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Each candidate was sent the following message. Their responses are below.  
 

As a cofounder of Parents for Informed Choice SWFL,  we have a number of supporters who are still on the fence on who to vote for. Their biggest concern are the issues surrounding medical freedom.  In order to provide supporters with accurate information we were wondering if you could provide your stance on the following questions below.

 

Do you support mandating a mask in public places?  If So Why?

 

Do you support local government being able to shut down a business like we witnessed with the COVID pandemic? 

 

Thank you for your participation!

Parents of Informed Choice SWFL is neither supporting or endorsing these candidates. Each candidate that was listed as active at the time of correspondence was contacted with the same message.

Not all candidates have responded.

We will continue to follow up and post the responses as they are received. 

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Darla Bonk Fort Myers Ward 6.jpg

Darla Bonk(I) – Ward 6

I sure can. The question, in my opinion, is two-fold actually.
 

1 - should people be mandated to wear masks and 2 - does the government have the right to mandate mask wearing.

Some background for you as it relates to this issue for me. I am a business owner. I have lost two family members from Covid-19 out in CA, and 4 friends throughout the US from Covid related illness.

I do not believe the government (Florida statute specifically), has the right to mandate its citizens wearing a mask.
 

I encourage people to follow the CDC guidelines. If people are uncomfortable, then they should feel comfortable enough to stay home and avoid public places. 
 

I specifically and personally believe like I did when I was a young mother taking my kids to daycare for the first time - you naturally build up antibodies and your immune system. This virus isn't going away. Mandating masks or shutting down for another 6-8 weeks is not going to make it go away, again, in my opinion.  Most people don't use masks appropriately. 

I believe in the freedom to make the decision for my family on how we handle this virus. I believe others should have that same freedom.

To learn more about Darla Bonk: https://www.darlabetzerbonk.com/

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Liston Bochette Fort Myers ward 4.jpg

Liston Bochette(I) - Ward 4

Thank you for reaching out to me. I am running the Fort Myers City Council  based on my extensive experience and quality preparation in management, administration and diplomacy. As you may know I have served in the City Council as well as on the Community Redevelopment Association in the past with high approval ratings. My background in business affairs engaged me to work with major cities around the globe in order to improve their safety and security, public services, housing, health programs, educational planning, infrastructure etc... My career as a professor and a five time Olympian provides me with an uncontested advantage and ability to work well with others. 

 I am pleased to answer your fair and frank questions with the depth of thought they merit:

 Do you support mandating a mask in public places?  If So Why?

The COVID 19 virus is a serious long term threat to public health. We cannot be too cautious when facing the unknown. My experience working on the IOC Medical Commission and trained in statistical analysis places me squarely on the side of prevention. The City must mandate all employees and visitors in government buildings to wear proper masking. Furthermore, with legal counsel the City should support private business to do the same. A strong educational effort will help people understand and exercise their choice to protect others.

Do you support local government being able to shut down a business like we witnessed with the COVID pandemic? 

Morality cannot be legislated but people can be motivated. The City should make every effort possible to enable the use of masks when in a public domain, That may involve subsidizing the cost of masks for small or struggling businesses. The ultimate authority is held by the State of which we must abide. As this is a daily evolving situation we must work with the most current data and make the decision to close businesses when the public welfare is at risk. Evidence now shows that masking has the potential to eliminate the spread of the virus. That is our first and foremost goal.

To learn more about Liston Bochette: https://www.facebook.com/linbochetteforfmcitycouncilward4/

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