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Rally support for Lee County CSC
April 11, 2018

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To the editor:

Thanks to your many letters and phone calls this last month, the Lee County Board of County Commissioners is ready to vote provisionally for placement of a referendum establishing a Children's Services Council on the November ballot.

The council would greatly benefit all of Lee County's children and their families.

The initial vote will be held at the commission's meeting on April 17 at 9:30 a.m. in the Board Chambers at the Old Lee County Courthouse, 2120 Main St., Fort Myers. We encourage all of our citizens who care about the future of our children and a more prosperous Lee County to join us at the courthouse.

Established in 1945, Children's Services Councils already exist in eight Florida counties and serve as umbrellas of leadership, coordination and oversight greatly enhancing the quality of education and health care available to all children. The cost to Lee County citizens will be minimal, most likely very much less than the maximum of $350 per annum ad valorem allowed by state law.

And how do we know the value of a CSC? This is very apparent in all the eight counties with CSCs, which have quickly moved ahead of Lee County in creating economic prosperity for their citizens.

How is this occurring? Because profitable companies seeking to relocate in Florida have discovered a higher ratio of well educated and energetic students ready and willing to join their companies due to years of quality support provided by their CSCs.

Already two of the five commissioners serving Lee County, Frank Mann and John Manning, are eager and ready to vote "yes" to placing the CSC referendum on the November ballot. As the law stands, we only need one more commissioner to make this happen.

First, your presence at the courthouse on April 17 is vital. In addition, it is hoped that everyone will take the time to phone the three commissioners not yet ready to finalize their positions; past experience has shown emails are not effective. The phone numbers are: Larry Kiker, 239-533-2223; Cecil Pendergrass, 239-533-2227; and Brian Hannan, 239-533-2226. You might also want to call and thank Mann at 239-533-2225 and Manning at 239-533-2224 for their keen understanding of the value of the CSC and the leadership roles they are now playing.

On behalf of Lee County citizens, let us not allow this unique opportunity pass us by as we seek a better more productive life both for our children and ourselves.

Jill Dillon

Sanibel

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