provided to The Santiva Chronicle
With its mission to protect and care for Southwest Florida’s coastal ecosystems, the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation is committed to public dialogue on environmental stewardship. A majority of Sanibel City Council seats are up for election on March 2, so SCCF is hosting its first-ever Candidate Forum on the Environment.
On Wednesday, Feb. 10, SCCF will livestream the forum as CEO Ryan Orgera, Ph.D., moderates a live, socially-distanced panel featuring all six candidates running for office.
“A majority of the council seats are on the ballot this year, potentially creating the first major shift in our city’s leadership at one time in many years,” said Orgera. “The City of Sanibel is unique in our region, not just for its natural beauty, but because nature is given equal footing with human residents that is ensured by city leadership.
With its distinct Comprehensive Land Use Plan and City Charter developed when the City was created in 1974 as a response to the potential for runaway growth, SCCF has been a long-standing partner in protecting the Sanctuary Island.
Not just a typical virtual event, the SCCF livestream production will be directed by former CBS News producer Arlene Dillon, a long-time Sanibel resident. Dillon’s 25 years of experience in network television news included 12 years covering the White House and producing live special events.
“This election is important not just for Sanibel but for our whole region,” said Dillon, who is volunteering her time and talent. “I’m happy to help produce an engaging program that will inform voters.”
Dillon was the first woman to direct the State of the Union Address for all television networks, and over her career has directed dozens of presidential news conferences, Oval Office speeches, inaugural events and foreign Presidential summits.
The forum is intended to help voters understand where candidates stand on critical issues specific to the environment including: land use, water quality, Everglades restoration, living with wildlife, coastal resilience, and the role of science in policymaking.
Candidates will be seated at a safe social distance; no audience will be present. Questions have not been provided in advance, only broad topics.
Candidates include Mary Bondurant, Scott Crater, Tim Drobnyk, John Henshaw, Jason Maughan, and Mike Miller.
SCCF is strictly non-partisan and will not endorse any candidates. Go to sccf.org to watch live on Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. If you can’t watch live, the forum will also be recorded and available for viewing at sccf.org.