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Last day to apply for empty District 1 council seat

By Staff | Dec 2, 2008

Applications for the vacant District 1 seat on the Cape Coral City Council are due in to the City Clerk’s office by noon today.
As of noon Tuesday, at least six people had submitted applications.
Gloria Tate, who served as the District 1 council representative from 1996 to 2005, submitted her application Tuesday. Phil Boller, Rich Greer, Bernard Keenan, James Martin and Linda Prince are also seeking the appointment.
“I’m still very active in the community. I believe I have experience that could be helpful,” Tate said.
The seat was vacated by Jim Burch, who was appointed mayor last month replacing Eric Feichthaler. Feichthaler resigned to run for the District 1 Lee County Commission seat, which he lost to incumbent Bob Janes in the Republican primary.
Burch beat out 23 other people, including two council members, for the mayoral appointment, but the process used to appoint him created some controversy. Burch, however, thinks the process went “smoothly” and should be used to appoint his replacement.
“It went about as parliamentary as you could be. It went quite smoothly,” Burch said.
Some in the community cried foul, however, after the council voted to use plurality to appoint the mayor, then called for a majority for the final vote.
At one point in the process, Councilmember Bill Deile had three votes, while Burch and Councilmember Dolores Bertolini each had two votes.
Under plurality, a confirmation vote of Deile would have been called. Instead a runoff vote between Burch and Bertolini was called. Burch won that vote, then the runoff against Deile by a 4-3 margin each time.
If a 3-2-2 vote comes up again during the District 1 appointment process, Burch said he will call a vote for another runoff.
“I would vote for a runoff between the other two candidates,” Burch said.
A special meeting was held to accommodate the large number of applicants during the mayor application process, but Burch said the smaller number of applicants this time means the appointment can be made during the council’s regular meeting.
Applicants will have three minutes to make a presentation to council members, who will then ask questions of the applicants before voting on Burch’s replacement.
The council is scheduled to complete the shuffle on the dais and make the appointment during its Dec. 15 meeting, which starts at 4:30 p.m. in council chambers.
Those interested in the council seat can pick up an application at the City Clerk’s office at City Hall, or download one at the city’s Web site, www.capecoral.net.
Applicants must be registered to vote and live in District 1, which 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.