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Guest Commentary: Conservation 20/20 Program needs voter support

October 26, 2016
By MIKE MILLER , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

In 1996, Lee County Commissioners enacted a program of using county general fund revenue to acquire and retain undeveloped property for conservation purposes. The program, called "Conservation 20/20," has been very successful with 24,930 acres having been purchased at a total cost of about $89 million.

The November election ballot this year will include a non-binding referendum asking Lee County citizens whether they approve of the program.

The non-binding nature of the referendum means that the Lee County Board of County Commissioners will not be legally bound by the outcome. But a negative vote, or maybe even a less than overwhelming positive vote, could influence the commissioners to reduce or even eliminate the program.

The Committee of the Islands - COTI - strongly endorses Conservation 20/20 and urges all citizens to support the program by voting "yes" on the referendum.

The benefits of the programs are many:

Lee County Conservation 20/20 is an effective government program that needs to be continued for the benefit of us all.

COTI invites your input on this and other issues affecting our island. Send an email to To read our past commentaries on Island issues, visit our website at Or visit Committee of the Islands on Facebook.



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