A well-placed source has told the Gateway Sun that some residents of Pelican Preserve, including personal friends of Carol Stanley, are contacting Stanley to make sure her priority will be to “take care of Pelican Preserve” should be be elected as a GSCDD Supervisor.

The source, who I did not receive permission to name (but that I would be happy to name if they allowed me), would be in a position to know this is true.

Stanley is running for Seat 2 on the GSCDD board.

Supervisor Gary Supervisor, who is Seat 2’s current occupant and also a resident of the Pelican Preserve community, announced that after 8 years as a board member he would not be running again.

Neubauer’s decision created a conundrum in Pelican Preserve, who have seemingly always made it a priority to be able to control 40% of the GSCDD board seats, despite the fact their population makes up a much smaller percentage of the district.

Another source who is well-connected in GSCDD politics told the Sun that upon learning of Neubauer’s decision, residents within Pelican Preserve communicated among themselves for the specific purpose of coming up with a strategy to make sure they retained control of Neubauer’s Seat.

Out of those discussions it was determined that Stanley would be the candidate who would run, according to our second source.

The attempt to create a power divide between Gateway and Pelican is disheartening. And it’s not just the short-sighted priority to keep power and control over the district by some Pelican residents that creates an us-versus-them attitude.

As further proof, Pelican Preserve is hosting a candidate forum for those running for GSCDD board seats. To our knowledge, nobody from Gateway aside from the candidates themselves has been invited.

Likewise, the Sun did not receive an invite to cover the event, which is too bad because at 41 years old I would have been the youngest person in the room.

By far.

When I met with Stanley to discuss her campaign, I asked Stanley why she wanted to spend the next four years mostly making decisions that affected a community she didn’t live in. She did not give a clear answer to that question, but she said that she does not believe in any kind of Pelican-first strategy for the GSCDD board.

Which is good, because the Gateway community could probably do without another 4 years of the recent antics of Supervisor Neubauer.

Pelican Preserve is not part of Gateway (it’s in Fort Myers), however the community is part of the Gateway Services District and its residents are eligible to sit on the GSCDD Board of Supervisors.

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

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