November 2009 - Volume 35, Issue 2
Month at a Glance
11/2 - LWVCC Board Meeting
Members and guests are welcome at all meetings
We now accept credit card payments online!
We use the PayPal service but a PayPal account is not required.
RENEW YOUR MEMBERSHIP NOW!
FOR GENERAL MEETINGS!
Lunch from noon - 1 PM
Speaker program from 1 - 2 PM
Business meeting from 2 - 2:30 PM
PLEASE MARK YOUR CALENDAR
|General Meeting - November 9
Your Tax Bill, the Budget and the Services You Expect
A panel of Collier County officials will try to unravel the intricate balancing act local government must perform before you receive your tax bill: how much does it cost to provide citizens with the services they expect?
How can those expectations be met at a time when the failing economy and massive home foreclosures have wiped out a large percentage of government's revenue? Let's learn how and why these hard choices are made by those deeply involved in this process:
John A. Yonkosky, CPA, Director, Collier County Office of Management and Budget, is Chairman of Collier County's Finance Committee, which reviews all capital projects.
Mark Isackson, Senior Management and Budget Analyst, is experienced in labor and contract negotiations, budget and finance, strategic planning, risk management, wage and benefit administration, and organizational development.
Steve Harrison, Chairman, Collier County Productivity Committee, former partner Deloitte & Touche, CPA, and Chief Financial Officer of Equibank. Mr. Harrison's committee reviews many aspects of Collier County's revenues and expenses.
Donna Fiala, Collier County Commissioner for District 1, has represented East Naples since 2000 and is active in many areas of the community. She is a LWVCC member.
Abe Skinner, Collier County Property Appraiser, has served since 1962 and has been instrumental in developing the appraisal system currently in use in Collier County.
Note change in time for Business Meeting and Optional Lunch!
Program at 1 PM; Business Meeting at 2 PM at the
COLLIER ATHLETIC CLUB
710 Goodlette Rd N
OPTIONAL lunch at noon - Club's main dining room ($20 members; $25 nonmembers)
We had a good turnout for our October General Meeting with Collier County Public Schools Superintendent Dennis Thompson. What struck me most in Dr. Thompson's presentation was his statement that over 44% of the district's students live in homes where English is not the primary language. This makes it extremely difficult to meet the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) requirements of No Child Left Behind. Yet schools that don't meet the requirements are subject to fines and penalties. Thompson said this is an issue to be addressed with the State Education Commissioner, and our now-forming Education Committee is considering taking this on. See their article, below.
I'm looking forward to our November General Meeting program, which will focus on our local taxes and the services we should expect as we pay them. Tax bills were mailed on October 31, so be on the lookout for yours and bring it with you to the meeting.
At its October meeting, your Board decided that rather than hold regular evening programs, we will schedule one if a member proposes an acceptable topic and is willing to organize it. If you're interested in putting on a program, please let me know!
We also decided to change the time of our General Meetings to better accommodate our speakers. Lunch will be at noon, the speaker program at 1, and our business meeting at 2.
As you'll see in this VOTER, the League offers many opportunities to learn about our community and get involved. But don't think you have to do it all. Do as much or as little as you want! We value the support you provide through your membership. I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming meeting.
Marilyn Bogen & Sheilah Crowley, Committee Co-Chairs
Join us on Wednesday, November 18 to hear from Dr. Maria Torres, Collier County Public Schools (CCPS) Executive Director of Federal Programs & English Learner Programs. Dr. Torres will present the reasons the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) should allow Florida's non-English speaking children three years and one day to attain proficiency in English (the Federal requirement) instead of one year and one day (the FDOE standard). We will meet at 9:30 AM in the Community Room of the North Collier Government Center Center on Orange Blossom Drive
Dr. Dennis Thompson, Superintendent of CCPS, spoke about this issue at our October General Meeting, saying that it isn't fair to the kids. Perhaps we can make a difference by getting this issue very well known and, through a letter-writing campaign, persuade the FDOE to change its requirements.
"English is not the first language of 16.4% of our students with more than 7,000 students in the English Language Learners (ELL) program. Collectively, these students speak 81 different heritage languages and hail from 147 different countries of origin."
"Close to 45% of our students live in non-English homes, where English is not the first language and sometimes isn't even spoken. The percentage increases to nearly 53% in grades PreK through 3, where learning to read is so critical."
- from the CCPS District Profile Updated 9-24-09
Lydia Galton and Joyce Fletcher, Committee Co-Chairs
You, and fellow leaguers polled throughout Florida, identified Government as your first priority for the 2009-10 Legislative Session. Act on that priority by letting either Lydia Galton or Joyce Fletcher know if there are particular areas of government you would like to learn more about at a Lunch with Leaders.
Attend: The November General Meeting on November 9 with your questions for our panel about the processes for establishing the county government budget and what services included in the county budget are in jeopardy because of the economic crisis.
Priority Goals: Consider joining us to monitor the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) meetings. Try it out on the afternoon of December 8 at 1 PM at BCC Chambers, Third Floor, W. Harmon Turner Building, 3301 East Tamiami Trail. We will sit as a group, so please wear your League pin. We will leave at 4 PM for drinks and discussion at Alice Sweetwater's, 1996 Airport Pulling Rd S.
In the meantime, you might want to monitor a BCC meeting on your own or attend a meeting of the Productivity Committee, Development Services Advisory Committee, Environmental Advisory Council, or Collier County Planning Committee. Click here for meeting schedules for these and other committees.
Send an email to either Lydia (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Joyce (email@example.com) if you want to report an action a committee has taken that you think League should know about.
Members and alternate members of government advisory boards: Please send us an email to tell us your position and any issues your committee is confronting, so that we can keep our membership informed. We appreciate your service to our community.
Mark your calendar: Hot Topics meeting for January 18 on Hometown Democracy, Amendment 4 on the 2010 ballot. Representatives of both sides of this hot-button question will debate its merits or problems. Read whatever you can, so that you can help make an informed decision about Amendment 4 at a Lively League discussion about it on March 8 at 10 AM.
Bernice Schmelz, Committee Chair
November 16 Meeting - Gang Activity Update
- Like any other community across the country, Collier County is not immune from street gang activity, and there are many aspects to combating it. According to Sgt. Ron Byington, coordinator of the Collier County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) Street Gang Unit, "Collier County has representation from many different gangs ranging from juvenile to adult membership, both traditional and non-traditional." The CCSO has had a Street Gang Unit since 1992 with a mission of identifying and eradicating street gang violence, but the gang culture is ever changing, and combating this criminal element requires constant updating of law enforcement strategies. If you are interested in learning more about the trends of street gang activity in Collier County and the strategies for combating it, join the Justice Committee at 9:30 AM on Monday, November 16, when Sgt. Byington will be updating the Committee. The Committee meets in the Community Room of the North Collier Government Services Center on Orange Blossom Drive. A business meeting follows the presentation. If you are planning to attend, please notify Bernice Schmelz by November 12 (firstname.lastname@example.org), if you haven't done so already.
Wednesday, November 18, 2:30-5 PM - Observation of Truancy Court - Collier Circuit Judge Elizabeth Krier has graciously accepted our request to observe Truancy Court and the preparatory meeting prior to the Court session. If you plan on attending, please notify Bernice Schmelz (email@example.com) by November 12, if you haven't done so already, so that she can advise Judge Krier and provide information on where to meet. Bernice can also provide information about the Court for those who may not have been at last year's April meeting on delinquency prevention.
Tuesday, January 19, 10:30 AM - 1 PM - Visit the PACE Center for Girls in Immokalee. Reservations requested.
All are welcome to these meetings, and anyone interested in being added to the Justice Committee mailing list should contact the chair.
|Social Policy Committee
Ann Campbell, Committee Chair
Social Policy Committee Meeting to Discuss the Role of the Nurse Practitioner in Filling the Primary Care Gap
- Nearly one in five Americans does not have adequate access to primary care due to a lack of community-based primary care physicians (general practitioners, general internal medicine practitioners, family physicians and general pediatricians), a problem that will only be exacerbated when health care reform becomes a reality.
Primary care comprises four main features:
- A first contact for any new health issue or need
- Long-term, person-focused care
- Comprehensive care for most health needs
- Coordination of care when it must be received elsewhere (i.e. from a specialist)
Health care delivered with an orientation toward primary care has been found to be associated with more effective, equitable and efficient health services; residents of countries more oriented to primary care report better health at lower costs. Other health care providers, such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners, may also provide primary care.
At the Wednesday, November 11, 8 AM breakfast meeting of the Social Policy Committee at the Wildside Cafe, we will explore the role of the nurse practitioner with Doreen Cassarino, MSN, ARNP. We will ask Doreen to share her thoughts and perspective on how an anticipated surge of patients can have their needs met in our community with an apparent dearth of primary care physicians here, particularly how the nurse practitioner will be able to help. We will ask Doreen to explain the special educational preparation of nurse practitioners and what areas of expanded practice they are permitted to provide.
Doreen will tell us about some of the Florida legislative issues that are complicating the ability of nurse practitioners to practice to the full scope of their education. Doreen is nationally certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner and is certified in Advanced Diabetes Management for Nurse Practitioners. She is the Legislative Vice President for the Nurse Practitioner Council of Collier County and the Florida State Representative to the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. The Florida Nurses Association recently named her one of 100 Great Nurses. AND, she is a member of the League of Women Voters of Collier County!
I hope that you will join us for what promises to be an informative meeting of our committee. All members are invited and guests are welcome. The cost of breakfast is $12.00, tax and tip included. Following our session with Doreen, we will discuss plans for subsequent meetings. To reserve a place, please contact Ann Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 263-1755 by Monday afternoon, November 9.
|Voter Service Committee
Chris Straton, Committee Chair
The heart of the League of Women Voters' reputation is the work that we do to inform the public about the candidates. We will be very busy in 2010. Your voice is needed to make sure that we do the best job possible. 2010 will be one of the most exciting election years in Florida's history. If you have been away, you may not know that U. S. Senator Mel Martinez has resigned and has been replaced by George LeMieux, former Chief of Staff for Charlie Crist. Polls indicate that the U.S. Senate race for the Republican nomination between Crist and former Speaker of the House Marco Rubio is much closer than expected. With Crist running for senator, that makes the governor's seat open, and Attorney General Bill McCollum and Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink have both begun campaigns for the governorship. Furthermore, the term of Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson is expiring.
In Collier County, the Naples City Council race is coming up
in February. In August, there will be three school board races
and races in County Commission Districts 2 and 4.
Added to those will be the State Representative races.
You are our greatest asset as we prepare for the 2010 election year.
As you think about a question that you would like posed to a candidate for think of general information that you would like to know about a cnadidate, drop me a lone at ChrisStraton@yahoo.com
or call me at 207-7333.
HELP THE LEAGUE MAKE SURE THAT THE PUBLIC IS WELL-INFORMED WHEN CHOOSING ITS ELECTED OFFICIALS.
Anne Lewallen and Pat Snyder, Committee Co-Chairs
This month we welcome Elissa Goldstein, Lavigne Kirkpatrick, Dianne Mayberry-Hatt, Judith Meissner, Denise Rochford and Ellen Taylor
to our League. Contact information for all members can be found on the Access Membership Roster
page of our website.
Your username is your email address; your password is your zip code.
- Watch your email for your invoice for dues for the upcoming year. Better yet - save time and renew now! Click here
Orientation and Tea - On November 3 at 2 PM, we would like to welcome new members of the League to an orientation and tea at Pat and John Snyder's home in Island Walk. This will be an opportunity for new members and members who have not attended an orientation to hear more about the League and its work from committee chairs and members. You'll be receiving a call from us to personally invite you but, in the meantime, please mark your calendars and plan to attend.
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 you have moved or your email address has changed in the past year, please ensure that the League has your correct information by emailing email@example.com
or calling 263-4656.
If you know someone who may be interested in joining our League, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
, or direct them to the Join Us
page on our website, where they can print a membership application.
|Collier County Healthy Teens Coalition
Jen Marquis, LWVCC Coalition Representative
LWVCC is a member of the Collier County Healthy Teens coalition, which was successful earlier this summer in getting the School Board to vote to amend the current sex education policy.
At their meeting on September 29, the School Board came to a consensus about the comprehensive sex education language proposed by Richard Calabrese (with some minor additions from the District's attorney emphasizing abstinence as the "expected standard"). The language now mandates "evidence-based, medically-accurate, age-appropriate, and comprehensive reproductive and sexual health education," including teaching the "health benefits and side effects of contraception and condoms," starting in the 6th grade and continuing throughout high school.
LWVCC members are highly encouraged to attend the November 19 meeting, when the School board will do a "second reading" of the proposed policy and then vote on it officially. Please remember that only the League president may speak in the name of the League.
Florida Healthy Teens Campaign - LWVCC also recently joined the Florida Healthy Teens Campaign, a state-wide coalition which now has more than 115 organizational members, including the Florida LWV and other local Leagues. The Healthy Teens Campaign supports the Florida Healthy Teens Act, which would mandate comprehensive, age-appropriate, sexual health education state-wide. Florida currently has no State-mandated guidelines for the teaching of adolescent sexual health.
The Florida Healthy Teens Act will be sponsored in 2010 by Florida Representative Keith Fitzgerald of Sarasota and Florida Senator Ted Deutch of Boca Raton. Although the Florida legislature as a whole will not meet until next year, the PreK-12 Committees have already started meeting monthly, and LWVCC members are encouraged to write Florida Representative and Chair of the House PreK-12 Committee John Legg of Pasco County (email@example.com), and Florida Senator and Chair of the Senate PreK-12 Committee Nancy Detert of Sarasota (firstname.lastname@example.org), asking them to support the Florida Healthy Teens Act.
If you have any questions about the local or state Healthy Teens coalitions, or any ideas about helping move them forward, please email Jen at email@example.com. Thank you for your ongoing support.
|It Takes a Village ... Won't You Help?
It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes many volunteers - not just a board - to run a League.
Thanks to Ann Campbell, who volunteered to write our press releases, Dorothy Senft, who volunteered to be our Archivist and Chris Straton, who volunteered to do this month's VOTER, in response to last month's request.But we still need a lot of help, and more needs are becoming apparent every day. Here are some areas where we really need help ... and in doing so, you'll be making a difference in our League.
Constant Contact - Do you know how to use Constant Contact, the online email marketing service? Or would you like to learn? If so, we need your help with our Action Alerts, meeting reminders, and other blast emails to our members.
Publicity Leader - Develop a publicity plan to get out the League's message in more creative ways. No experience necessary, just great writing, grammar, punctuation and spelling skills, and access to Microsoft Word.
Speaker's Bureau Member - Help get our new Speaker's Bureau off the ground. Be a speaker or help with the logistics as speaking engagements come up.
VOTER Publisher - Compile articles submitted by the board and committee chairs, and enter them in Constant Contact. Our Copy Editor will do the editing.
Website Manager - Be our liaison with the outside firm that updates our website. No experience needed. All you need is Microsoft Word and high-speed internet access.
Please consider volunteering a few hours of your time each month to help us offer the great programming and advocacy that defines us. Contact me at 513-1595 or firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer or for more information.
|LWV Program Planning
The League is a grassroots organization and its priorities are based on the preferences of its membership. If you would like to provide input to LWVUS on its priorities for 2010-11, contact Chris Straton at 207-7333.
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|News from the National League
Last month the National League:
Continued strong support of health care reform by airing a 30-second TV ad, "Stand Up to the Lies", in select states, to help counter the unfair tactics of health care reform opponents. In additional promotion efforts, the ad has been viewed 4,000 times on YouTube, received positive feedback on Facebook, and has had press coverage in the Boston Globe, ABC and other media outlets.
Announced that a new Health Care Education Task Force Paper
is available on line at www.lwv.org
. Written by Task Force member Doris Isolini Nelson (LWVCA), the paper is titled, "Rural Health Care: Where the Needs Are great and the Resources Are Few".
Wrote to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) urging that they continue their independent role in the ethics process. An additional letter was sent to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority leader John Boehner notifying them of the letter sent to OCE.
Reported that under the umbrella goal of a Fair and Impartial Judiciary, LWV Kansas launched their campaign "Safeguarding U.S Democracy: Quest for a More Diverse Judiciary", and LWV Wisconsin is at the forefront of recusal reform for judges. The LWVWI petitioned the Wisconsin Supreme Court to institute new rules that prohibit judges and justices from ruling on cases involving major campaign contributors.
|News from the Florida League
|Chris Straton, LWVCC director and LWVF 2nd vice president
If you haven't checked out the beautiful modern-looking website for the state of Florida League, go to www.lwvfla.org.
The next meeting of the LWVF Board is November 7 at Coral Gables. All meetings are open to members. Call Chris Straton at 207-7333 for more information.
|2009 - 2010 General Meeting Schedule
Save the dates!
November 9, 2009
Your Tax Bill, the County Budget and the Services You Expect
December 14, 2009
January 11, 2010
Hot Topic in Social Policy
February 8, 2010
Update on the State of Florida's Everglades Land Purchase
March 8, 2010
Hot Topic in the Local Justice System
April 12, 2010
On the Road to Citizenship: A Look Inside, with Casey Wolff, Immigration AttorneyBack to top ...
The League of Women Voters of Collier County, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Our goal is to empower citizens to shape better communities worldwide.
Visit our website at www.lwvcolliercounty.org
for our current list of officers, directors and off-board members, our Program, Diversity Policy, Nonpartisan Policy, By-Laws, Minutes and more.