Republican voters face some fine choices in the District 1 County Commission race which includes three candidates who have served voters well in the past.
We have, in fact, endorsed two of these individuals, Chris Berardi and Bob Chilmonik, in past elections.
Mr. Berardi, a former Cape Coral council member, and Bob Chilmonik, the rebel with a cause who played an important role on the Lee County School board, are qualified candidates capable of serving on the Lee County Board of County Commissioners.
However it is John Manning, the incumbent, who rises to the level of best qualified in this primary race.
Appointed by the governor to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Bob Janes, Commissioner Manning joined the county commission just in time for the budget debates.
With past tenure as both a Cape Coral council member and long service as a Lee County commissioner, it was a role he was born to fill and he has hit the ground running.
That is key.
With revenue shortfalls looming, with tough cuts in the offing, there is little room for a learning curve and it is here that Commissioner Manning laps the tough competition.
He has brought to the table a lean government philosophy that calls for the provision of essential services but also demands a review of how these services are delivered.
He also brings much-needed expertise from the private sector.
As a consultant with Malcolm Pirnie. Inc., an environmental engineering firm, he has spent the last decade advising city and county governments on how to deal with their environmental and infrastructure challenges, including solid waste issues, water quality issues and wastewater challenges. This makes him uniquely qualified to continue the environmental legacy left by Commissioner Janes.
We endorse John Manning in the Republican primary for Lee County Commission, District 1, on Aug. 24. He is simply the best candidate among a very solid field.
Robert “Bob” Chilmonik