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Charter amendment decision postponed to uncertain date

By Staff | May 16, 2011

Cape Coral Council postponed discussing and voting on the proposed charter amendments to a future date.
A special meeting could be called to discuss and ultimately vote on the proposed amendments, but the date of that meeting is unknown.
The issue could also be discussed at a regular voting meeting. City council has three voting meetings remaining prior to their summer hiatus.
Mayor John Sullivan called a special meeting last Friday, May 13, so city council could have additional time discussing the proposed changes, but that meeting was strictly informational and no votes were taken.
Council did seem to lean away from the proposal of a pay increases, which would have seen each member nearly double their money in 2013. Members cited a recent pay cut taken by the city’s blue collar workers as a motivation for not taking the increase.
In other news, city council also delayed voting on the creation of a citizens police review board to examine and tweak the powers and the role of the board moving forward.
Councilmember Derrick Donnell said there were some good pieces to work with moving forward but the details still had to be worked out for his approval.
“I like where we’re going but I do have some concerns,” Donnell said. “It gives me pause. I think we’re on the right road … but for tonight I’m in favor of moving it back so we can get into more specifics.”
Police Chief Jay Murphy said the role of the review board is tricky, in that police officers are offered certain protections under their bill of rights. He said the board can be a good thing, when handled properly.
“When implemented and used properly and composed of reasonable people … they do promote transparency,” Murphy said. “Where it gets scary is when we start to talk about subpoena powers and investigatory powers.”