It’s too bad that Gateway resident Rebecca Tinkle has promised to never, ever, ever read the Gateway Sun again. That’s because we have some important news regarding Rebecca’s husband, the one-and-only Ed Tinkle.

We can confirm that G. Edwin Tinkle II will be running for the Board of Supervisors of the Gateway Services Community Development District in the November 2016 elections.

Tinkle currently serves as HOA President of Gateway Greens, and he last ran for a GSCDD Board Seat in 2008, narrowly losing to Supervisor Gary Neubauer.

Neubauer’s GSCDD Seat #2 is one of the three that are up for election in 2016. The other two are GSCDD Seat #1, which currently belongs to Vice Chairman Margaret Fineberg, as well as GSCDD Seat #3, occupied by Supervisor Pamela Gill.

So the immediate question is which of the three Seats will Tinkle target?

If Tinkle runs against Neubauer, not only would Tinkle have the opportunity to avenge his defeat in 2008, but it was Neubauer who played a huge role in keeping Tinkle off the board in June 2009 when Dave Harley resigned as Supervisor. Harley was elected in 2008, but when he resigned in 2009 the other 4 remaining CDD Supervisors could hand-pick Harley’s replacement according to the Florida Statutes. It came down to Tinkle versus Fineberg, and Neubauer voted to hand Fineberg her Seat on the Board.

Neubauer also holds the Pelican Preserve voting block in his back pocket. Although the district is made up mostly of Gateway, Pelican Preserve in Fort Myers is also part of the GSCDD. Their residents always have a strong election turnout, and Neubauer is a resident of Pelican.

So what about Pam Gill’s Seat? Based on Gill’s nearly silent presence on the Board meeting after meeting, one might assume that going after her Seat would be the easiest path for Tinkle. But Gill garnered 2,340 votes when she ran in 2012. That’s the largest vote total – by far – among the current GSCDD Supervisors.

That likely leaves Fineberg’s Seat as the most attractive for Tinkle, at least when you compare him against the incumbents. “Big Time” Margaret Fineberg was lampooned by the Gateway Gazette, and since the Gateway Sun has launched she’s avoided speaking to this publication at all costs. The fact that she lost the 2008 election, was placed on the Board purely due to politics in 2009, and ran unopposed in 2012 means that she’s never actually been elected by the people of Gateway. Fineberg will enjoy some support in Stoneybrook where she lives, but she has detractors there as well. Outside of Stoneybrook it’s difficult to envision Fineberg will match up well against Tinkle.

Ultimately, Tinkle will have to wait and see which other residents declare their candidacy, and see which Seats they target. It’s also possible that Neubauer, Fineberg or Gill won’t run again. Having any of the three seats vacant of an incumbent will obviously play a huge role in Tinkle’s decision.

I also believe Tinkle will make the ponds’ water quality a key election issue, and he will try to oust the Supervisor who doesn’t share Tinkle’s vision of how to tackle the problem.

If the Vice Chairman suddenly becomes Tinkle’s ally on the Board over water quality, I believe Tinkle may be willing to go after Neubauer instead of Fineberg.

So that’s the current political landscape Tinkle currently faces for his candidacy. When the incumbents make their decisions on whether or not to run again in 2016, the deck could be reshuffled. As for other candidates making a run, most Gateway residents would be better off to avoid running for the same seat as Tinkle chooses.

If you’re new to Gateway, or a new reader of this publication, and you’re wondering who Ed Tinkle is and what his policies are, you can immediately search Tinkle’s name at the top of this website and find plenty of material about him. However, I’ll also be writing another article next week going over the highlights (and low-lights) of Tinkle’s work in Gateway so far in 2015.

For now, we welcome Tinkle as the first candidate of the November 2016 race, and look forward to seeing who else will be joining him.

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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