Bonita Springs News

ARTICLE

Date ArticleType
9/24/2014 General

A Letter from Chief Joseph Daigle - Understandng The Importance of Voting for your Fire Board on Election Day

The Bonita Springs Fire Control and Rescue District is a 72 square mile Independent Taxing District, responsible for providing the residents of Bonita Springs with fire and rescue services. In the year 1965, citizens of Bonita Springs petitioned to the state legislature for the ability to provide these services within the designated geographical district lines. The Fire District receives funding by levying taxes independent of the Lee County and The city government. This tax can only be used to provide emergency services within the scope of the fire districts mission, and constitutes 98% of the districts revenue source. Independent Taxing Districts are considered single purpose government.

The legislation provides for a five member board to provide oversight authority to the Fire Control and Rescue District. The fire board is comprised of five residents of the district who must run for office complying with the Elections Office rules and regulations.

The fire board’s electorate landscape differs from Bonita Springs City Council. The city is separated into six separate districts. Each of the City Council Persons must win an election within their individual district, representing approximately 1/6th of the total Bonita Springs area. The Mayoral race is the seventh position on City Council, and must obtain the majority vote from the at large (entire) population of Bonita Springs.

Interestingly, each of the five Fire Commissioners must win the at large vote of the population (the same as the Mayor). The Fire Board Commissioners terms are for four years with no term limits. The five seats are staggered, resulting in an election taking place each even numbered year in November. For example, three seats are up for election this year (2014). Two seats will be up in 2016.

Hopefully, this helps with understanding the local Fire District election process.

Thank you,

Chief Joseph V. Daigle
Bonita Springs Fire Control and Rescue District