The 2018 Gateway District elections may be over before they even begin.
Daniel’s Preserve resident and former WINK News morning anchor Rob Spicker may be eyeing a seat on the GSCDD’s Board of Supervisors next year.
The information comes from a source who knows Spicker, however when we reached Spicker via private message on Facebook, he did not confirm or deny what we’d heard.
So for now, we need to classify this strictly as a rumor.
Spicker has a history of public service, both on his own and through his former job at WINK.
Most recently, Spicker was instrumental in helping Gateway land the new public high school that will be built by the Lee County School District along Griffin Drive. While that work was mostly done behind the scenes, Spicker was also on the Construction Advisory Committee for the Bonita Springs High School site selection process.
If it’s true that he’s going to run, Spicker will have to decide between running against Vice-Chairman Bill Guy in Seat 4 or Supervisor Doug Banks in Seat 5. Those are the only two seats up for election in November 2018.
Candidates will likely wait another 11 to 13 months before filing the documents formally establishing their intentions to run for the board, so it may be awhile before we know what Spicker decides to do.
This is great news for Gateway residents, if true.
Rob Spicker is a family guy with school-aged kids. He’s obviously well-known from being on television every day, and highly regarded in Gateway.
I’ve gotten to know him a little bit now, but I mostly know about him through his stellar reputation in the community.
So the question for me is … does he go for Seat 4 or 5?
I want to make it crystal clear that Doug Banks is not my source that Spicker may run, but I do need to share that Banks and Spicker are friends. That’s important because it means it’s unlikely Spicker would target Banks’ seat, but rather will go after the seat currently occupied by Bill Guy.
Besides, it’s widely believed in GSCDD circles that Guy won’t be running again anyway. So it’s more Spicker’s style to go after the vacant seat than to try and win against someone like Banks who’s doing good for the community.
It’s also safe to say that news of a potential Spicker candidacy will send shockwaves through Pelican Preserve – and Vista Pine Circle.
Guy lives in Pelican Preserve, a 55-and-older community, and residents of that community have long felt entitled to two of the five seats on the board. Gateway residents put a stop to that practice in November 2016, when former Supervisor Gary Neubauer’s seat was won by Supervisor Kathleen Flaherty. Neubauer also lives in Pelican, and the Pelican Preserve community had rallied around their neighbor Mary Carol Stanley to defeat Flaherty and maintain control of the seat once Neubauer announced he would not seek a third term.
If Spicker runs and Gateway comes out to support him, it will leave Pelican Preserve without a seat on the board for the first time in … maybe a decade? I’d have to look.
It is also believed that some folks from the “old guard” – Ed Sichel, Rod Senior, et al – have been organizing to reclaim a seat at the table. They know running against Banks is pointless, so they most likely had set their sights on Guy’s seat as well.
This news about Spicker is a death-blow to any 2018 plans that group may have.
As I mentioned in the article portion, Spicker has a year to decide. But I do have to say that through this publication and my other business I know a lot of people in Gateway, and there aren’t many other people who would do a better job than Rob would for the community. I could put John Heck in the same category (and would have put Fort Myers Brewing Co. owner Rob Whyte if he hadn’t of moved), but I really can’t think of many others.
There’s no question in my mind that Spicker will fight for Gateway. And I base that not on any words he’s said, but rather his actions. His vision for the Gateway high school was the same as mine so for that reason I’m confident about his values regarding supporting the families in our town.
I know many of you don’t care about the GSCDD board, but you do care about Gateway. And it’s not only because you live here, but because you get excited every time something new gets built or there’s good news to share. Rob Spicker running for the Gateway board would be a game changer, and a great thing for the community.
Let’s hope the rumors are true, and he decides to run.