homepage logo

Candidates tackle Chiquita Lock, UEP, at neighborhood forum

By Staff | Aug 11, 2011

Southwest Cape Coral Neighborhood Association members wanted to know what the candidates in Districts 2 and 7 would do about the Chiquita Lock, a situation they have hoped for the last four years would be resolved.

The lock is often broken and inoperable, causing boaters – and homeowners – headaches.

District 2 Candidate Dan Sheppard felt the lock should be removed entirely, while John Carioscia, also from District 2, felt building a new lock would pay for itself once property values in the area were raised as a result of the new amenity.

“In three or four years it would be paid off,” Carioscia said.

As part of the city’s identity as a boating community, incumbent Derrick Donnell, from District 7, felt a new lock should be identified within the millage rate.

“Unless you make a special assessment it should be part of the millage rate,” Donnell said.

Incumbent Pete Brandt said the situation is complex, with the lock itself badly damaged, currently leaking hydraulic fluid.

“The challengers are clueless the best thing to do is get rid of it,” Brandt said.

SWCCNA member Jim Sweigert also called the Chiquita Lock situation complex. While he felt the candidates did a good job overall, he wanted more ideas with how to deal with the Chiquita Lock.

“I feel they need to learn more about the Chiquita Lock than anything else. It’s very specific to this neighborhood association,” Sweigert said.

Of course, the Utilities Expansion Project was a topic each candidate felt strongly about, with each taking their stand as to whether it should be restarted.

“We didn’t have our arms around the UEP before,” said Joe Coviello, candidate for District 2. “If you break it up into chunks it will be more manageable.”

Michael Garr, candidate for District 7, thought the project should continue to be delayed, while Dave Stokes, also in 7, thought the project needed to be rebid and restarted as soon as possible.

“My water bill is going through the roof,” Stokes said.

Brandt said he’s brought numerous ideas to city council’s Committee of the Whole meetings, but those ideas were either rejected or not embraced.

SWCCNA Treasurer Winston Negron, who calls himself a “political philosopher,” thought the candidates presented themselves well, but wasn’t overly impressed with anyone.

“I saw a bunch of individuals who were there reluctantly because they’re not happy and they want to effect change,” Negron said. “I don’t think some of them are ready, but they mean well.”

The Southwest Cape Coral Neighborhood Association will hold its second planned forum, this one for candidates seeking to represent District 3 and 5, on Wednesday, Sept. 7, again at 7 p.m. in the Oasis Charter Elementary School Cafeteria.

These forums, as well as all SWCCNA meetings, are open to the public.

Anyone interested in having their questions presented to the candidates is asked to submit them in writing to the moderator, Marilyn Stout, before the meeting is called to order.

For additional information e-mail presi-dent@SWCCNA.com or by visit www.SWCCNA.com

Other upcoming forums include:

* Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce Candidate Hobnob

The Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce will host a Candidate Hobnob Tuesday, Aug. 16, from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. at The Resort at Marina Village, 5951 Silver King Blvd.

The event is $5 for Chamber members and $10 for non-members.

* Civic Association Candidates Forum Aug. 23

On Tuesday, Aug. 23, from 79 p.m., the Cape Coral Civic Association will present its Candidates Forum for Cape Coral City Council Districts 2, 3, 5, and 7 at the Cape Coral Yacht Club, 5819 Driftwood Parkway. All candidates have been invited to participate in preparation for the Sept. 13 primary election.

The forum will be moderated by former council member Alex LePera

The Cape Coral Civic Association meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Cape Coral Yacht Club in the main ballroom.

Civic meetings are open to the public and are provided free of charge as a community service. Refreshments are served following the meeting.

Civic has asked the candidates to provide their favorite cookies or baked goods and they will be available for one-on-one social time after the forum. For additional information, call Lyndia Bradley 540-4002.

* City of Cape Coral candidate debates

The city of Cape Coral will host a pair of candidate debates on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 25-26, at 7 p.m. each night at City Hall in the council chambers.

The debates also will air on CapeTV.

* NWNA to hold candidate forums Aug. 29 and 31

The Northwest Cape Coral Neighborhood Association Inc. will host a two-night Cape Coral City Council Candidates’ Forum Monday, Aug. 29, and Wednesday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m., at Mariner High School auditorium, at 701 Chiquita Blvd., North (at the corner of Tropicana Boulevard). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for seating. The forums are open to the public.

All registered voters in Cape Coral are eligible to vote in all the district races in the primary election on Sept. 13.