage Bay Planned Unit Development Commissioners agreed with the County Planning Commission and unanimously approved amending an ordinance allowing property owners to gate a private road (Limestone Trail between Belaire Bay & Quarry Drive). Gates will allow residents of Quarry and Heritage Bay to utilize their privately owned and maintained road for residents only.
  • Big Cypress Basin Boundary Delineation Study Commissioners voted unanimously to reject a proposal to expand Big Cypress Basin Boundary. We agree with the spirit of the idea… but have significant concerns with the moving parts, leadership oversight, and several governance issues. We currently disapprove of the expansion unless certain items are made clear and we are convinced this is in the BEST interest of Collier County. We don’t feel that way right now… me especially.
  • County Manager Recruitment Hiring a new County Manager moved forward today. Out of the almost 40 applicants, Commissioners each privately came up with a short list. When those lists were compared today, there were 5 candidates who were common to us all. We unanimously decided to interview those top 5 candidates each one on one. We will then invite all 5 to a Commissioner meeting in March to speak at the podium in public. It was obvious all Commissioners felt similarly about the top applicants and what we are looking for… 3 of the 5 are currently in Collier County leadership positions… 2 are outsiders. We are on schedule to zero in on the strongest candidate and will compare notes at our next meeting on our private interviews with each candidate.
  • DAS Advisory Board Appointment The Advisory Board to Domestic Animal Services (DAS) has 7 positions… 6 were currently filled. During their meeting last month, which I attended, the 6 current members tied 3-3 on the two candidates competing for the one vacancy. Procedure required it be sent to Commissioners for our decision. For a few days, Commissioners heard from both candidates and supporters through discussions and emails. At the BCC meeting, the Commissioners unanimously picked Kelly Hyland, a District 1 citizen, who’s been very involved in animal welfare, regularly attends DAS meetings, and has been personally responsible for many improvements in Animal Welfare in our County. She will be a phenomenal addition to the other 6 board members working to make DAS even better.





Spent an afternoon in briefings with our team running our Northeast Recycling Drop-Off Center (825 39th Ave NE, Naples). This is our largest County center at 29,000 sq ft on 14 acres. It assists 11,000+ customers and processes over 350,000 lbs. of household hazardous waste and recyclable materials. Great meeting today discussing all we do at this location… but also, most importantly, how we can work to improve recycling across all of Collier County… more new initiatives coming!





Big Corkscrew Island Regional Park (825 39th Ave NE, Naples) is under construction & opens THIS SUMMER! The 150 acre park will be AMAZING with amenities including:


Community Center                 Walking Paths
Aquatic Center                        Dog Park
Event Lawn w/ Stage              6 Multipurpose Fields
Concession Pavilions             4 Baseball Fields
Fitness Center                        2 Basketball Courts
Kayak/Canoe Launch             2 Tennis Courts
Playgrounds                           2 Pickle Courts


I was impressed with the discussion and tour of the construction site… and will work with our team to ensure we deliver this project on time and on/under budget! Get ready this summer to bring your family to this amazing Park that has it all!





Water is THE KEY component to our community and environment. I spent the afternoon with team members from our Southwest Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) and Lisa Koehler, Big Cypress Basin Administrator, visiting THREE major pump stations in District 1 located in the Picayune Strand State Forest which are some of the largest in our state.


I received quite an education on the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (authorized by Congress in 2000) which provides the framework to restore, preserve, and protect our South Florida ecosystem. The THREE pump stations direct freshwater to drain wetlands and maintain current flood protection for Collier County. They also provide habitat restoration to control outflow and mimic historic water flows to protect our wetlands and wildlife. A soon to be improved levee will also provide flood protection for existing agriculture and residential areas, as well. Also, learned about manatee mitigation features that provide additional warm water areas to help the species flourish. There are many behind the scenes people and projects at work in District 1 and throughout our County that help preserve our environment, control water flow, and keep our community and ecosystem healthy. Understanding how these pumps, infrastructure, and professionals work to accomplish that is critical to any public servant.



Many think these pumps are the cause or the fix for flooding, red tide, etc.… but as I learned today, that’s not true. The SFWMD controls water movement primarily to ensure healthy wetlands, control the flow of water which does assist in some flood mitigation—BUT most importantly, preserves our fragile ecosystem around the Everglades and beyond. Extremely educational day with professionals who do amazing work! Elected officials need to fully understand these efforts and where we can continue to improve. Proud knowing this critical pump system and team is in District 1! I will continue to keep water and our environment a TOP priority in our County and beyond… and continue to work closely with our teams to ensure we are doing EVERYTHING possible.








Honored to join my fellow American Legion members today to greet our American Legion National Commander Bill Oxford as he visited our Marco Island Post 404. Our local Post Commander, Lee Rubenstein, hosted him with a formation of our Post members at Veterans Community Park. National Commander Bill Oxford is traveling throughout Southwest Florida and made a stop here to meet our Post 404 members and view our amazing Veterans Memorial & Fountain. Also, thanks to Marco City Manager, Mike McNees, who joined our welcome party! We were able to share with the National Commander the multiple years our Post has hosted the Vietnam Wall replica here on Marco… and the upcoming plans to totally renovate & revitalize Veterans Park.




Another Townhall meeting…this time at Port of the Islands. There is plenty to do in this important part of District 1. We are in the final stages of tearing down a long abandoned and vandalized hotel (see photos below) we’re attacking upgrades needed at their Marina, and it was great to address a packed Community Center, answer questions, and let citizens know their community is a priority to their new District 1 County Commissioner! I plan to have many more Townhalls throughout District 1… and I’m very appreciative of all the communities who have reached out and have hosted me for Townhall meetings, Zoom video discussions, and live camera recordings.  It’s important for me to “bring the Commissioner to the people”!








Met with Jeannie Bates, Founder of PAWS, at their soon to be new location just off Pine Ridge Blvd. This incredible organization provides “assistance dogs“ to mostly military veterans… but also others in need. They recently acquired a new $6.3M building (formally Harley Davidson on Pine Ridge) paid in full by two generous donors! They now need $4M+ to renovate and turn it into a full-fledged training facility. This gigantic new location will double the capacity of dogs they train. Since their start in 2012, they’ve placed over 100 dogs (98% of those with military veterans). PAWS expects to cut the ribbon on this new location in January 2022!

Commissioner Rick LoCastro Update January 27



Collier County Commissioner
District 1
3nd Edition
January 27, 2021



This regularly released Commissioner’s Report will update citizens regarding projects, events, news, and timely information regarding programs, services, and initiatives… and how we are working hard to work for YOU!

As your Collier County District 1 Commissioner, it’s my goal to ensure constituents are informed about things taking place in District 1… and also around ALL of Collier County… and you always have access to me.


Working To Exceed Your Expectations Every Day”!





I’ve met with many and have received a multitude of calls and emails from citizens expressing their frustration for their inability to reserve a time for a vaccine appointment. Rest assured…I hear you…your concerns have not fallen on deaf ears; we’ve been working closely with the Department of Health (who is taking directions from the State to implement the operation) to address your valid concerns and make much needed improvements.

Although Eventbrite is currently the system the Department of Health is using, a new improved State appointment system will be coming soon.




The Florida Department of Health in Collier County has begun to send notifications to those who are eligible for their second dose of the Moderna vaccine. There are designated days/times for second doses. Please DO NOT schedule more appointments than you need. The DOH is allocated a set amount of second dose vaccine for those who received the first dose.




For COVID-19 questions, contact the DOH at (239) 252-6220 or (239) 252-8200.  As soon as more appointment dates are available, they will be sent to local media and also posted. Monitor the following websites:






Last week, I was proud to sit with the leadership team from our Public Transit Authority in their main building… and have them tell me I’m the ONLY Commissioner ever to do so. We had a VERY productive meeting about the different ways we can improve… and also ensure we are spending taxpayer dollars wisely, while meeting the needs of our community who use (or can use) public transportation. I was impressed with the team & our discussion…we talked about improvements and upgrades we can make!

The Collier Area Transit (CAT) has a huge mission and responsibility in our community… Exciting things are coming…



CAT is well represented in District 1… But there are always improvements we can make… AND WE ARE!




I also met with a multitude of County workers and teams responsible for lift stations, flood zones, code enforcement, permitting, and a myriad of other critical issues across our community.

This was also the first time they’ve seen a Commissioner in their offices… but more importantly for me to dive into the issues with them to figure out where we are doing great things… where we must improve… and where we can work better as a team to improve services to our citizens.
These are amazing people working behind the scenes on missions critical to our quality of life. Flush your toilet and if nothing happens—trust me you care about lift stations!  We are leading the way in several areas…But, we had deep discussions where we can increase our sense of urgency, customer service, and attention to detail to improve District 1 and ALL of Collier County.




We are about to flip the switch on an amazing new lift station in East Naples which will increase service, capability, & most importantly redundancy in the event of a failure. This new lift station in East Naples is state of the art, on budget, and on time… the way ALL of our projects should be! Unfortunately we have several that aren’t—WE ARE CORRECTING THAT !



Lift stations… The BEFORE & AFTER
Top photo is a 1980s station we are about to take down and replace with a much needed larger & heavy duty system seen below!







Honored to be invited to speak to the East Naples Civic Association at the Lely Players Club for their 1st “in person” meeting in quite some time. I was introduced by Donna Fiala as she passed the baton.  I appreciated the opportunity to share my views and assessment of District 1… all of Collier County… and the focus areas and enthusiasm I’m proud to bring to the seat.  I presented an update on a myriad of issues from Covid, environmental issues, development… and my pledge to be a strong, prepared, influential, and accessible full-time Commissioner serving ALL of District 1… and more. I look forward to working with the East Naples Civic Association as they relaunch their organization and not only add to their membership… but hopefully most of all… stay influential and involved in our community!




Great having an “in person” meeting with my fellow American Legion Post 404 fellow veterans!  We had a good crowd and an informative briefing from Collier County Veteran Services Coordinators Ruben Martinez & Oscar Gomez. There are many benefits veterans qualify for that they aren’t even aware of… these two pros work hard to ensure our local veterans get the benefits they deserve. If you are a veteran and would like to reach their office call (239) 252-8387.





Habitat for Humanity of Collier County is another organization with significant involvement and investment in our community.  They AREN’T the answer for everything concerning affordable housing… but they ARE a piece of the puzzle.  Understanding their mission and working with them properly on the right projects is my focus.  Also, as the newly selected Chair for our County’s Affordable Housing Advisory Committee… I look forward to working with them and many others in our community to ensure we have “housing that’s affordable“ where needed… and it’s done right.





Honored to be identified tonight by the Board as, once again, the only County Commissioner to EVER attend any DAS meetings… thank you!  Board discussed the multitude of “unenforced” citations written by DAS… I have the same concerns.  If we have violators in the County who are getting citations (retail or residential) there should be consequences & we need to ensure corrective action.  We haven’t done a very good job of that… BUT we are about to! Board officers elected:

  • Jim Rich (Chairman)
  • Sarah Baeckler-Davis (Vice Chairman)
  • Dr. Mike Gordon (Secretary)





This is another piece of paradise in District 1… but has many needs & long-standing neglected requirements. I recently had conversations with County & State officials to learn more about water, sewage, & drainage issues… and also septic to sewer conversions for our District & County.  Shocked to hear District 1 has left millions of dollars of grant money on the table over the years that could have been used for septic to sewer design, culvert work, and a host of other water improvements.  As the saying goes… if you don’t ask you don’t receive… and we’ve not asked.  UGH.  Lots of good information passed to me that we are now aggressively pursuing.





I’ve reached out to the Marco City Council to open up regularly scheduled meetings between myself, their members, & the City Manager.  There’s no reason why the County Commissioner & City Council shouldn’t be conversing regularly over the myriad of responsibilities, issues, and opportunities that intersect the County & City….and they hadn’t been. Tigertail, Caxambas, beach restoration, and even water issues on Isles of Capri are ALL areas the County & City should be working together on.  It takes a TEAM approach to actually get things done… rather than just talking about it or kicking the can.  We aren’t doing that anymore!  I’m proud to say our first official formal meeting will be on Mon, Feb 22… and open to the public.  We will discuss Tigertail options, water/environmental issues, & several needs on Isles of Capri that both the City & County are responsible for together.  We can’t make progress for our citizens if we don’t dialogue together… we finally will be!





Excited to see another amazing facility in District 1 for the enjoyment of our community!!!
Enjoyed the grand opening of the amazing new pickleball courts opened at YMCA of South Collier.  Players of all ages will certainly enjoy playing on these 9 new full-sized pickleball courts!




Great event with East Naples Lely citizens at the Players Club for complementary coffee and danish as we held a two hour Townhall conversation with a fantastic turnout of residents.

Interested in having me come speak to your organization or group in person or via Zoom video? Let me know!
I always welcome the opportunity to meet new people and discuss why I ran for County Commissioner, my assessment of things thus far, our focus areas, and most of all to hear from residents themselves, answer questions, and get their feedback.


Thank you for your trust & confidence…
We’re working to exceed your expectations every day!


Collier County Commissioner, District 1



Click Here


3299 Tamiami Trl E, Suite 303, Naples FL 34112
(239) 252-8601
Mobile: (239) 777-2452



Aixa Capizzi
Executive Coordinator to Commissioner
Office: (239) 252-8601

Commissioner Rick LoCastro January 18th Update

Over 13,955 have already signed up for this newsletter…and still counting… I’m “Working To Exceed Your Expectations Every Day”! This regularly released Commissioner’s Report will update citizens regarding projects, events, news, and timely information regarding programs, services, and initiatives… and how we are working hard to work for YOU!

As your Collier County District 1 Commissioner, it’s my goal to ensure constituents are informed about things taking place in District 1… and also around ALL of Collier County… and you always have access to me.



Besides the details below… this past week we addressed many long standing issues:

  • Major speeding problem on Isles of Capri (yes, many tickets given out… please slow down)!  Thank you to our Sheriff’s Office for their partnership assisting me.
  • Finally attacking the long overdue raising of the Goodland Road to handle regular flooding/tidal problems.  Bid for construction occurred on December 11, 2020.  Award of contract going to the Board of County Commissioners February 23, 2021.  Notice to proceed with construction March 2021!

We continue to light a fire under the Marco Executive Airport “NEW Terminal” project
a $9 Million taxpayer project that is a year and a half behind schedule… NOT any more!

On January 12, 2021, I was honored to be selected by my fellow Commissioners to Chair three Collier County Committees.

  • Affordable Housing Committee
  • Public Safety Coordinating Council
  • Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council




The purpose of this committee is to review policies, procedures, ordinances, land development regulations, and recommend specific actions concerning affordable housing.




The Public Safety Coordinating council was established to assess the population status of all detention & correctional facilities owned or contracted by the County. The council shall formulate recommendations to ensure the capacities of these facilities are not exceeded. Additionally, the council will assess the availability of pretrial intervention or probation programs, work-release programs, substance abuse programs, bail bond schedules, and the confinement status of inmates housed in County facilities.





The mission of the SWFL Regional Planning Council is to work together across neighboring communities to consistently protect and improve the unique and relatively unspoiled character of the physical, economic, and social worlds we share for the benefit of our future generations.
The Council enables local jurisdictions to provide services & facilities, to optimize employment of geographic, human, economic & natural resources in support of economic, natural resources, social, land use, transportation & public safety development.

  • Water Quality
  • Affordable Housing
  • Regional Transportation
  • Storm Resiliency & Climate Change
  • Intergovernmental Coordination & Communication

I will Co-Chair this Council with Commissioner Bill McDaniel (District 5).







I visited Veterans Community Park and met with the leadership team from Parks & Recreation and the Veterans Park staff and walked the entire area.

The park and fields are in great shape.  We do have some drainage problems we are now addressing that may have made the fields less than optimum at times during rainstorms.  That’s now being fixed.  I’m aware of the theft in the batting cages… security cameras are now also coming and the cages are now locked.  The long time missing basketball hoops are now on order as well.  The dog park and pavilion are in amazing shape and the park was packed with pickleball players and others enjoying the park.

Although Veterans Community Park is in District 3, as a veteran myself this park has extra special meaning… I will continue to keep close watch over it. More improvements coming!


Pickleball has become a popular sport in all our parks… We look to continue to convert “some” tennis courts to popular pickleball courts.




I am continuing my visits of Collier County Depts & Facilities.  We must ensure we’re spending taxpayer dollars wisely, have efficient processes & procedures, and I want to meet our leaders & teams responsible for the missions of our County.  Water treatment is critical and another behind the scenes job that must be in good hands.  I was impressed with what I saw & heard… and will stay linked to this important service.


Visiting one of our  water treatment plants ensuring  we have the infr​astructure to continue to properly treat and provide water for our County.





Visited Senior Environmental Specialist, April Olson,  and Director of Environmental Policy,  Nicole Johnson, to discuss our environment and issues the Conservancy is focused on… and how we can work together to find common ground.





Honored to speak to this year‘s Leadership Collier Class and join fellow newly elected officials on a panel…the Mayor of Naples and new City Council members from Everglades City and Marco Island.  As a 2013 Leadership Collier Graduate myself… it’s great to see this valuable Chamber of Commerce program continue to mentor our current & future Collier County leaders.