Time to Decide

How to decide?

Look for experienced local leadership, mentoring, philanthropy, first responder planning and response to emergencies, and that has historic knowledge here.

Who will carry the torch that will continue the past 20 years of dedicated community service Commissioner Donna Fiala has provided.

This election is not about the deepest pockets, slickest presentation, fastest talker, or a plethora of mailed postcards with staged photos, it IS about PEOPLE!

William Douglass’ civic life and first responder career in District 1 for 35 years has afforded him the opportunity to get to know the residents, understand what they like and dislike, listen to their frustrations and their ideas. His strong understanding of what has happened in our history will provide the understanding to properly address the issues our County is facing. No other candidate has this institutional knowledge.

The words of Abraham Lincoln spoken at Gettysburg, “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth” ring more today than ever.

The County Commission’s main purpose is to protect the life and safety of its residents. Every decision made should be done so, answering “How does this impact the resident’s quality of life and safety?”

Douglass is the only candidate with local emergency response experience that will best serve the County at this critical historic moment.

District 1 is his home. he’s lived, worked and played for over three decades in this community.

That knowledge and demonstrated service to the residents, organizations, and agencies, plus his experience as a restaurant manager, a business owner, volunteer and his tenure as a first responder will help to address future challenges with determination and fight.

He is not a politician, he is a career District 1 public servant that will continue working for you, the people.

# 2 on the ballot, #1 for the people, please Elect William Douglass on August 18th

Smart Growth for SWFL Endorses Douglass

Endorsements

One of our important programs is to be able endorse candidates for office whom we believe will support Smart Growth planning for new developments, as well as any significant redevelopment. We do this by carefully reviewing each candidate’s credentials, as well as conducting personal interviews to learn what their goals are with respect to land use planning. In Collier and Lee Counties, that means for the upcoming August 18 primary, as well as for the general election on November 3. Specific endorsements are listed below.

Collier County, District 1: In the August 18 Republican primary for Collier County Commissioner in District 1, we believe the person who should be elected is William Douglass (www.electdouglass.com), whom we are supporting for several important reasons.

  • He has lived and worked in District 1 for over 32 years.
  • He believes in managed, fiscally responsible growth.
  • He understands the costs to you and all Naples residents of the uncontrolled growth we are experiencing.
  • Quality of life and protecting the environment are important priorities for him.
  • He is not a lobbyist, nor does he have any connections to major land holders in the county.
  • He has been endorsed by Donna Fiala

Commissioner Donna Fiala Endorses Douglass

Working Together – We Can Accomplish Alot – Here’s Proof

Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Meade

It’s working but our work is not over!  Working with you and our neighbors we have been successful in reducing the impacts to our quality of life and safety, with respect to a proposed concrete crushing operation in East Naples.  We have had various successes, thanks to you.

Here is a comparison from the 2019 submitted request and the most recent resubmission.

2019 Original plan July 1, 2020 Current Plan
·         Air Curtain Incinerator ·         Removed from the request
·         Retail Sales of Mulch ·         Removed from the request, wholesale only
·         Office for Onsite Sales ·         Removed from the request
·         Concrete Crushing Onsite ·         Removed from the request
·         Collection of Construction Debris ·         Removed from the request
·         Operation 7 days a week ·         Removed Sunday from request, and Saturday limited hours
·         No reporting requirements ·         Quarterly reports are to be provided to Collier County Solid Waste Department
·         No submission of State permits ·         Required to obtain State and Federal Permits prior to development.
·         Wood Chipper operating daily ·         Reduced the use to as needed.
·         Submitted as a mulch processing facility ·         New application collection and transfer site for resource recovery

We must watch this application very carefully as it changes, daily.  Recently was advised the application was pulled entirely and saw their resubmitted a modified application, just today!

We are not done yet!  This is a fight for our future!  It will take an experienced local community leader that has already been working for you to continue this fight!

For the residents of RIGGS Road, this additional traffic from deliveries, pick ups and operations impact their safety for traveling along a 2-lane narrow road.  How would you feel if this were on your street?

The operation of the site currently utilizes and will continue to utilize a front-end loader, screening plant, water truck, and backhoe. The facility will also utilize a woodchipper/mulching machine on an as-needed basis. The equipment will not be run continuously. It will only be run during hours of operation on an as-needed basis, approximately once per month for 5-7 days at a time.

Dr. Robert B. Tober Endorses Douglass

As an Emergency Medical Physician, I have worked with Greater Naples Fire Department as their Medical Director for several years. Throughout that time, I witnessed Lt. William Douglass not only participate in lifesaving training, but also contribute to improving Fire Department protocols. His commitment toward ensuring the highest level of standards and care were met is well documented.

Over his 30 years, he received multiple “phoenix” awards for successful resuscitation of a victim of cardiac arrest. These patients were clinically dead, with no heartbeat or breathing, and brought back to life through his highly trained efforts.

His real-life experience has given him valuable insight and knowledge, which he continues to use to benefit the community. We need the leadership, and reliability of William Douglass as our next District One County Commissioner.

Dr. Robert B. Tober, MD
Naples, FL

Riggs Road Win for Residents

A WIN for the environment and residents

Riggs Road Site

Application Rejected, Needed More Information. However, it isn’t over

Thank you for joining me in objecting to the conditional use permit application making its way through the process for 11820 Riggs Road.

This application will impact homeowners in East Naples and the environment. East Naples is beautiful and we want to keep it that way.

This project is not a compatible use of this property, it is risky, dangerous, noisy, impact air quality and impact the surrounding area property
values.

About the Rejection Letter

The County issued a rejection courtesy letter to the applicant’s Richdale Recycling regarding insufficient information with the application. Additional information is being requested and questions must be answered before the process can move forward. While not a comprehensive list, all of the reviews must be completed prior to being resubmitted. They cannot resubmit a partial response it will not be accepted.

What’s Next

On April 15th, after meeting with several residents I called Code Enforcement to issue a complaint regarding the current operations and their history of non-compliance.

Code enforcement visited on April 15th and was told they have a current business tax receipt for a nursery. However, in the application submitted, it was stated that a nursery is not on site. This conflicts with the information that was provided by code enforcement as only a nursery should be doing business at this location. They are asked to give a detailed description on the current daily activities and operations. This should be interesting to see how they answer.

All of the pressure we are placing on them looks like it is working as they are having to be VERY transparent with what they are doing and how they are doing it.

Review the letter in its entirety here.

Once resubmitted, staff will analyze the petition and the recommendation will be contained in the staff report prepared for the Collier County Planning Commission. If they do not resubmit within six months, the application can be considered closed. That six months period begins on May 14th.

I will continue to monitor this and plan to champion the charge to stop this with your help.

Letter to Commissioners About Riggs Incinerator

Aerial view of Riggs Road to see the bend and entrance to the property

Good Morning County Commissioners-

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to bring to your attention a conditional use permit application making its way through the process for 11820 Riggs Road. This application will impact homeowners in East Naples and the environment. As of this email I have nearly 200 residents in East Naples that agree this is not a compatible use of this property, it is risky, dangerous, will be noisy, impact air quality and impact the surrounding areas property values.

The application

The Conditional Use (CU) application is to allow operation for horticultural waste resource recovery on the site, including accepting and recycling (crushing) concrete products, installing and operating an air curtain incinerator (ACI) for burning horticultural waste; permitting (short term parking of) tractor trailers; permitting retail sales activities accessory to primary operations; and so forth. We have been told the concrete crushing has since been removed.

The residents of Riggs Road and surrounding property owners have been fighting to maintain a quality of life and safety for their families for over a decade, now is the time to show them you support them!

Air Curtain Incineration

A transfer station to collect and recover mulch is not a traditional farming operation it is more industrial than agriculture farming it is just not compatible to the area.

Negative Impacts

Burning debris, generated from somewhere other than this property, near this neighborhood has negative consequences to the neighbors and is incompatible to the surrounding area. Including: Safety, Health Concerns, Noise, Air Pollution, Fire Danger, and Wildfire threats.

This will no doubt result in emission of smoke and particulates (PM10, CO, NOx, SOx and VOC) into the air and are comparable to the emissions of biomass power plants. These incinerators are known to have visible emissions during the approximately 10-30 minute start-up period before the air curtain is engaged. Also, when new material is added to the firebox, the flow of the air curtain is broken, and the ACI emits smoke. View Report on potential hazards for air quality with incineration – click here.

Air Incinerator Activity

Multiple trucks entering the property various times a day itself is problematic. The aerial image below shows that Riggs Road is a 2 laned roadway that bends prior to the entrance of the property. The volume of traffic and the current layout of the roads here will be a huge safety concern. Think about parents and children going to school, learning to ride their bike or walking the dog, and heavy load trucks entering and exiting the property daily.

The request will cause excessive traffic impacts, heavy trucks in and out daily, create nuisance complaints like noise, air pollution with ash, dust, it will devalue the nearby properties, and interfere with development of properties.

Recent brush fires near this area should also bring a concern for how quickly things change from a small area, (like a request to burn mulch) to a nearly 9000 acre fire. All it takes is one ember to result in catastrophic consequences.

Burned Family Homesite

The photo on the left is from one family in the area that lost everything recently in the wildfire. The origin is unknown, someone mentioned an unextinguished cigarette. But think about any ember from the above incineration device? The residents of Riggs Road, Royal Hammock, Auto Ranch Road, the farming community, Fiddler’s Creek, and so many more. The residents of East Naples deserve better.

History of non-compliance

Prior to your vote, it is important to bring a decade of noncompliance on this property to your attention before you authorize any further activity. The activity they are seeking is not consistent with the intent of agriculture owner farming his or her land onsite. This property is more consistent with an industrial operation, not a farmer.

Complaints range from property being utilized as a transfer station, processing and hauling on and off site, concrete, clearing materials and construction related debris, installation of entrance driveway and culvert without a permit, installation of irrigation and to concrete crushing without permits, operating a recovery facility without State of Florida DEP permit, further open burning onsite.

The average compliance takes 6 months to 18 months to achieve. Hundreds of staff hours are deployed to force the operator of the property to be a good neighbor and operate within the law.

Recent News

Below I have also included recent articles for your review. These are about a similar operation in Fort Myers. As a retired firefighter, I have been on a mulch fire on Riggs Road in my past. Please help the fire department too. This will impact US41 as well, similar to recent fire that shut down I75. Photos from WINKTV news story this week. Is this what we want for US41 East and the surrounding neighbors.

Lee County filed a lawsuit to try to stop them, but it continues. Is this what you want the residents in District 1, visitors from SE Florida and all of Collier County to endure?

Please also note the recent news articles about a similar operation that makes news often:

·         https://www.nbc-2.com/story/42139187/mulch-fire-sparks-at-mw-horticulture-in-north-fort-myers

·         https://www.news-press.com/story/news/2020/05/18/north-fort-myers-fire-i-75/5211433002/

·         https://www.winknews.com/2020/05/18/traffic-in-both-directions-of-i-75-blocked-off-due-to-smoke-from-mw-horticulture-fire/

State Permitting

In speaking to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the office also has had enforcement action on the property. State law requires a permit for a property bringing yard waste that is not generated on the same premise as where it is being burned. So there may be a loophole in the law that you allow for a conditional use with no State permit, and you should require that at a minimum.

Vote NO

Please take a stand on the conditional use application, say NO, it is not compatible with the area. Vote “NO” now and protect them, our environment and our firefighters. Your actions will speak volumes about your commitment to protecting the health and quality of life and safety of the residents.
Respectfully,

William Douglass, Candidate Collier County Commissioner, District 1.

For your reference, here is a historic view of the property

Click here to view chart and letter on mobile device

Reference # Type Status Date Entered
CELU20200004100 Land Use 04/15/2020
Description: Are the activities taking place on the property allowed?
CELU20160016958 Land Use 10/14/2016
Description: Complainant states property being utilized as a transfer station. He states the allowable use is composting only, not processing and hauling on and off site, concrete, clearing materials and construction related debris etc.
CEAU20120002047 Accessory Use 02/08/2012
Description: OPENED IN ERROR
CENA20120000965 Nuisance Abatement 01/20/2012
Description: Unauthorized accumulation of litter consisting of but not limited to: vast waste material, concrete, rebar, ect.
CEROW20120000960 Right of Way 01/20/2012
Description: Right-Of-Way entrance to the property was never permitted, doesn’t have the property culvert and isn’t wide enough for commercial vehicles that go into the property.
CES20120000958 Signs 01/20/2012
Description: Signs placed inside property by entrance “Anna’s Green Acres” “Top Soil”. Are permits required?
CENA20120000699 Nuisance Abatement 01/13/2012
Description: Unauthorized accumulation of litter consisting of but not limited to: yard debris, concrete, ect. duplicate case for CENA20120000965
CENA20110001168 Nuisance Abatement 01/27/2011
Description: Digging to install irrigation system without first obtaining the required permits Large piles of vegetative debris throughout most of the property *New Owner, Refer new case: CENA20120000965*
CELU20100010013 Land Use 07/28/2010
Description: “FLAMINGO NURSERY” – YARD DEBRIS THAT WENT INTO THE STREET. CHARGING FOR LANDFILL AND CONCRETE. NEED TO CHECK OUT PROPERTY.
2006010046 Legacy – Zoning 12/13/2005
Description: [CC_DESC:][CC_DISP:NO VIOLATION]
2004110833 Legacy – Environmental 11/18/2004
Description: [CC_DESC:CLEARED LAND PRIOR TO A SDP/ ACP / OR ACN ORIGINAL CASE 2004101083][CC_DISP:ABATED]
2004101083 Legacy – Environmental 10/28/2004
Description: [CC_DESC:UNIMP. PROP. WHILE ON ROUTE TO PATROL CASE I NOTICED A LARGE LOT WITH PILES OF DEBRIS, GARBAGE AND CUT TREES. RESEARCH REQUIRED. 15 M RC 11-2-04 DR][CC_DISP:ABATED – PER MEA#13.]
2004020967 Legacy – Zoning 02/18/2004
Description: [CC_DESC:CORNER PROP. EAST CORNER — TOO MANY TREES ON THE ROW/SWALE AREA — DOING DITCH ON SITE – ONLY WORKING LATE AT NIGHT – START AROUND 7 P.M. — LITTER, DEBRI, HOLES ON SITE – CONST. TRASH][CC_DISP:]

OPERATION’S CHIEF LEO DAVIS ENDORSES WILLIAM DOUGLASS

As a life-long first responder, I endorse William Douglass to lead our community into the future.

The issues we face today need someone with first-hand, local knowledge of emergency responses, someone that has local business background to understand what our business community is dealing with and most important our what local families face as a result of the changes in our culture.

William Douglass has lived in East Naples for 35 years, owned and operated businesses here, raised his family here, supported local schools here for over 30 years tirelessly worked to serving others during emergencies, putting himself last and others first during hurricanes, fires, medical calls and his volunteer work.

As William’s supervisor for approximately 20 years, I found William to be one of the most intelligent, caring, dependable and reliable members of my shift. Whatever needed to be done he was willing and capable of doing it, even if it meant risking his life to rescue others.

I have no doubt that William Douglass has the knowledge, education, experience, integrity and compassion to lead as a County Commissioner. Elect William Douglass on August 18th and you will also see what he is capable of accomplishing.

Leo Davis
Retired Chief of Operations
East Naples Fire Dept

Rules of the Road – Bicycle and Pedestrian Laws for Motorists

The William Douglass campaign was asked to help get the word out on the following safety rules for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrian.

In Florida bicycles are defined by law as vehicles. As such, bicyclists have the same roadway rights and responsibilities as the operators of any other vehicle. The basic concept to remember when cycling or as a motorist is that we must share the road. If bicyclists and motorists treat each other with respect then all road users will benefit.

Almost 75% of all cycling deaths are caused by head injuries. Each year thousands of serious head injuries could be prevented if all cyclists wore bike helmets. Although not required by law (unless you are under the age of 16) CCSO strongly recommends you wear an approved bicycle helmet.

Riding while intoxicated is dangerous. Intoxication causes delayed reaction time and blurred vision. Additionally, you can be arrested for operating a bicycle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The sections below summarize important rules of the road. For more information, please see the complete Florida Statute Section cited.

If you are a pedestrian, it is always important to be aware of your surroundings. Other pedestrians, bicycles, vehicles, animals, terrain changes, and more can provide obstacles or hazards you need to navigate. Make sure you are visually scanning your surroundings at all times. Wearing headphones can make your walk or run more enjoyable but can also prohibit you from being able to hear important things. If you are listening to something, make sure you are also able to hear what is happening around you.

Bicycle Safety Laws

General Bicycle Regulations – Section 316.2065

  • A bicyclist must obey all traffic controls and signals including stop signs and stop lights.
  • No bicycle may be used to carry more people at one time than the number for which it is made.
  • At least one hand must be kept on the handlebars while riding.

Lighting – Section 316.2065

  • A bicycle operated between sunset and sunrise must be equipped with a light on the front that is visible from 500 feet and both a rear reflector and a red light on the rear visible from 600 feet.
  • Additional lighting is permitted and recommended.

Roadway Position – Section 316.2065

  • A bicyclist must ride as close as practicable to the right hand curb or edge of the road. A bicyclist may leave the right-most portion of the road in the following situations: when passing, making a left turn, to avoid hazards, or when a lane is too narrow for bicycle and car to share it safely.
  • Riding in single file is required except on sidewalks or when two people riding side-by-side within one lane will not impede traffic.

Sidewalk Riding – Section 316.2065

  • When riding on sidewalks or in crosswalks, a bicyclist has the same rights and duties as a pedestrian.
  • A bicyclist riding on sidewalks or in crosswalks must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians, and must give an audible signal before passing.

Signaling Turns – Sub-Section 316.155(2) and 316.157(2)

  • A bicyclist may signal intent or turn right either by extending the left hand and arm upward or by extending the right hand and arm horizontally to the right side of the bicycle.
    Headsets – Sub-Section 316.304
  • A bicyclist must not wear a headset, headphone, or other listening device other than a hearing aid when riding. Wearing a headset blocks out important audio cues needed to detect the presence of other traffic.

Pedestrian Safety Laws

Pedestrian regulations – 316.130

316.130 (1 ) Obey trac control devices unless otherwise directed by a police ocer
316.130 (2) Shall be subject to trac control signals at intersections
316.130 (3) No walking on roadway where sidewalks are provided, unless required by other circumstances
316.130 (4) Walk on the left side of the roadway where sidewalks are not provided
316.130 (5) No standing in the roadway to solicit a ride, employment, or business
316.130 (7) Driver shall yield, and stop if need be to yield, to a pedestrian in a crosswalk when the pedestrian is upon
the half of the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling or is approaching so closely from the opposite half of the
roadway as to be in danger
316.130 (8) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a
vehicle which is so close that it is impossible for the driver to yield
316.130 (9) No vehicle shall pass another vehicle stopped at any crosswalk to permit a pedestrian to cross a roadway
316.130 (10) Pedestrians crossing at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked
crosswalk at an intersection shall yield to vehicles
316.130 ( 11) Between adjacent intersections at which trac control signals are in operation, pedestrians shall not
cross at any place except in a marked crosswalk
316.130 (12) No pedestrian shall, except in a marked crosswalk, cross a roadway at any other place than by a route
at right angles to the curb or by the shortest route to the opposite curb
316.130 (13) Pedestrians shall move, whenever practicable, upon the right half of crosswalks

One Victory Down for Concrete Crusher – One More to Go with Air Curtain Incinerator

Concrete Crushing

Due to public pressure being applied, the application to install a Concrete Crusher on the Riggs Road has been withdrawn. Thank you for your assistance in making the opposition numbers large and our voices to be heard.

This victory hasn’t stopped the application to greatly intensify the use for commercial uses. An application has been filed to Collier County to install an Air Curtain Incinerator (ACI).

The ACI application would include the legal right to accept yard debris, mulching it, and selling it.

The ACI is a forced air system that is blows air over the top of the incineration process to remove particles that may be released into the air such as ash.
The process is to make to soil, mulch and produce energy.

Air Curtain Incinerator

While this process has shown good results in minimizing pollutants, it still isn’t appropriate in an area so close to residential communities, There could also be danger and risk from particles being released into the air and groundwater near agricultural properties.

We will continue to stay on top of this issue and ask for your participation when appropriate, to stop this intensified commercial use near our community.

If you haven’t signed up to stay informed on this activity, fill out the form so we can advise you on when action will need to be taken and when we will need your help again. For a background story – click here.

Fill out my online form.