Candidates see eye-to-eye on some matters
Entering the homestretch of November’s general election, Cape Coral City Council candidates found some common ground Thursday night during a debate at city hall.
Roughly 40 people turned out for the action, watching as the candidates chimed in on topics ranging from rebooting the utilities expansion project to the future of the Community Redevelopment Agency.
When asked who their most trusted advisor or source of information in the city might be, candidates cited themselves or their spouses.
Only District 1 candidate Marty McClain, and District 4 candidate Chris Chulakes-Leetz said they would pool all resources available to learn what they needed to.
When pressed about user fees for parks and recreation facilities — once a point of contention, especially among families and youth sports leagues — candidates again seemed to be pointed in the same direction: fees are bad.
The much debated UEP sparked some difference of opinion, mainly about how and when to restart the project.
“We need to give our citizens a break,” said District 6 candidate Frank Cataldi Jr. “In a couple years that will be fine, but not now. There’s no evidence our septic systems are failing.”
Dolores Bertolini, incumbent candidate for District 4, thinks the time is now.
“It should be restarted when this council is seated,” she said. “We should start in Southwest 6/7 to help ratepayers who have to carry the burden.”
The question of the Community Redevelopment Agency and a recent decision by city council to run above ground transmission lines through the district drew some debate.
Some, like District 1 foes Jim Martin and McClain, gave praise to the CRA’s executive director, while lambasting the Lee County Electric Cooperative.
Chulakes-Leetz and Cataldi thought the CRA could be used in different ways, while Cataldi’s District 6 opponent Kevin McGrail compared LCEC’s practices to that of being on a “used car lot.”
“I’m upset by the way it was handled … I never once liked that deal,” he said of the transmission lines.
The general election is Nov. 3. Early voting starts Monday.