Shaun 4 SS&WCD G5 Candidate Forum 08/14/18
14 August 2018 / 7:00 PM / Longwood City Hall
SS&WCD members Judith Benson, Ed Young, Jason Kirby, Davis Mancken; SS&WCD Candidates; Longwood Mayor Paris, Altamonte Springs Commissioner Jim Turney, County Commission candidates Jay Zembower and Joe Durso; School Board Candidate Dr. Geri Wright.
Mayor Paris, Altamonte Springs Commissioner Turney, Soil and Water Conservation District members, fellow candidates, attending public, my name is Shaun Kunz, Candidate for this board’s Group 5. Over the last 5 months since I declared my intention to run, I have attended every meeting. I have actively spoke about conservation and land use concerns with candidates for the school board, county commission, and general public. I share the concerns and care we all have regarding direct action on our eastern rural boundary, development throughout the county, - Winter Springs addressed this issue just last night- had I more babysitting options I would have attended the BoCC meeting as well, individual property responsibility, and Florida’s greatest natural resource, other than sunshine, it’s fresh water.
I share the concerns of a county that those we have entrusted with it’s protection, however well intended, however deeply funded, is just not designed to be a catchall caretaker. On the average, it costs twice as much for the authority to provide a service than volunteers or private companies, and at least only half as accountable. Imagine being charged less if you produced less garbage. What would a 24 security service to guard The Senator - my seminal example-have cost an entire county, even if only a third cared to voluntarily pay for it, through a trust, or minimal visitor’s fee? Volunteers cost nothing yet are invaluable, except when compared to the price of replacement.
This is the solution I would work towards. Real conservation and ownership incentives. Initially I would highlight what folks are doing well in communities across the county and invite them to share these solutions. These citizens would help form mini boards, many already exist, and share best practices. These neighborhoods could receive certification as “Soil and Water Conservation Communities.” These folks have real ownership and incentive. They would encourage one another to use best practices. Can 75% of the neighborhood pledge to avoid nitrogen and heavy metal based fertilizers or harmful defoliants, or keep storm drains free of biological waste and yard debris? They could be certified as Conservation Communities. This outreach would also open channels to neighborhoods that are in need of assistance, before legislation determines they need to be fined.
Secondly, Innovators in this county, who have been profiting from environmental based innovation, recycling, power generation, lake restoration, soil use and homesteading etc, will be highlighted and connected to neighborhoods which may be struggling with their lakes and retention ponds. The more common the technology becomes, the lower the price.
Third, the ownership of protected lands is essential. Removing them from the simple authority of the majority, and into the caring hands of the committed, is a proven tactic for conservation. Oak Forest Sector 8 HOA owns a third of the preserve most adjacent to our houses, and similar land trusts exist all over the county. More information this wonderful idea can be found here.
- Community reports of best practices
- Community volunteer organization reports
- Our reports quarterly or at least front page links
- Highlights of community innovation
- More land trusts
- No more sovereign immunity