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New councilmen set public input sessions

By Staff | Jan 16, 2010

Two Cape Coral city council members are planning their first town hall style meetings in the coming weeks.
District 4 Council member Chris Chulakes-Leetz will host a “Citizen Input Conference” at the Cape Coral Library on Saturday, Jan. 23, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Chulakes-Leetz said there’s five points he hopes to focus on, including the Utility Expansion Program, a large-scale economic development project, the city manager search, road paving issues, and budget issues.
He said that he will take the opportunity at the conference to lay out his plan on how to tackle the water rates, an act that he said the mayor has been treated unfairly since laying out his plan last week.
“I think he’s been treated unfairly in that they took a single idea and didn’t allow it to do what it was supposed to do, which was start a conversation,” he said.
Regarding the city manager search, Chulakes-Leetz said he was impressed that interim city manager Carl Schwing suggested doing a national search, saying that the suggestion shows Schwing’s confidence in his chances to retain the job.
Mainly, though, he said he wants people to come out and share their thoughts, concerns, and ideas for the city.
“We have many issues … anything that concerns the citizens is what I what I want to hear about, with ideas on how to make improvements,” he said. “If you want to complain, please bring a solution.”
District 1 Councilmember Marty McClain’s town hall meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan 26, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Association of Realtors in downtown Cape Coral.
McClain said on Friday that he wanted to hold the town hall in his district, and that a lot of the meeting’s subject matter will focus on the CRA.
He said he would also open up the meeting to any topic that people feel they need to discuss.
He also said members of city staff will be on hand to answer questions people might have.
“My intent is to allow the citizens to express their likes and dislikes,” he said. “We’ll be touching base on a few of the big topics.”
McClain said he anticipates questions on the city manager search, water rates, and the utilities expansion project.
He said he also plans to address towing concerns in the CRA, something that has drawn the ire of those who frequent the district after hours.
He added that the discussion will undoubtedly turn to working on revising the tow ordinances not only in the CRA, but all of the city.
“I want to see a lot of positive input, and see what people think,” he said.