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Council to accept applications for Grill’s seat

By Staff | Mar 1, 2010

City Council will start accepting application materials for the District 5 council seat Tuesday.
Council plans on accepting those materials until March 10, and will conduct interviews and make an appointment to the seat March 15, the board’s next voting meeting.
Council unanimously supported the decision, citing the cost of a special election at more than $146,000 as too steep.
There is the possibility, too, that embattled Councilmember Eric Grill could return to his post should he be found innocent in a court of law.
Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz said the cost was simply too high, and the time frame too tight to replace Grill. Supervisor of Elections Sharon Harrington previously said a special election could not be held until late November, early January.
Chulakes-Leetz said he spoke with Harrington at length prior to making his decision to support appointing someone as opposed to holding a special election.
“I would support a special election under normal circumstances, but these are not normal circumstances,” Chulakes-Leetz said.
Grill had an arraignment Monday at the Lee County Justice Center in Fort Myers. Samantha Syoen, spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office, said the state announced the charges against Grill, and a judge set a case management conference hearing for May 5 at 1:30 p.m.
Grill was not present for Monday’s proceedings.
“He didn’t have to be,” Syoen said. ‘Since he had filed a not guilty plea back in December, he didn’t have to be at arraignment.”
Also, city council supported a conveyance agreement with developer Robbie Lee for the parking lot in downtown Cape Coral at the cost of $75,000.
Lee now has the go ahead to start developing the property, which will hold a multi-story parking garage, residential units, and mixed retail and business properties.
“I believe … once this project is up, other developers will gravitate downtown and make it great,” Lee said.