Governor Rick Scott comes to Immokalee

Danny Gonzalez(President of the Immokalee Chamber of Commerce) and Governor Rick Scott. (Submitted photo/Fred N. Thomas Jr.)

Last week, the Governor’s Office called the Immokalee Chamber of Commerce to help his staff set up an informal meeting of various persons with their concerns about the Immokalee community that needed help with and answers to.

The meeting was held at the First United Methodist Church at 303 North 9th Street in Immokalee, Governor Rick Scott met with several members of our ministerial partners and community leaders.

Danny Gonzalez( President of the Immokalee Chamber of Commerce) started off with the questions of how the Governor could possibly help the community recoup from Hurricane Irma with all types of housing issues, job creations and the expansion of the Immokalee Airport. Governor Scott was very informative with various contact numbers to call for additional help in the state of Florida and Washington DC to help solve some the needed issues Danny stated

Danny asked “are there any new programs to help the area farmers coming down the pipeline presently.” Once again the Governor gave contact information to keep up with the latest information on that particular issue.

Governor Scott informed everyone that the value of land in Florida has gone up and that the Citrus Bill presently being considered may or may not be the answer for the future economy with jobs.

Reverend Jerry Bremser ask for help in getting a Detox Center for Immokalee, which is desperately needed. The Governor gave lots of contact information to help with that question.

Reverend Rick Heers asked, “What are you going to do in your candidancy that Senator Bill Nelson is not presently doing?” Governor Scott answered, “My focus is on getting the economy moving faster than it is presently doing.”

Reverend Evens Saint Louis, wanted to know what is the future with Immigration? Governor Scott said that “presently Congress is not acting on that issue. Please keep up with the latest news around you. If you want to make changes, one has to have ideals that will work for change. That is not presently being done as we sit here.”

The following concerns were among those given to the governor as needs:
• Improved housing for our workforce community
• Assistance in recovery from Hurricane Irma
• Transportation assistance for better roads into and out of Immokalee
• Protection for children in the womb
• He discussed the challenge of helping Haitian families who fear being deported back to Haiti
• A willingness to intervene and assist a local minister who had his rights removed as a 16-year old
• Concerns over the ‘compact’ with the native Americans

Great compassion was shown for a local minister who was lied to by officials who promised a 5-year sentence for a first time offender, and ended up sending him to the state penitentiary for 30-50 years. The hour-long meeting ended with a session of fervent prayer for the community and the governor as he embarks on a new road … that God’s will be done.

Fred is special to the Immokalee Bulletin and he can be reached at

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