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Four file applications for vacant District 1 seat

By Staff | Nov 25, 2008

At least six people have shown an interest in filling the vacant District 1 seat on the Cape Coral City Council, including one person who recently applied to fill the mayor’s seat.

Jim Burch beat out 23 other applicants to be named mayor by council members last week, but vacated his District 1 seat to do so.

Richard Greer, a Cape Coral Community Development Agency board member, was one of the 23 other mayoral applicants. He submitted his application for the District 1 seat two days after Burch’s appointment.

Greer said he applied for the council seat for the “same reason I applied to be mayor — to bring some consensus and solidarity to the council.”

The controversial voting process used to name Burch as mayor means the process used to fill the vacant council seat may receive more attention than whomever is appointed.

Burch prevailed in a runoff vote with Councilmember Bill Deile, even though Deile achieved a plurality in an earlier round of voting. In a previous meeting, council members agreed to name whoever attained plurality, or whoever received the most votes if not a majority, as mayor.

Greer said the council should move on from that vote but learn from its mistakes.

“We keep living in the past with everything that happens on council. I believe there should be something written into the charter to settle this,” Greer said.

Councilmember Eric Grill, who criticized the mayor voting process during Monday’s council meeting, said he will be more vigilant with this selection.

“I have intentions of watching this one more closely than I did the mayor’s,” Grill said.

In addition to Greer, Phillip Boller, Bernard Keenan and Linda Prince have submitted District 1 applications. Bart Mazzara and Bill Selvia have received application forms, but as of Tuesday afternoon had not submitted them.

The deadline to submit applications is Wednesday at noon. Applications can be picked up at the city clerk’s office or downloaded from the city Web site: www.capecoral.net. An applicant must be a registered voter, have lived in Cape Coral for at least one year and live in District 1.

District 1 is bounded on the north by Southeast 36th Terrace, on the west by the Rubicon Canal, and on the south and east by the Caloosahatchee River.

Burch said he would like to see someone who knows the district well appointed to the seat.

“I do want someone that has the same passion as I do for that district,” Burch said.