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Agreement across the aisle: Your vote matters

November 1, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

As election day approaches for the key mid-terms, Lee County has found itself among focal point communities across the country targeted by high-level politicians stumping for votes.

Lucky us - and we mean that sincerely.

Anyone who has not yet cast a ballot needs to wake up and smell the political espresso being served up hot and bold by those who know that every vote matters, especially here in Florida where a pair of pivotal races seem to be running neck and neck.

Among those making formal campaign stops over the last couple of days alone?

Gubernatorial Democratic candidate Andrew Gillum swung by Riverside Community Center in Fort Myers on Tuesday where he was greeted by an unexpected overflow crowd of about 1,000.

On Wednesday, Republican heavy hitters - including gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis, District 19 Congressman Francis Rooney and Gov. Rick Scott, who is looking to unseat U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, (who has visited previously) - had the opportunity to speak to a packed house at Hertz Arena for President Donald Trump's MAGA Rally.

When the president comes down and touts not only political philosophy but candidates, it's a pretty strong message that you probably shouldn't sit this one out, no matter your party of choice, no matter the candidates you support.

We thank the president, the candidates and their supporters, red and blue alike, for their visits, which we, too, hope gets voters to the polls.

This election absolutely does matter on the federal and state levels with Scott and Nelson, and DeSantis and Gillum, respectively jockeying down to the wire.

It matters on the local level as well.

There are not only key races - including seats on the Lee County School Board, the Lee County Commission, the Lee Hospital Board and more - there are numerous proposed amendments to the state constitution, and two local tax initiatives, both at the end of the Nov. 6 ballot.

The city of Cape Coral has placed a $60 million General Obligation bond initiative on the ballot for its proposed parks master plan.

And by "parks," we mean lots more than swings and playgrounds. The plan calls for things like pickleball and tennis courts, a new beach complex in the north Cape and upgrades at the Yacht Club, all in the next several years.

"The money will fund 7 new neighborhood parks, 1 environmental park, development of 3 community parks, acquiring land, and improving at least 19 existing park facilities," according to a statement issued by the city.

If voters vote "Yes," these bonds will be paid back over the next 15 years via a slightly higher property tax rate.

A description of each component may be found at .

The School District of Lee County, meanwhile, is asking voters countywide to approve a half-cent sales tax to help fund school infrastructure improvements.

A "Yes" vote would add a half-penny tax to many purchases for 10 years, beginning Jan. 1, to pay for capital projects including new schools, campus refurbishments, classroom equipment and safety upgrades.

"The School District of Lee County is asking voters to decide on a half-cent investment in education that would raise an estimated $59 million a year over the next 10 years to fund safety and security improvements, new school construction, critical school maintenance projects and technology upgrades," according to a statement issued by the school district.

The school board-approved project list may be found at

The specific link is .

Early voting continues today and Saturday.

Election Day is Tuesday.

If you care, be there.

-Breeze editorial



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