Council Watch — land, trees, opioids and more – CapeStyle Magazine Online


Submitted by Sean David Hartman.

This week Board oversight is brought to you by Jim Jeskie’s Jet Skis. Jeskie’s Jet Skis are premium, state-of-the-art jet skis perfect for your trip around Bimini Basin, Pine Island and Fort Myers Beach. Jeskie’s Jet Skis… say it five times faster, if you can!

February 16 highlightsand Ordinary meeting:

  • The City Council purchased land from the Daybreak Baptist Church to expand the Cape Coral Sports Complex.
  • Not one, but TWO Loraxes have spoken out in support of tree conservation in Cape Coral.
  • Mayor Pro Tempore Gloria Raso Tate has been appointed to the Tourism Development Board as a non-voting member.
  • Cape Coral will participate in the National Opioid Settlement, which will give them access to $1.9 million in funds from Big Pharma to use to address substance abuse issues in the city.
  • Councilman Bobby Welsh wants you to eat his chili and talk to him about city government on Sunday, February 20and, for a chili cooking advantage. Enjoy good chili while complaining about bad government… who can say no to that?

Citizen Entry Time

Lou Navarro asked the city council what happened to the $100 rebate from Waste Pro. Navarro suggested the rebate during his ill-fated campaign for city council against Bobby Welsh, and asked the council’s opinion on the idea.

Navarro, a former educator, also wanted to educate the Council about the environment.

“I’m going to be the teacher and you’re going to be the students,” Navarro said. He then took on the role of the Lorax and spoke for the trees, especially the bald cypress. According to Navarro, it is illegal under state law to remove bald cypresses unless it is on your private residence.

Navarro praised Mayor John Gunter for his campaign announcement, but reminded him that as an appointee he is not incumbent. He also expressed disappointment that Mayor Gunter had not yet agreed to meet with Navarro.

“Even Mayor Joe, God rest his soul, met me,” Navarro said. “You are going in the wrong direction, Mayor. You don’t read what I send you. Shame.”

Mayor Gunter refuted Navarro’s claims that he was unaware of it.

“I read your emails. Sometimes I agree with your point of view, sometimes I don’t,” said Mayor Gunter.

“As far as I know,” he continued, “I haven’t heard, and my assistant hasn’t told me about any requests you’ve made to meet me directly, so that’s a bit of a surprise. that you made this comment because I always have an open door policy Not only do I meet residents here at City Hall, but I am in the city weekly meeting with different companies or individuals. If you want to meet, the door is always open.

Mayor Gunter also reminded Navarro that when addressing City Council, he should speak to them as a collective body and not point out individual members. This is to ensure civility and decorum at the expense of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Navarro wasn’t the only Lorax talking. Francey Metzker, who had appeared before Council before offering to donate trees to be planted around Cape Coral, spoke again after two more trees were felled in her neighborhood.

“I want to donate two trees,” Metzker said. “I guess they don’t want me to.”

After trying to reach City Hall several times, he was told that the town arborist (who we apparently have) said it would be “impossible” to replace these trees.

“They weren’t disturbing the sidewalk,” Metzker said. “I understand they may have been a problem in the future, but they weren’t then. So I don’t know why two trees can’t be put back in this area. The area looks rather barren. I would like to have some consideration, if possible.

Mayor Gunter asked the City Manager to follow up with Metzker to provide more information and to see what can be done regarding his desire to donate trees to the city.

Mike Ilczyszyn explained that tree roots were causing the sidewalk to lift off the sidewalk. Although the city is willing to accept two trees for another location, they want them in this specific location, so the city is instead considering smaller trees that might work in this area.

Metzker added that another resident was nearly killed exiting the Kohl Mall and reiterated the need for a red light at that intersection, as well as safety concerns involving parents using city streets to come look for their parents in schools in Lee County. This last issue refers to parents parked outside a public school, obstructing traffic as if they were some kind of Canadian trucker. Although she specifically referred to 46and Street is a problem in Cape Coral.

“There has to be a better way than blocking off this street at 2:30 p.m. for everyone in this area,” Metzker said.

Jim Jeskie, vice-chairman of the SW Cape Coral Action Committee, spoke in favor of Donald Eppy for the Planning and Zoning Commission, citing his work in the community and his work to beautify the town.

“Don will be a strong advocate and promote the city to be the best it can be,” Jeskie said.

John Moffat, a local realtor representing Daybreak Baptist Church, spoke to the city council about a land purchase they were making for $1.5 million, which will be used to expand the Cape Coral Sports Complex. .

The estate agent explained how Daybreak Church initially wanted $2.5million and received an offer from a private developer after Cape Coral rejected the high price. But the Church preferred that the land be used for public good, not private profit, so their real estate agent returned to the City with the $1.5 million appraisal.

“I hope you’re interested in selling to the church like the church sells to the city,” Moffat said.

Senior Pastor Mark Wigginton confirmed what Moffat said.

“It’s something we prayed for,” said Pastor Wigginton. “We spoke to our board, we made the decision. We have advised some of the largest commercial landowners in the area. It is a victory for us and the church, for the city and the church.

The land was purchased under the consent program. God be praised.

Tourism Development Council

Mayor John Gunter has been pushing for Cape Coral to return to the Lee County Tourism Development Board, a process that is ongoing. Until then, the City Council has appointed District 1 Councilwoman Gloria Raso Tate to serve as ex officio non-voting member of the Council.

Councilor Tate was nominated by District 4 Councilor Jennifer Nelson, who already attends the meetings as a representative of her private sector work at Calusa Waterkeepers. In order to avoid a conflict of interest, she nominated her friend and colleague for the role.

Councilwoman Tate, known for her decades of service to the city, was nominated to take the seat after her predecessor was nominated for mayor. Councilor Tate has announced she will not be running for a full term, so a new appointment is expected to be made when the new council is inaugurated in November.

Maybe District 4 will have someone in that seat without any conflict of interest.

Cape Coral will participate in the National Opioid Settlement

The City Council has now signed a nationwide lawsuit from state and local governments seeking damages from Big Pharma for their role in the opioid crisis.

Approval of Florida’s plan will give Cape Coral access to settlement funds to be used for “state-of-the-art strategies, programs, and services used to expand the availability of treatment for those impacted by alcohol-related disorders.” ‘substance use’, with an emphasis on prevention, education, supply reduction and addiction recovery.

Cape Coral will have access to $1.9 million for such programs. City Manager Rob Hernandez says the funds could be used to increase CCPD’s Narcan supply or allocate those funds to nonprofits, although no plans have yet been made as to how. to allocate these funds. Hernandez said the police and fire departments are working together on this allowance.

Chili by Bobby Welsh

On Sunday, District 3 and/or 5 (the redistricting confuses matters), Councilman Bobby Welsh will be (or was, depending on which side of Sunday you’re reading this on) at 4and Annual chili contest. Councilman Welsh will be there with his chili and is happy to listen to residents complaining about Waste Pro all day.

Watch the full board meeting here


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