Communication Builds Our Community

The News Recommends: Carol Gillespie for Seat 4 on Lake Wales City Commission

Lake Wales voters will have significant choices to make in two races for the Lake Wales City Commission on April 2, choosing from among candidates who offer sharp differences in their approaches to governing and attitudes toward the challenges confronting the city. All city voters are eligible to cast ballots in the non-partisan district 2 and 4 races.

The district 4 race presents voters with the starkest choice in many years as incumbent Danny Krueger faces a challenge from Carol Gillespie. Both reside in the Lake Ashton community, but there the similarities end.

News file photo

Carol Gillespie is a retired attorney who would do much to restore balance to the Lake Wales City Commission as it attempts to cope with unprecedented development pressures.

Krueger's two years on the commission have been marked by a series of polarizing statements and an indifference to real problems. Krueger failed to attend a forum hosted by the AAUW and the GFWC, depriving citizens of their only chance to ask questions and hear his direct replies. Krueger refuses to speak to the press and citizens are not permitted to question commissioners during the public comments portion of their board meetings, leaving his background a mystery..

While the city has grappled with a massive wave of residential development proposals, Krueger has shown that he has no concerns for the future. Despite concerns about the impact on water supplies, roads, and other infrastructure, he has supported each new development proposal, going so far as to voting to override the recommendations of both the city's own Growth Management planning staff and the city's citizen Planning and Zoning Board.

Rather than devote his time on the commission to the concerns of Lake Wales citizens, he has repeatedly wasted his comment opportunities at meetings pushing debunked conspiracy theories, calling climate change a "hoax," and blasting renewable energy and electric cars as "fads." He has rejected science and claimed that solar panels incinerate birds, while voicing opposition to the use of the word "sustainable" as part of "a UN plot to take away our freedoms."

In contrast, Carol Gillespie offers a sober and rational perspective on the challenges that the city faces. A retired attorney, Gillespie has experience as an advocate for children in dependency law and in corporate litigation, a skill that may well come in handy as the city faces negotiations with developers, contractors, and even Polk County.

As the city anticipates the impacts of more than 16,000 new homes already planned here, she questions how Lake Wales will deal with the need for water, the effect upon our crowded roads, and the diminished quality of life that many expect to result.

Gillespie supports serious planning efforts, including the citizen-guided Lake Wales Envisioned plan. She promises a more-cautious approach to the approval of new developments, offering a level of healthy skepticism that most citizens will appreciate.

Meeting the threats and challenges to our quality of life in Lake Wales require commissioners who accept facts. Her perspective as a woman may add a welcome leavening to discussions on the board and civility in dealing with citizens.

Lake Wales News strongly recommends Carol Gillespie for election to seat 2 on the Lake Wales City Commission.

 

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