Randy Cash, Republican candidate for Collier County District 5 commission seat, wants people to know that he believes that everyone needs a voice on county issues. He wants to represent the people and be the voice of the community.
In fact, he believes that public service in some form is the civic responsibility of everyone.
He is a resident of Golden Gate Estates and a Collier County resident since 1995. That’s a lot of time to become familiar with the county and its needs.
He feels the biggest challenge for the board of commissioners is long term growth management. “It’s touchy,” he said, so the board has to get it right. In his opinion, any growth management plan must include transportation, water resources, environment and economic development. – and all of those elements must be coordinated.
In the short term, he sees that the lawsuit between the commission and the Clerk of Courts about how vendors are paid must be resolved sooner rather than later. He feels that the county needs to break down its contracts to exact requirements. Right now, bills meet contract specifications but not the Clerk’s.
Another immediate issue he sees is the allegation of housing authority misuse of funds.
Specific to Immokalee, Randy has been soaking up local issues at CRA, chamber and other civic meetings and is educating himself on fire department issues so that, if he is elected, he can help address them quickly. He believes that the Westclox/SR 29 intersection needs a light immediately. It’s a cheap and quick solution and a roundabout could be addressed later, if needed. He is also in favor of a by-pass for heavy traffic to make the downtown area more pedestrian and business friendly. He would use the MPO to press Florida Department of Transportation on these issues.
Immokalee’s needs have been an afterthought for years, he points out, adding that “we all need a voice.”
He also said he would set up an office in Immokalee with regular hours to serve the residents, not just come here for special events.
One of Immokalee’s gems is the airport and especially the proposed food business accellerator. He said he would foster public private partnerships to build hangars and ramps to lure fly ins and casino deals to boost Immokalee’s economy.
He said it’s a great airport, but the runway limits its load bearing capacity, and therefor the size of planes that can be accommodated. He would love to build up the airport runway for large planes such as FedEX flights, but it would be way too expensive, he said. Still, he feels the idea has “not really been explored.”
He added that he believes in encouraging small business owners and nurturing small business – which represents about 80 percent of the country, He’d like to see more businesses, reduced fees, a lowering of impact fees – possibly to a sliding scale.
Randy is a 22 year Army combat veteran helicopter pilot Iraq Somalia met President George W. Bush. He owns Flamingo Air Management, which has defense contracts as air traffic controllers and air field maintenance for the Department of Army by civilians.
His wife, Mary Ellen, was a counselor at IMS for nine years, and well known in Immokalee. They have been married for 40 years and, as a Cuban, she speaks fluent Spanish.
He is a member of the Golden Gate Civic Association, The Moorings POA, Commander of VFW 7721, on the Collier County Veterans Council and the Republican Executive Committee of Collier County.
As a military veteran, Randy said he would approach county issues using his Army skills:
know the mission; plan the mission coordinate the mission plan; communicate the plan and execute the plan.
Randy graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in Politics and Public Affairs. He retired from the Army as a Major in 1999. He served in Northern Iraq, Korea, Turkey, Germany. He also commanded a UH-60 Blackhawk assault helicopter company during Operation Restore Hope in Somalia. He served as a Congressional liaison Capital Hill while still with Army.
He is a believer in using the Multi Cultural Advisory Alliance as a bridge to all in such a varied population.
He has noted that Immokalee as a community cares about what goes on. He said that Immokaleeans can “count on me to be their voice.”
The Immokalee Bulletin is published every Thursday.