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Council members, citizens seeking Cape mayor seat; Applications, due Oct. 14, available

By Staff | Sep 25, 2008

There is no shortage of competition for the soon-to-be vacant Cape Coral mayor’s seat.

As of Wednesday, at least 11 people, including four city council members, have picked up applications to fill the mayor’s seat that will become available Nov. 17.

The current mayor, Eric Feichthaler, was forced to resign his seat in order to run for the District 1 Lee County Commission seat. He was narrowly defeated in the Republican primary race by incumbent Bob Janes.

Councilmember Dolores Bertolini was the first to submit her application Wednesday.

“What we need is leadership that has a good positive approach,” Bertolini said. “I believe I have a common sense approach to government.”

Councilmembers Eric Grill, Jim Burch and Bill Deile have also picked up applications, although they have not turned them in. Councilmember Tim Day has stated he will apply for the position.

Grill and Deile said they may not turn their applications in.

“I haven’t made up my mind yet. It’s something I’m seriously considering,” said Deile, who added that he picked up multiple applications to hand out to citizens interested in being mayor.

One citizen who has his eyes on the mayor seat is Walter Fluegel, who picked up his application Tuesday. Fluegel has been on the planning and zoning board for five years and also served on various city and Lee County planning boards.

“I’ve got quite a bit of exposure in this community,” Fluegel said. “I think I come at it with a command of all the issues.”

Grill, a former colleague with Fluegel on the P&Z board, said he supports Fluegel for the mayor’s seat, but will put his hat in the ring in case Fluegel drops out.

“If Walter decides to stay in I might not submit my application,” Grill said.

To apply for the mayor’s position, you must be over 18 years of age, a Cape Coral citizen and a registered voter. Applications can be picked up in the City Clerk’s Office. Applications are due Oct. 14, and council members are scheduled to interview applicants and vote on the mayor Nov. 3.

If a council member is appointed to the mayor’s seat, the city will accept applications for the vacant council seat from Nov. 4-20, with a vote scheduled for Nov. 24.