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Chulakes-Leetz fields wide variety of questions

By Staff | Jul 14, 2010

Francisco Brea lives in a waterfront home in southwest Cape Coral, but he wants the northeastern and western parts of the city to grow.
As a 14-year resident of the city, he said he’s seen politicians come and go, but never the economic development he’s so longed for.
Expressing his concerns to District 4 Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz during the council man’s town hall at the Tony Rotino Senior Center on Wednesday, he said he’s pleased with what he heard.
He said this council’s time is now, and it’s time too, for the city to come together and stop infighting and bickering.
“I love this city, and a lot of good things can happen,” Brea said. “If we stop fighting and bickering and come together we can make some things happen. We didn’t vote these people in to keep fighting.”
Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz fielded all types of questions during his town hall.
From residents’ concerns about economic development, to the selection of Gary King as city manager, to outlawing pot bellied pigs within the city limits, questions ran the gamut.
Chulakes-Leetz said he was happy with the peaceful nature of the town hall, that it didn’t turn to shouting and name calling as did Councilmember Pete Brandt’s recent town hall meeting at the Cape Coral Library.
“I look forward to every citizen’s input,” he said. “I have to still review the notes from the town hall, but I will provide those notes to Mr. King and Mr. Schwing as well.”
Dave and Jessica Montrose said they felt more young families need to get involved in the local political scene.
They left the meeting early because of their infant, but were disappointed that more people “in their demographic” didn’t attend to hear the council member address the public’s concerns.
They said they’ve been more involved since the last election, and especially after city council shot down the proposed swim center, a project they felt was viable for Cape Coral.
“More people in our demographic need to get involved,” Dave Montrose said.
Chris Kelly, a Cape resident for 22 years, said he was pleased with Chulakes-Leetz’s response to his concerns, which included making massive budgetary cuts.
He said the police and fire departments, as well as the Community Redevelopment Agency, are areas that all need to be examined.
Kelly said he understood that the changes he’s looking for will not happen overnight, and that he’s happy with the moves city council has made thus far.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day, it takes time,” Kelly said. “But this council is making it go the right way.”
Regarding his selection of Gary King as city manager, Chulakes-Leetz said his vote for King was an extension of his campaign promises, and that if King fails in the job he would ask to be voted out in three years.
He also added that his selection of Gary King does not tie him to the “Road Ahead Group”, and that he has never had any e-mail communication from the road ahead e-mail address.
“I have yet to receive an e-mail for the road ahead e-mail address, not one,” he told the audience. “I’ve never asked to be on the road ahead … I’m not part of that alleged conspiracy.”
Chulakes-Leetz is among those who have signed the Road Ahead Contract with Cape Coral.
Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz can be reached at 707-1587, or by email at cleetz@capecoral.net. He said he encourages any citizen to contact him.
His next town hall meeting is set for Sept. 4, at 10 a.m., at the Northwest Regional Library.