by SC Guest Contributor Barbara Joy Cooley
On March 2, or sooner for those who order mail-in ballots, Sanibel citizens will be able to vote for three new city council members. Out of the field of six candidates, I know who I will get my vote for two of those positions. For the third position, I haven’t yet decided.
In an outstanding field of candidates, these two really stand out for me: Mike Miller and Scott Crater. Both have the kind of expertise and leadership qualities that we need in this somewhat difficult time. I endorse Mike Miller and Scott Crater for the city council.
For the City of Sanibel, there will be economic fallout from the pandemic for some time to come. The City also needs to continue to take measures to protect against the spread of the virus, as the vaccine rollout is slowed by lack of supply. We also continue to experience water quality problems due to releases from Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee watershed. To deal with all of this, we need council members with strong science, financial, and legal backgrounds.
Mike Miller has a strong background in all three areas. Locally, he has a leadership record on the islands, having presided over COTI (Committee of the Islands) and the Sanibel Bike Club. Anyone who has ever discussed environmental issues with Mike is astounded by his knowledge – especially about water quality.
Mike is no stranger to City Hall. He has attended a great many city council and planning commission meetings. He is very familiar with the Sanibel Plan. He was a vice chair of the city Recreation and Parks committee, and he served on heady City Budget committee. For those leading our city, a knowledge of the City’s recreation facilities and the City budget is going to be essential in the next few years.
Mike is a leader of Together a Way Forward, an ecumenical group that recognizes that caring for the environment is spiritually paramount. Mike is also a pilot who served in the U.S. Air Force during Vietnam.
I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with Mike on the COTI board of directors – a group dedicated to defending the Sanibel Plan and keeping Sanibel special. He has delineated his priorities for Sanibel on his web site.
I met Scott and Dana Crater at the Sanibel Congregational United Church of Christ, the open and affirming church that the three of us attend. Scott and Dana are both medical doctors, and they are parents who raised their kids on Sanibel. Over the past dozen years, they’ve been very active in both the church and the Sanibel school, and they are members of COTI because they care about the sanctuary nature of Sanibel.
On the council, Scott promises to continue the fight for clean water in the gulf, bay, and Sanibel River, working with county, state, and Congressional elected officials. As a physician and scientist, Scott favors masks and other measures to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many small businesses, Scott’s medical practice was financially affected by the pandemic, so he understands the crisis from both the human health and financial perspectives.
I’ve learned that Scott is a great listener, too, as is Mike Miller. These two people have our best interests at heart. I urge you to vote for them.