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

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