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Resident starts petition drive to urge Deile to run for second term

By Staff | Feb 21, 2011

Harry Beeman wants Bill Deile to take another run at the District 2 Cape Coral City Council seat in a bad way.
Distraught when word reached him that Deile was considering passing on another run this November, Beeman fired up the computer and did what all democracy loving Americans do in the modern age: create a website and an electronic petition.
“I know the man is a moral person, he’s Christian person … I felt we had a lot in common, I felt close to the man,” Beeman said.
Beeman, 89, is a World War II vet who’s known to some for wearing an Uncle Sam outfit that took him five years to piece together.
Beeman set up the petition and website last week, and as of Monday afternoon had collected roughly 124 electronic signatures, some with comments.
Bill Towler, Sal Grosso, Mayor John Sullivan, John Cataldi, Stephen Crane, Phillip Bowler and Larry Barton are some of the citizens, city staffers, volunteers and city officials who have signed the petition.
City Manager Gary King has also signed the petition, adding, “We need you to keep moving forward.”
King could not be reached for confirmation that he did, in fact, sign the petition.
If so, King would be violating the International City Manager Association’s Code of Ethics, which forbids any city manager from being involved in the election or campaign processes of potential candidates.
Beeman said there were no security measures in place, that he was “taking people at their word” that when they signed the petition they were who they said they were.
Beeman said Deile has a long list of accomplishments that more than supports reason for another bid.
Beeman said he is “satisfying” his own conscious by “doing the right thing” with starting the petition, calling Deile “noble,” “studied” and “brilliant.”
“If we lose him, we lose a very valuable man,” Beeman said.
Deile said he had not seen the petition as of Monday afternoon, adding that he felt “embarrassed” by the petition, the attention.
Though “extremely flattered” by Beeman’s efforts, he said he had not changed his mind as of yet about taking another run at his seat.
Deile said he has never met Beeman, but is “gratified” that Beeman has “appreciated” his efforts over the last four years.
“I guess the main thing … is whether the course we’ve put the city on can continue if I don’t run,” Deile said. “I don’t know who else plans to run, if there’s any other like-minded people who want to continue reform.”