It’s election time again!  But this time you won’t have to wait in any long lines at the polls or even fret over those pesky hanging chads.  Simply attend the political meet and greet/ ice cream social to be held on Saturday, June 23rd at the Liles Hotel in Riverside Park from 2 - 4 PM.  It’ll be there that the political hopefuls for the honorary Mayor of Survey will each ‘officially’ declare their candidacies and proceed to pitch their outrageous campaign promises- all in hopes of winning your staunch support.
The Mayor of Survey is an honorary position elected by voters at large to serve for a biannual term.  However, some things about this process aren‘t exactly politics as usual. In this election, it’s neither illegal nor frowned upon for a candidate to be ’bought off, but rather it’s actually required.  As a matter of fact, votes must be purchased for a dime a piece with absolutely no cap on the amount of ballots that can be bought- even by a single voter!  And when the
polls finally close at 5 PM on July 1st, the candidate who has raised the most money will claim the victory!
So, get on the bandwagon and follow the campaign trail!  Be sure to vote early and vote often!   If you can‘t attend the rally/ ice cream social, but would still like to place your votes, please indicate your candidate choice in the Memo line and mail your check made payable to the Bonita Springs Historical Society to POB 3015, Bonita Springs, FL 34134.  Or,
if you’d like to become a candidate yourself, applications are available below.  Please have your candidate application submittal in by May 23rd.  The race for Mayor of Survey is on!!!  


Throw Your Hat in the Ring for 2018!

Aspiring candidates still have time to take out papers for the important and facetious position of Mayor of Survey before the Bonita Springs Historical Society old fashion ice cream social and political rally on
June 23rd. The deadline for candidate registration is May 23rd. Election results will be tallied on July 1, giving all candidates time to all buy enough votes to win the election.

The election of the Mayor of Survey is a fundraising tradition dating back several decades with all proceeds to benefit the Bonita Springs Historical Society. As an historic aside, Survey was the name first given to the area of Bonita Springs when it was originally settled in the 1880’s. Reportedly, land surveyors for the Army Corps of Engineers had camped along the embankment of what they called Survey Creek, later renamed the Imperial River.

Candidates may pick up a candidate declaration form at the Liles Hotel or download it from the BSHS web site and return it to the Historical Society.

The Historical Society invites all registered and unregistered voters to attend the ice cream social and political rally that will take place in
June. Candidates will have the opportunity to mount the soap box and make their outrageous promises.

The New Mayor of Survey will have the opportunity to represent the Historical Society in the 4th of July Parade and other Historical Society events. All campaign contributions, including any super PAC funds, will help the Society carry out mission to Preserve, Protect and Promote the rich cultural heritage of Bonita Springs.

Previous Mayor’s include:
Jack Flaherty,Terry Lawhon, Bill Simons, Ken Shivel, Ronda Lawhon, Jane Hogg, Rick Steinmeyer, Bill Cooper, Charlie Lewis, Bear Tsani Yonah , Ralph Richardson, Chuck Temple

Click on forms below to download election information and the candidate form.

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Click on below to download overview and flyer you may use in your campaign.

2018 Mayor of Survey flyer only


MAYOR OF SURVEY 2016 - 2018

Bonita Springs Historical Society Announces

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The 2016-17 Mayor of Survey, Honest John Flaherty

Photo: New Mayor Jack Flaherty surrounded by former mayors Ken Shivel (left) and Terry Lawhon

The supervisor of elections for the Bonita Springs Historical Society has counted the votes and declared Jack Flaherty, proudly known as Honest John, the winner of this honorary biennial election.

Honest John made enough outrageous campaign promises to seal the deal. Part of his platform included well thought out economic plans including a moving sidewalk through historic downtown thus keeping visitors energized and spending money.

When the new Mayor is not out and about promising the impossible, he works as a dedicated volunteer for the WGCU Radio Reading Service which brings printed materials to persons who are blind, physically impaired and print handicapped via a special radio broadcast.

When you see Mayor Flaherty at various Historical Society events, please be sure to introduce yourself. He may be handing out free peaches, fulfilling another of his campaign promises.

The election of the Mayor of Survey is a fundraising tradition dating back several decades with all proceeds to benefit the Bonita Springs Historical Society.
The Historical Society is grateful to all who supported this endeavor including Candidate Aaron Thomas of CGK Kayaks and the Bonita Springs Lions Club.


MAYOR OF SURVEY 2012 - 2014

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MAYOR OF SURVEY 2010 - 2012

We won 2nd Place in Vehicle Division in the 4th of July parade here in Bonita!   Ronda, Veronica and Suzy rode in Ronda’s ‘cool Jeep’, representing Fire Department, Code Enforcement and “The Law” – in the early days!!!!!.  Two young boys walked ahead, carrying our BSHS banner (12 feet wide), wearing old-time clothing.  The ladies were dressed in late 1800 style, and we were ‘chauffered’ by a gentleman named Grant who did an admirable job of distributing candy as well as drive our vehicle.  Theme was ‘Honoring Our Community Service….(like Firemen, Police, etc.) so we had a sign which said “IN THE OLD DAYS - WOMEN DID IT ALL!”   And we did show just that!


The crowds liked our display, and we honored them by throwing buckets of water (Ronda the Fire Department), cracking the whip or threatening with a rolling pin (Veronica of Code Enforcement) or Suzy riding shotgun with an old double barreled shotgun which she fired into the air (blanks) – representing “The Law”.  Great fun!!!!
Charlie has the link to Naples Daily News of July 5
th – with 2 great photos among their 47…….Veronica in her ‘cap’ with Ronda behind, and Suzy with her big gold star/badge and shotgun……….   He will send to all members, but meanwhile, go to naplesdailynews and look for us!!!!!
Our own Bonita Channel 98 filmed it all, and will have the parade and fun details on local TV soon.  Wherever you are – you can see all this on the internet, going to City of Bonita Springs website.

Bonita Springs Historical Society Treasurer Veronica Duff, from left, Ken Shivel and Rick Steinmeyer examine a newspaper covered hat made by Steinmeyer after Bonita Springs' 52nd annual Fourth of July Parade. The hat illustrated the history of the mayor of Survey which was won by Shivel this year. The mayor of Survey is a fundraiser held by the Bonita Springs Historical Society in which each dime raised by the candidates equals one vote. The election is held every two years. Jason Easterly/Special to the Daily News.

    Congratulations to all the candidates who helped raise funds for the Society! They all did a great job.

    The people (well actually, the money) has spoken and
Ken Shivel is our new Mayor of Survey. Thanks also goes to our former Mayor Jean Hogue and committee chair Jill Keene-Lucas!   
Picture 4

    The Mayor of Survey had to be re-elected this summer. The task of finding candidates and arranging the event fell to me (Jill Keene-Lucas). 

The first candidate to offer his services was Ken Shivel.  He filled out the necessary application  and threw his hat in the ring.  Then Rick Steinmeyer  signed on…I was not convinced  that we wanted an all male event, so I went to  work. I went door to door and asked all the  merchants if they would like to run.  Finally out of many promises I got two lively candidates;  Bobbi Bird and Brittany Petit. Now we had an even field and I was happy.  Campaigning started with vigor. The Sheriffs were backing Bobbi Bird, the Lions were backing Ken Shivel.  Survey Café and all her relatives were backing Brittany Petit. Rick Steinmyer, a previous winner, knew the ropes and had ½ of Bonita backing him.

Everyone was excited. On June 19th we had our picnic in the garden at headquarters. I’m no dummy, so I put together the A team to help with the food and festivities.  Joan Martin , Don Trew, Dee and Len Matz,  Donna Nemsick, Norma Reardon and Gloria Broderick.
Junior Mayor Josh

Joan Martin knows everybody in Bonita Springs !!  She was in charge of the refreshments. We had subs, wings,chips, ice  cream, lemonade and tea. All donated by
Stan’s Subs, Jersey Mikes, Buffalo Chips and 4 Heaven Shakes.

On the day of the picnic we blew up 48 red white and blue balloons, Don Trew can knot a balloon in seconds. Donna has a wonderful balloon pump if you ever need one. The garden was decorated, tents were set up, and the candidates arrived with their individual offerings and tables.  Everything looked very patriotic. There was such anticipation:  Would it rain, would we get salmonella poisoning, would the tents blow down?  None of that happened!!!

The candidates arrived at 4 pm and we listened to their promises from their soapbox perch. Each candidate served a” vote for me” incentive, cupcakes, tiny fruit pies, cookies. There was plenty of glad-handing, smiling and trying to be wonderful. Linda Liles sang, Byron predicted that there would be no rain. 90 people attended the picnic, the reporter from the Daily News said it was a great old fashion outing. The food was outstanding, and everyone enjoyed themselves.

Then the candidates went back to campaigning. On July 2nd we went to the Fire station and counted the votes. Ken Shivel was the winner by a landslide, second, Bobbie Bird, Rick and Brittany were almost tied.
Ronda's sister & manager

Next day Veronica Duff volunteered her red Mustang for the victory ride in the 4th of July parade.  We decorated her car with every flag and garland we could find, Ken and Bobbi sat on the back, Veronica drove and they looked outstanding. Veronica was great about letting us stick tape all over her car.

Everyone that was involved agreed that we worked hard and had a great time. I would like to say again that the team that helped me could not have worked harder or been any more generous with their time and talents.  It is this attitude that makes you glad to be a part of The Bonita Springs Historical Society. We made $5,000.00.  Next time we will serve beer and wine and really get out the vote.