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Business leaders gearing up for Tallahassee trip

By Staff | Feb 7, 2009

Council for Progress members discussed a host of topics at their monthly meeting on Friday, touching on everything from proposed Northwest Cape plan, to the probability of new high wage jobs in the Cape, to the upcoming Lee County Days trip to Tallahassee.
n According to Heather Mazurkiewicz, this year’s Lee County Days trip will mirror last year’s excursion.
A small band of 40 or so passengers will take the long bus trip north between March 24 – 26, to meet and greet various state legislators.
Mazurkiewicz said last year’s trip was “most effective” due to its size, as attendees were able to get more face time with lawmakers.
Attendees can plan on meeting a number of high ranking state officials, including Gov. Charlie Crist, Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp, and representatives from the FWC, DEP, Transportation, Agriculture, Emergency Management, and Energy
Mazurkiewicz add the cost of the trip — $575 — is an excellent value for the four-day excursion, which includes lodging and most meals.
n Cape City Planner Wyatt Daltry gave a presentation on the Northwest Cape Sector Plan, already in the works.
Daltry said the city is trying to be “more responsible” with its planning and, as a result, requested input from NW Cape residents and their neighborhood association.
“When you start this effort you need core support,” Daltry said. “But it’s a collaborative effort … this isn’t a city plan, it’s the people’s plan.”
The notion of a comprehensive “people’s plan” for NW Cape seemed to draw a bit of contention among Council for Progress members.
Commerical Realtor Gary Tasman was concerned the organization of the plan might mirror one in Estero, which is beholden to certain architectural designs.
“There’s so much control that can be put on this,” he said.
Daltry assured Tasman and Council the planning process has not been “stealth”, and that the entire process has indeed been open to the public.
n Council for Progress unanimously supported a $12,000 incentive from the city to bring Arkansas-based Axiom Corp. to the Cape.
The company would provide a few high- wage jobs with an average salary of $56,000 a year, officials said.
n The county is facing a $2 billion a year transportation shortfall and is floating several ideas to make up the deficit, including raising non-transponder tolls, and flat raise on tolls altogether.
The Council did not take a position on this subject.