Chulakes-Leetz vows to use fact-finding path to decision-making
When Chris N. Chulakes-Leetz is sworn is Monday as a new Cape Coral councilman, he wants to research every facet of the city’s administration.
The 54-year-old licensed residential real estate associate and licensed USCG captain said he doesn’t have specific goals over for the city in the near future other than to learn about how it works and respond to the needs of the citizens.
“My goal is not to just come in and change things for the sake of changing,” he said. “My goal is to do the homework and ask the questions in an informed manner so I know how it needs to be addressed.”
In the short-term Chulakes-Leetz said he wants to modify the city council schedule by holding three meetings each week and making sure they end at 10 p.m. On election night he said this would prevent the council or residents from growing physically or mentally exhausted.
Chulakes-Leetz defeated incumbent Dolores Bertolini in the District 4 race by receiving 9,282 votes or 55 percent of votes cast Tuesday night. Bertolini had served on the council since 2005.
He joined other council members this week at City Hall to go through an orientation for new city officials and asked his new executive assistant to be his guide. He also asked city employees to call him Chris.
“I have asked the few city employees that I encountered to please call me Chris because I work for them,” he said. “I do appreciate the formality but in order to be a team we need to work on a first name basis when possible.
Chulakes-Leetz described his new position as “all encompassing.”
“I’m going to be a full-time council person. My other occupations will all be part-time,” he said.
Besides working in real estate, he also trains therapy dogs as a hobby and donates his time between helping families who lost their belongings in natural disasters and helping counsel parents who lost their child.
“I try to volunteer when people have experienced bad events in life,” he said.
On Thursday he had a conversation with Kevin McGrail and Martin McClain about working as a team.
“We all agreed we will work as a team. The battle flags were down and the team work flags are up,” he said. “It was a very positive phone call with both of those individuals.”