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County owes the public some answers

March 27, 2020
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

So here we are. Unprepared. Scared. Vulnerable. We take precautions. We practice social distancing. We attend to our families first, then our neighbors, friends and colleagues.

Now is the moment for us to take a deep breath and assess how we move forward to ensure the health and well-being of those around us. Let's use this time to become more informed, more caring, even more vocal in holding our county government accountable.

For whatever reason, our country and our county failed to take seriously this past January the situation we are witnessing in China today.

As we work through this crisis together, we citizens of Lee County are looking to our county commissioners for leadership. So we are searching for answers to the following questions:

* Does our county have a plan to help staff at senior centers deal with clients at risk of this raging infection?

*Is our county working with human services non-profits to strategize on addressing common problems? For example, what is happening with children who usually attend early learning centers and now may have been sent home?

* Does our county have a plan to let nonessential county workers work from home rather than expose themselves and others to community spread and still maintain necessary government services?

* Is our county's heavy dependence on its website adequate in communicating new information to constituents about staying safe during this pandemic? With libraries closed, how will those without internet access get this information?

* How is our county working with its municipalities to develop a unified plan to protect Lee County citizens?

* Is our county assessing the state of our health care system and coordinating with Lee Health to help residents understand where to go for testing should they think they are infected?

* How will this impact our local budget and will there be a need for increased taxes? If not, which program services are going to be on the chopping block?

* Does the county have a plan to keep our public and private water supplies safe while at the same time protecting wastewater treatment staff from the virus being spread via wastewater?

* Lastly, how is the Board of County Commissioners going to ensure transparency since citizens will be unable to attend commissioner meetings to offer input and advocacy?

Women For a Better Lee does not know the answers to these questions. Again, in this time of crisis, we are looking to our county commissioners for leadership. We encourage them to be open and transparent, and to provide information that will instill in us the trust and confidence that is so sadly lacking today.

Charlotte Newton

Steering Committee member

Women For a Better Lee



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