Former council member picks up District 1 seat
A familiar face joined the Cape Coral City Council on Monday as council members voted to appoint Gloria Tate, a real estate agent and former city council member, to her old District 1 seat.
Tate served as the District 1 council member from 1996 to 2005, and succeeds Jim Burch, who replaced the outgoing Mayor Eric Feichthaler in November.
Tate received a majority of four votes in the initial vote, and received five votes in a confirmation vote.
“Together I’m sure we’re going to be able to do great things for the city,” she said after her appointment.
While she did not set any specific priorities Monday, preferring to take some time to work with other council members before setting an agenda, Tate does support the controversial utilities expansion project — at least for a certain section of the Cape.
“I’m completely in favor of continuing the UEP as it relates to south of Pine Island Road,” Tate said during her interview with council.
Tate beat out five other applicants who were interviewed by the council Monday, but her main competition came from Jim Martin, a retired manager in the aerospace industry.
Martin received three votes — from Councilmembers Pete Brandt, Bill Deile and Eric Grill — to Tate’s four — from Councilmembers Dolores Bertolini, Tim Day, Derrick Donnell and Mayor Burch – in the initial vote.
In the confirmation vote, Brandt voted for Tate while Deile and Grill voted against her appointment.
Tate said she will work to change their minds.
“For those of you who didn’t vote for me I hope I can earn your trust over the next year,” Tate told council members after being sworn in.
The District 1 seat’s term expires at the end of 2009, but Tate said she will not seek re-election.
“I have no desire to run for office after the term,” Tate said after her appointment.
A very different economic climate awaits Tate than the one she dealt with during her first stint on the dais. Record foreclosures and a declining tax base mean the council is looking at cutting back on expenditures, as opposed to the large increases in expenditures that came as a result of the booming population she helped oversee during her nine years on the council.
“All of the things that happened then are where we’re going to look at cutting back,” Tate said.
In other news
— Council members unanimously approved a $7.8 million contract with McGarvey Development to build a new charter high school. The school will be designed to hold 700 students in grades nine through 12, and is scheduled to be completed by August.
— A proposal by city staff to terminate all contracts with the nonprofit Cape Coral Housing Rehabilitation and Development Corporation as of Jan. 31 was unanimously approved by council members. A recent audit report showed that proper documentation could not be provided to make sure the use of federal grants met federal standards.