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The Clerk’s Report January 2023

Happy New Year! I hope you were surrounded by family and friends during the holiday season. As we move forward into 2023, there is much to look forward to at the Clerk’s Office.

In December, I had the pleasure of providing a tour of the Clerk’s Offices for newly elected Commissioner Dan Kowal of District 4. The Commissioners have hit the ground running! I look forward to continuing to work with them as we move forward in Collier County.

This past month, I had the opportunity to speak to our local representatives and provide an update about state funding at the annual Collier County Delegation meeting. I shared information on the persisting state funding issues that all Florida County Clerks have been facing for the past few years. In the current state funding model, revenues generated in Collier County are used to fund other counties. Over the last 10 years, we have provided over $11.5 Million to other counties while our own budget has been cut. This issue should be properly addressed to ensure that our constituents will receive quality judicial services. With the influx of new residents in our County and the rise of overall expenses, it is critical that we work with the legislature and the Clerk’s Corporation to correct this unworkable model. 

Looking forward, there are several important issues that will be coming before the Collier County Board of Commissioners. The contract renewals, purchasing policies, and zoning issues that are decided during these meetings impact our quality of life, tax funding, and set precedent for future decisions in Collier County, so I want to make sure that you have the the knowledge you need to engage in the process and advocate for your community.

In this newsletter, I have provided summaries of three recent proposals that were brought to the Board including:

Conservation Collier Land Acquisition – On December 13, Commissioners continued an item regarding the Conservation Collier purchase of a .39-acre Marco Island residential lot. The Board continued the agenda item due to concerns with overall program pricing methodology. Under the current resolution, there is no opportunity for negotiation of price. The County Attorney was asked to review these concerns and bring back language
to allow negotiation for acquisition.

The Bayshore-Gateway Triangle CRA – CRA Staff submitted a proposal to build an interconnect between the County owned 17-acre parcel and Sugden Park. Several years ago proposals were submitted by contractors for the development of the 17 acres with a possible connection to the Park. The models were rejected by the prior Board due to numerous concerns with designs. The current proposal did not include any plans for the 17 acres, and proposes a boardwalk that cuts through the center of the property. The Board asked for more information on a possible connection on the outer edge of the parcel which appears available. See inside this issue for more about the function of CRAs and details regarding the proposed project.

Tourist Development Contract Renewals – Last month, we also saw two proposed contract renewals brought to the Board of County Commissioners. The contracts have a combined value of $1.5 Million, which would be spent over the next five years. The contracts were tabled for further discussion regarding metrics to evaluate the return on investment for your taxpayer dollars.

I am pleased to announce that registration for the Valentine’s Day Wedding and Vow Renewal Ceremony. Engaged couples who will have secured a Marriage License and couples who wish to renew their marriage vows are invited to join us on February 14, 2023, at 21 Spices in East Naples. Chef Asif Syed, who will be hosting the event at 21 Spices, is nationally celebrated and locally renowned for his extraordinary culinary talent. For more information on how to apply for a Marriage License and for the full details of the event, visit this link. We are looking forward to spending the next joyous and memorable Valentine’s Day with the couples of Collier County. 

Lastly, Collier County’s Centennial Celebration is right around the corner. As we get closer to the special day, please keep an eye out for our planned events and exhibitions as we commemorate the success and growth of our county. We are excited to share what we have in store for this celebration, and we hope that you’ll be able to join us. Cheers to a wonderful New Year!