Chris Straton, President - LWVCC
It has been an incredibly busy summer and fall. Our goal was to be the one-stop place for objective information for voters. For the first time, we have offered voters information on the entire spectrum of candidates and issues. Our candidate forums are up on our website and we even have a Spanish speaking TV audience.
But our job isn't over on November 4th. On the 5th, we will turn our attention to the issue of governance. What better time for you to renew your commitment to the League of Women Voters of Collier County? Watch for your renewal letter in the mail. Better yet, save us the postage by printing your renewal form from our website (click here. To log in, your username is your email address, your password is your zip code.)
|LWVCC Helps Certify Voting Machines
On October 13th and 14th members of the Collier County League of Women Voters participated in Logic and Accuracy testing of voting equipment at the Collier County Supervisor of Elections office. Mandated by the State of Florida, this procedure is designed to assure the Collier County Canvassing Board and citizens in general that the voting equipment is in proper working order.
For the November 4, 2008, election in Collier County, DS 200 scanners and IVotronic touch-screen machines were tested. (The latter are provided to comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.) The purpose of Logic and Accuracy (L & A) tests is to demonstrate that the machines tabulate and record correctly.
There are 45 ballot styles in use for this election in Collier County. To assure that each style is adequately tested, about 5,000 ballots are run through the scanners or entered into touch-screen machines. Test ballots with predetermined results were developed for the scanners and scripts were provided for the touch-screen machines. Results are matched with the predetermined numbers to assure the accurate functioning of the equipment.
On October 13th, participants in the L & A testing became familiar with the equipment and procedures. On October 14th, the "official" L & A test was conducted. The Collier County Canvassing Board selected the machines to be tested, LWV members and other participants tested the logic and accuracy of the equipment, L & A test results were collected, and the Collier County Canvassing Board certified the results.
The three-member Collier County Canvassing Board consisted of Collier County Judge Rob Crown, District 4 County Commissioner Fred Coyle, and Jennifer Edwards, Supervisor of Elections. LWVCC members who participated in the certification process were Linda Denning, Lydia Galton, Pat Lawrence, and Ann Bleakley.
|Voter Service Committee
Chris Straton, Committee Chair
The League of Women Voters is where hands-on work to safeguard democracy leads to civic improvement!
In addition to candidate forums for the August Primary, we conducted Candidate Forums for School Board Candidates, Constitutional Amendments, Collier County Commission District 5 and State Representative District 101.
The League's website www.lwvcolliercounty.org was updated to include information on candidates for President, Merit Retention of Judges, all local candidates, and constitutional amendments.
Our telephone (263-4656) is also handling calls from Spanish-speaking voters and we are on D'Latinos TV station.
League members participated in the Logic and Accuracy test (see article by Ann Bleakley, above), and are serving as poll watchers, poll workers and monitoring the election process.
After the election, I will be chairing a League of Women Voters of Florida effort to review and analyze changes needed in the election process. We plan to poll all leagues about issues and concerns that arose so that we can possibly suggest legislation or work with the supervisors of elections. I encourage all league members to report concerns to me and provide documentation if appropriate.
|Education Committee Update
Marilyn Bogen, Chairman
The Education Committee is being reactivated! If you are interested in Collier County students' current and future education, here's the committee for you.
You may or may not be aware that there are serious issues involving the Collier County School Board and the Superintendent of Schools. The Collier County School District is currently on "WARNED status for accredidation" as the result of the governance of the Collier County School Board. If they do not pass the next accredidation review (which will be held between January 31st and March 15th, 2009) the Collier County School District will be put on "PROBATION status for accredidation". The next step would be "WITHDRAWAL of accredidation."
Our Collier County students' educational future is at risk. We must closely monitor this situation.
Also of interest is the absence of CIVICS EDUCATION in our schools. Perhaps there is something we can do to get this important subject back in the curriculum.
Please call me at 514-0343 if you are interested in becoming a member of this committee. Date, time and location of meetings to be determined by committee member availability.
|Government Committee Update
Lydia Galton, Committee Chair
The Government Committee is pleased to welcome to the November meeting:
Mark Strain, Collier County Planning Commission Chairman - As a professional, Mark has worked in all facets of land development -- from the placement and installation of roads and infrastructure to the many variables of due diligence for tracts of land comprising thousands of acres. Mark has shared his views in his column "On the Mark" in the Collier Citizen for 20 years.
Bill Hughes, Environmental Advisory Committee Chairman - Bill spent a career in water quality and technology. He was responsible for water use in nuclear core coolants, steel manufacturing, beer production, electronics, and coolants for particle accelerators.
Larry Baytos, County Government Productivity Committee Chairman - Larry has served on eight PC subcommittees. He was a Senior Vice President at Quaker Oats Company and a management consultant. He has authored twenty professional articles and a book.
Bill Varian, Development Services Advisory Committee Chairman - Bill is president of Wm. J. Varian Construction Co. in Naples and is a Past President of the Collier Building Industry Association, Treasurer of the Florida Home Builders Foundation, and President of the Collier Building Industry Foundation.
We will begin viewing these committees in action on December 10th at 3:30 PM at Community Development, Room 610, 2800 N. Horseshoe Drive, when we attend the Development Services Advisory Committee. All are urged to attend.
The Government Committee will have its first meeting on November 20 at 10AM at Lydia Galton's home (442 Rosemeade Lane in Wyndemere). Those interested in participating should contact her at 262-3137.
|Justice Committee Update
Bernice Schmelz, Committee Chair
On November 10, Christine Holmes, Director of the Collier County Juvenile Assessment Center (CCJAC), will update the Justice Committee and other interested members on the services, accomplishments and goals of the JAC. The committee meets at 9:30 am in the Community Room of the North Collier Government Center, 2335 Orange Blossom Drive.|
The JAC strives to prevent at-risk youth ages 7-17 from becoming delinquent and/or committing crimes and is a clearinghouse for information about prevention, intervention and treatment services for youth. Once the assessment is complete, the family is referred to a number of programs available in the community. In addition to providing free drug screen kits, the JAC supports a 24/7 Information Help Line (417-1966). Juveniles or parents may call anonymously about problems or to gain information about services and resources in the community.
The David Lawrence Center currently holds the contract for management of the JAC, which includes collaboration with Lutheran Services Florida, The Collier County Public Schools, the Collier County Sheriff's Department, NCH Healthcare System and the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. The JAC is collocated with the Collier County Juvenile Detention Center.
According to Ms. Holmes, "The JAC has saved over 9000 hours of police time a year as a result of their assessment services. This enables officers to spend more time on the streets protecting our community." She also shared in advance of her presentation that the Department of Juvenile Justice screened 2255 youth at the JAC/Detention Center in 2007; 1014 (45%) were referred for further assessment. According to Ms Holmes, "Of these, 474 youth were offered some kind of diversion program keeping them out of residential programs and offering them the opportunity to avoid having a criminal record that would stay with them their entire life."
All members and their guests are welcome to join the committee on Nov. 10 to learn more about the JAC and ask questions about services and accomplishments.
Ann Campbell will chair the meeting in my absence. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Thursday, November 5, if you plan to attend.
Next meeting: On December 8, 9:30 am at the North Collier Government Center, 2335 Orange Blossom Drive, Sgt. Tom Wedlock, Collier County Sheriff's Office, will discuss Truancy Court - what it is, how it works and what has been accomplished to date.
|Natural Resource Committee Update
Bonnie Michaels, Committee Chair
Reminder of our upcoming networking event!
Date: November 5, 2008
Time: 3:00-5:00 PM
Place: Naples Regional Library, 650 Central St., Naples, 262-4130
Do you want to meet like-minded individuals and learn about their natural resources involvement and interests?
Do you want to learn more about the current natural resources issues?
Do you want to influence decision-makers to protect the environment?
Whether your interests are in wildlife, policy, rural lands, water, climate change and others, join us on November 5, 2008 to network and expand your influence on environmental issues.
Our goal is to learn from each other, share successes and strategies
For more information, contact Bonnie Michaels, email@example.com
, (239) 596-9135.
|Social Policy Committee Update
The Medical Reserve Corps: Strengthening Public Health Capabilities in Collier County
Ann Campbell, Committee Chair
Kathleen Marr, RN, will meet with the LWVCC Social Policy Committee at its first breakfast meeting of the season on Wednesday, November 12, 2008, at 8:00 AM at Chrissy's Wildside Café.
Kathleen, a former Acute Care RN/Paramedic, had 26 years experience in Critical Care/Emergency Nursing prior to coming to the Collier County Health Department in 2006 to work in the area of Disaster Preparedness. One of her primary jobs is to coordinate the Special Needs Shelter during a hurricane activation. In 2007, Kathleen was assigned the additional role of Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Coordinator.
MRC units are comprised of local citizen volunteers who are trained to respond to health and medical situations in support of established, local public health and emergency medical response systems. The units include physicians, nurses, pharmacists and others with a broad range of skills in health and other support fields who are willing to help out during emergencies and other times of community need.
Medical Reserve Corps is a component of Citizen Corps which was launched in January 2002. After September 11, 2001, Americans were asking, "What can I do to help?" Citizen Corps is designed to foster a culture of service, citizenship and responsibility and help Americans to become involved in homeland security efforts and to strengthen programs such as MRC, Neighborhood Watch, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training and Volunteers In Police Service (VIPS). MRC is headquartered in the Office of the Surgeon General.
I hope you will join us for a delicious breakfast at Crissy's ($12.00 including tax and gratuity) to learn more about MRC and what Collier County volunteers have been doing. All League members are invited and guests are more than welcome. While the 8 AM hour is early, we will be done by 9:30 or sooner.
Please contact Ann Campbell at 263-1755 or firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, November 10 to reserve a place.
Step Forward: Declare Your Interest in Joining Our Board
Sheilah Crowley, Nominating Committe Chair
At our Annual Meeting in April we will be electing the new officers for next year (2009 -2010) as follows:
1st Vice President
Three (3) Directors and a
Three (3) person Nominating Committee
Discuss this with members you would like to have lead us. Offer to nominate them. There are those of you out there who would be excellent and have not had the opportunity to participate.
Call one of us. Tell us what position you would like to fill.
Your 2008 - 2009 LWVCC Nominating Committee
Sheilah Crowley, Chair 261-5441 Linda Denning 261-4675 Kathy Ryan 593-7818
Marjorie Joder 597-6981 Kathleen Slebodnik 775-3491
We now have 162 members
in our League. Contact information for members can be found in the "For Members" section of our website. Log in with your email address as your user name and your zipcode as your password.
If you know someone who may be interested in joining our League
, please contact email@example.com
, or direct them to the "Join Us" page on our website, where they can print a membership application. Dues are $65.00 for an individual member and $97.50 for a family membership.
- A printer-friendly copy of our Membership Roster is no more than a few clicks away on our website at www.lwvcolliercounty.org
. Simply log on at the For Members
page, and click on "Access the LWVCC Membership Roster."
Make Sure Your Contact Information is Up to Date
- You can update your contact information on the For Members
page or by calling 263-4656 and providing your new information on the answering machine. If your email address has changed in the past year, please ensure that the League has your correct address by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
or calling 263-4656.
It's time to renew your membership!
Please print a membership renewal form by clicking here
, complete it and mail it with your check to LWVCC, P.O. Box 9883, Naples, FL 34101. We appreciate your saving us the expense of printing and mailing your renewal letter!
|Don't Miss Important League Events! Mark Your Calendar!|
November 15-16, 2008 - LWVF Board Meeting in Naples - Wondering what the Florida League Board does? Find out by attending their November Board meeting right here in Collier County! Meet board members and observe their meeting. All LWVCC members are welcome to attend all or part of the meeting. Contact Chris Straton at President@lwvcolliercounty.org to RSVP or for more information.
December 10, 2008 - 2PM - Legislative Delegation Meeting - All the State Senators and State Representatives that represent Collier County will be at the Board of County Commission Chambers to hear from their constituents about issues of importance. This is a great opportunity to hear about those issues of importance to Collier County citizens.
March 22-24, 2009 - LWVF Legislative Seminar - What better opportunity to learn first hand about the legislative process than to participate in the State League's Legislative Seminar in Tallahassee? Contact Lydia Galton for more information.
May 15-17, 2009 - Florida League State Convention - The 2009 Convention will be held in Jacksonville, FL. Members are encouraged to attend and some funding is available. Contact Chris Straton if you are interested.
Mark your calendars and plan to attend!