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Few hundred show for ‘Tea Party’

By Staff | Apr 1, 2009

Despite a false start and contention between citizens and city leaders, the so-called “April Fool’s Tea Party” filled Jaycee Park with political activists Wednesday.
Topics ranged in scope from national to local, with the Obama administration and Cape Coral’s utility expansion project getting equally slammed for a number of reasons.
Started by Cape resident Lynn Rosko to protest a proposed citywide public service tax, the event quickly turned into a debacle for city officials who were wrongfully accused of canceling the event without reason.
Rosko eventually backed away from sponsoring the tea party due to lack of insurance and the possibility of attendance exceeding 500.
Sponsorship was picked up by Freedom Works, a national organization that was able to provide insurance.
However, Rosko still found her way to Jaycee Park and spoke out on the proposed tax. She was not disappointed that national issues were getting as much, if even more, attention than Cape issues.
“Word of mouth is the best thing, it really gets people talking about the issues,” Rosko said. “It’s a conversation, that’s what’s so great.”
While the majority of the roughly 250 people who showed up leaned toward conservative ideologies, there were a few Obama supporters scattered throughout the crowd.
Cape resident Sandra Watkins sported two signs that begged for a flat tax locally and nationally.
“It’s not about Obama, it’s about a flat tax, as far as I’m concerned,” she said. “I think everyone should calm down. Both sides should give a little.”
There were the stalwarts like John Sullivan, who made himself visible throughout the event, carrying a sign that called for the downfall of city staff including Finance Manager Mark Mason and City Manager Terry Stewart.
“I’m here with local issues because we need to take care of them first. After that, then we can deal with state and federal issues,” he said.
Perhaps honoring Rosko’s original intent, 20-year-Cape resident Glen Snyder touted a sign reading, “NO PST,” which stood for No Public Service Tax.
“I’m glad everybody got together to let the government know we’re at our breaking point … a lot of people are here on national level, but they feel the same way I do,” he said.