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Council member to seek mayor position; Dais needs ‘continuity’

By Staff | Sep 17, 2008

Cape Coral City Councilmember Tim Day announced Tuesday that he will apply for the city’s open mayor position.

Day said his experience as a two-term member of council will serve the Cape best in harsh economic times.

“We need some continuity,” he said. “We don’t need anyone to come in and do something radical.”

Mayor Eric Feichthaler resigned in order to run for the District 1 Lee County Commission seat, which he narrowly lost to incumbent Bob Janes in the Republican primary last month. His resignation will take effect Nov. 17.

City council could have opted to appoint Feichthaler, but the mayor announced Monday that he would not accept an appointment.

The council will set the parameters for replacing Feichthaler during their meeting Monday.

Among the options open to council members are holding a special election, appointing a member of council and appointing a person outside of council.

Day stated earlier this month that he was in favor of appointing Feichthaler, but in lieu of that, he will seek the mayor’s seat.

“I’m a two-term elected member, and I won by a wider margin the second term,” said Day, who was first elected to the District 6 seat in 2000.

His current term expires in November 2009. Council members are only permitted to serve two terms.

Feichthaler issued a memo to council members earlier this month outlining the process he favors in naming his replacement. Although his first preference is to hold a special election, Feichthaler stated that applicants should fill out a standard application form along with an essay of 1,000 words or less explaining why they want to be mayor.

Councilmember Pete Brandt also issued a memo earlier this month coming out against the idea of a special election, which he said could cost the city $100,000. He favors an application process that does not include an essay portion.

Brandt said the new mayor should have a firm grasp on the issues facing the Cape, but he would not speak for or against Day until the process of replacing Feichthaler is decided.

“I think they’re going to need to be familiar with the issues of the city. They have to have shown good judgement in the past,” Brandt said.

Councilmember Bill Deile also said he is against a special election and 1,000-word essay.

“I don’t see how we can have an election for $100,000,” he said. “I don’t think anyone should have to write a 1,000-word essay on why they want to be mayor.”

Day said that however the council decides to replace the mayor, it should not distract council members from the issues facing the city.

“I don’t want this to become a carnival,” Day said.

Feichthaler’s replacement is only guaranteed one year on the job. The seat is up for re-election in 2009.