'Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle' ... Collier County airports, health care and Democratic politics

Collier County airports, health care and Democratic politics are featured on the next "Naples Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle" program this morning at 10 on ABC7.

Tom Henning, Collier County commissioner, is asked what county airports director Chris Curry did wrong, and what comes next for economic development.

Dr. Allen Weiss, CEO of NCH Healthcare System, discusses the new partnership of the local Hazelden substance abuse center with the Betty Ford Center.

Annisa Karim, new chair of Collier County Democrats, sizes up the changes that local Democrats need to make to be more effective, and who will run for governor?

Video highlights will be posted Monday at naplesnews.com/


Here are excerpts:


Annisa Karim

Lytle: The longer that the Democrats stay out of these local races and sort of let the Republicans have them, then we don’t hear from the Democrats that often until like something’s wrong, that makes you guys the naysayers and rock throwers. It’s like we’re never going to see that playing field kind of level out.

Karim: Well I think that ... that situation that you’re talking about is currently what’s happening in local politics. Maybe not statewide or nationally, but on the local level, you know, just because we don’t have someone running as a Democrat in a partisan race, does not mean we’re not looking at the candidates that have already filed and supporting them in some way.

We would love for someone to run in a partisan race as a Democrat and do well. We would like to find someone that is informed on the issues and has a good way of communicating what their stance is. And we have some people, you know, that we’re really looking at right now. But until we’re confident that that can happen, we still want to remain part of the process.


Tom Henning

Lytle: In terms of the incentives that you’re offering a new would-be employer (with up to 65 jobs), I was impressed with how specific some of the incentives were that the county could put on the table. But you were telling me beforehand that larger, more aggressive incentives remain to be decided, and this will involve a referendum, in your opinion.

Henning: Well, what I said was, if we’re going to invest 10, 20, 30 million dollars a year in bringing companies down here or creating new jobs in Collier County, that kind of money would take a referendum.


Dr. Allen Weiss

Lytle: Betty Ford Center is coming to Naples partnering with the Hazelden substance abuse center right next to your downtown campus. Your reaction to that?

Weiss: Spectacular. We were happy to welcome Hazelden to town a few years ago. They actually picked that location because, among other things ... our Wellness Center is right nearby and their folks use it as part of their rehabilitation process. So I think having the added Betty Ford expertise with Hazelden can only be good for our community.

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