Megan Betche is a 40-year-old Altamonte Springs resident and is a candidate for the position of Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor Group 3. She has been an educator in Central Florida for nearly 18 years.
Betche’s platform focuses on community advocacy and assisting with the development and implementation of a strategic plan for Seminole County Soil and Water Conservation. She has raised $2,710 in campaign contributions, most of which come from individual Florida residents. Her campaign expenditures total $534. Learn more.
Gabrielle Milch is a Longwood resident and is a candidate for the position of Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor Group 3. She has served as an environmental educator for Middle Basin Outreach and was an education and advocacy coordinator with the non-profit St Johns Riverkeeper Organization.
Milch’s platform focuses on issues such as water conservation, soil erosion prevention and air quality protection. Within her first 100 days in office, Milch’s goals include establishing an official office for the directors of Seminole County Soil & Water Conservation and building networks of local stakeholders to promote issues such as soil and water conservation, best management practices and education programs. She has raised $3,807 in campaign contributions, all of which come from individual Florida residents. Her campaign expenditures total $708.09. Learn more.
The questions below were either directly submitted by voters or were created by OCN based on what the voters told us were their priorities.
Explain your participation in local government. For example, have you ever volunteered for a local municipal board or attended local government meetings?
Megan Betche: Local governments, I have not participated in. However, I have volunteered with governance boards and committees for the state education association.
Gabrielle Milch: I go to public meetings and make comments. I meet and discuss the issues with elected officials and use social media to help educate the public about the issues.
How do you plan to improve communication with your constituents so more residents can get involved in the local decision making process?
Megan Betche: To involve the community more there needs to be a presence at local government meetings. This also includes having discussions with local government about soil and water in Seminole County. Making sure to advocate and educate our community by hosting events, online forums, social media, just to name a few.
Gabrielle Milch: Creation of a local press outlets distribution list to disseminate press releases is my goal. Citizens need to get involved with matters of protection of our health and safety issues relating to soil and water conservation. Personal responsibility is critical to soil and water conservation protection. Awareness and action is important.
Do you think a candidate can be involved in developing land, selling real estate, etc. and lead the community without being tainted?
Megan Betche: I am willing to discuss this question further. At this time I do not feel this is a representation of myself or the elected position I am running.
Gabrielle Milch: Yes, unfortunately a few bad development experiences can spoil the reputation of good development.
What do you offer to the position you’re vying for that you believe others do not?
Megan Betche: I am a teacher of many years and I want to bring the conservation of soil and water to our students. Students will grow up to be our next leaders and they need to know how important the conservation of soil and water is as well as future impact.
Gabrielle Milch: I have over 34 years of outreach and education experience with soil and water conservation issues. I have recently ( since 2019)become more of an advocate than an educator. I understand the local and state issues.
How do you plan to fix and pay for future water problems?
Megan Betche: I will advocate, educate and protect. The Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor cannot make policies or rules. We are there to help advise and be a collective voice. I will attend meetings and speak up for the soil and water of Seminole County.
As we see growing evidence of climate change, what are your specific plans for sustainability in our communities and county?
Megan Betche: Protect our water supply by reducing the withdrawals from springs for commercial purposes and offer incentives for residential water conservation. Such as, offering rebates for low-flow toilets and showers during remodels. Additionally, we need commercial and residential properties with sprinklers that promote using timers and rain gauges.
Gabrielle Milch: Ask folks to be responsible and give them ideas how to accomplish better behaviors.
Have you studied the impact of overgrowth on government services and how expansion will affect property values in the future?
Megan Betche: Yes, overgrowth will be devastating to Seminole County, we have just seen the impact of Hurricane Ian. We need to keep as much green space and wetlands as possible as well as bridging the gap about water and soil conservation for rural and urban needs.
Gabrielle Milch: Yes, I live lightly and have participated in local government for a long time.
How do you plan to protect local remaining green spaces?
Megan Betche: To protect the “Natural Choice” I would prioritize the acquisition of areas to keep as green space. Advocate that new development keeps a percentage of the property green, educate, and encourage the use of permeable concrete for parking lots, sidewalks, and driveways.
Gabrielle Milch: Tell folks how important green space is for our health and quality of life as well as our planet.
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