An Open Letter to New Lee County Commissioner Sandelli

On Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Raymond Sandelli to the vacancy on the Lee County Board of Commissioners. Lee Future is hopeful that Commissioner Sandelli will not be another high growth development commissioner, despite his real estate background. We encourage Mr. Sandelli to use his time and voice on the BoCC to represent all of Lee County and invite him to join in our mission to create a sustainable future and high quality life for our residents.

Dear Commissioner Sandelli,

We want to welcome you to the Lee County Commission. Thank you for your willingness to serve, and we’re glad the commission is once again at full strength.

The community doesn’t know much about you yet, so we hope you’ll take the opportunity soon to share your vision for Lee County and your approach to governance. Until that happens, we at Lee Future want to share some of our hopes with you.

We hope that your background in real estate is built on creating value, not just creating development.

We’re hopeful that you share our view that growth should be smart, not just building as fast and as far as possible. We hope that you realize what makes Lee County and Southwest Florida unique is its natural assets. Its beaches and coastlines, its rivers and wetlands, its remaining green spaces and stretches of nature where people can go to get away and recharge.

We also hope your background of service helps you recognize that you must work for ALL the people.

Not just the ones who support your campaigns or who make up your immediate social circle. We hope you realize that you need to hear from the voters and residents of this County, and you need to listen to them as well. Not just sit quietly and endure their parade of statements and then vote the way your backers wanted you to all along.

We hope you realize that a growing number of people are concerned about the direction Lee County has taken.

The move away from sound planning and smart growth and towards unfettered development and sprawl. They are concerned that growth is no longer paying for growth and that today’s taxpayers are being asked to foot the bill for tomorrow’s new arrivals.

Our residents are worried that our County’s infrastructure is unable to keep up with today’s needs, let alone tomorrow’s demands. They are worried that the many natural assets that brought them (and you) here are under assault. And that without someone to fight for them – for water quality, natural habitat, and prudent growth – their quality of life will soon slip away. They are worried that the County is on a path to fiscal ruin, not collecting all the revenue that is available to pay for the infrastructure needs created by the County’s rapid growth.

As a newly minted County Commissioner, residents, businesses, and voters will be looking to you for leadership, for direction.

For a sense that you will work for an open, responsive government that works for the many rather than the few. We hope you are able to support that, to return the county government to the sustainable and sensible path it was on just a few years ago. We hope that you’ll be ready to work with us and with the residents of Lee County to make this a place where we’ll all want to live in the years ahead.


Lee Future Advisers
Don Eslick Bill Spikowski
Frank Moser Darla Letourneau
Ken Gooderham Patty Duncan
Dr. Joe Miceli

EDIT: On August 11, 2019, Commissioner Sandelli responded to Lee Future’s open letter. To see his response, visit the Florida Politics website.

Spread the word by sharing with your friends, family, and neighbors.


  1. Kevin Hill on August 6, 2019 at 11:47 am

    Excellent letter! Thank you.

    • Barbara Hill on August 6, 2019 at 1:26 pm

      Thank you for making this an open letter. Looking forward to hearing Mr. Sandelli’s response.

  2. Esther Pinheiro on August 19, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    I hope you hear the people
    Growth is inevitable but it should be managed
    Please veto mining
    Esther D Pinheiro
    N Ft Myers FL

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