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Additional candidates announce for Cape city council

By Staff | Jun 4, 2011

Two new candidates have emerged in this year’s municipal election cycle. Joe Coviello is vying for the District 2 seat, while Michael Garr has announced his candidacy for the District 7 seat.
Both district races are growing more crowded as the August primary approaches.
District 2 already has incumbent Pete Brandt vying for re-election, as well as newcomers John Carioscia and John Miehle, who also have announced they are seeking the seat.
Now Coviello, 56, enters that race, with an eye toward economic development and job creation as part of his campaign platform.
“I want to make it easier for new businesses to come to Cape Coral. The city needs economic development,” he said.
According to his press release, Coviello has been a Cape Coral resident since 2000, having been a business consultant that specializes in Business Insurance, Payroll, Benefits and Human Resources for more than a decade.
Currently the president of the United States Merchant Marine Academy Florida Parents Association, Coviello also serves as the admissions field representative and liaison to Congressman Connie Mack’s office to the Federal Academy, according to the press release.
Coviello also is a former football coach at Cape Coral High School, was involved in Pop Warner Football as the athletic director and has a BA in Business Administration from Franklin and Marshall College.
Coviello has been married for 28 years to Diane and has two children, a 2006 graduate of the Merchant Marine Academy and a younger child who is slated to graduate from the same institution in 2013.
As a self-described local business leader, Coviello said that the pulse among the local business community is that the city’s procedures by which new businesses have to follow is too complex.
He wants to change that, he said.
“I work with a lot of the local businesses,” Coviello said. “And it’s a difficult process for local businesses to open up in Cape Coral. That process is antiquated and it needs to be streamlined. The city needs to make it easier.”
The District 7 race already has three political newcomers who have announced their intent to run: Richard Holler, David Stokes and Erica Nicole Warren. Incumbent Derrick Donnell has not made his future plans known as of this publication.
Now Youth Pastor Michael Garr, 36, enters the District 7 race hoping to reduce the cost of living in the city by reducing emergency spending, according to a press release.
Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Garr has lived in the Cape since 1997 and been a homeowner since 1999. Garr is married and has four children ages 2 – 10.
Having formerly served as an active duty Marine, Garr said he’d like to focus some of his efforts as a city leader on the veteran population in Cape Coral.
“We have this mentality that we do great things for our vets that are coming home. But I’d like to find ways to continually help them and sustain them after they return,” he said.
He said his age will help “fill the gap” between generations and he also feels that increased economic development will only help to make the city a successful place.
“I think right now we need to move into a position of sustainment,” Garr said. “We’re having to borrow money to do things and we’re almost a billion dollars in debt. We need a program to actively recruit businesses.”
City Clerk Rebecca Van Deutekom said it was important for all potential candidates to read the Candidate Handbook, which is available on the city’s website and at city hall.
The handbook contains important filing dates and information for candidates, she said.
Joe Coviello’s website is sites.google.com/site/joecovielloforcitycouncil/home.
Michael Garr was working on setting up a website as of this publication.
District 3 has only one candidate, Karie Rathbun, who sits on the city’s charter school board.
The City of Cape Coral will hold its Primary and General Elections for Districts 2, 3, 5, and 7 on Sept. 13 and Nov. 8, respectively.
The official qualifying period for potential candidates will begin Tuesday, July 5, at 7:30 a.m. and end Friday, July 8, at noon.
Since this period coincides with a holiday, the Cape Coral City Clerk’s Office will provide a pre-qualification period to begin Monday, June 27, at 7:30 a.m. and end Friday, July 1, at noon to allow the office to accept and hold qualifying documents for candidates who may not be available during the holiday week, the city’s website states. All documents received during the pre-qualification period will not be processed until the official qualifying period.
Detailed information on the elections process, including frequently asked questions, forms and submittal dates, may be found on the Elections Pages on the city’s website, capecoral.net .