×
×
homepage logo
STORE

‘Save the Cape’ rally draws protesters by the score

By Staff | Sep 8, 2011

Laurie Taylor and Adam Hahne hold signs during a "Save the Cape" protest Thursday of Cape Coral Mayor John Sullivan exercising his line-item veto of the public safety budgets. Sullivan has said all options are on the table including the possibility of the city outsourcing or privatizing its police and fire services. MICHAEL PISTELLA

Hundreds of people lined Cultural Park Boulevard on Thursday to protest the mayor’s decision to unfund the budgets for the police and fire departments, a move he made earlier this week.

Dubbed the “Save the Cape Rally”, residents and union employees made it known that public safety, and jobs, were of the utmost importance to the city.

For Cape Firefighter and Local 2424 member Donald Archambault, the dissatisfaction with the current administration began when Cape Coral City Manager Gary King received $17,750 in incentive pay while the city’s public safety personnel were asked to take pay cuts.

A council majority has continually shown it is not in favor of the unions, Archambault said.

“It’s a feeling of disrespect,” he added. “I don’t feel as if I’m being respected for my service to this city.”

Rally organizer and political blogger Dave Montrose said he put out notice of the rally on facebook and on his website “Spotlight on Cape Coral” and the effort quickly snowballed.

He had some initial hesitancy with the rally but the mayor’s veto was enough to move the event forward, Montrose said.

“Response was immediate. People are just upset,” Montrose said. “The mayor’s veto has put jobs and public safety on the line.”

Cape Coral Professional Fire fighters Union Local 2424 President Mark Muerth hoped the event would change some minds on council about their attitudes toward public safety personnel.

“If you don’t come out and make your presence known, politicians begin to think they’re doing the right thing,” Muerth said.

As the police and fire unions are at an impasse with the city, Muerth said he’s never seen the relationships between council, the city administration and public safety personnel so strained.

“It’s unfortunate it’s come to this, but to my knowledge it’s never been this bad,” Muerth said.

Hundreds of people lined Cultural Park Boulevard on Thursday to protest the mayor’s decision to unfund the budgets for the police and fire departments, a move he made earlier this week. Dubbed the “Save the Cape Rally”, residents and union employees made it known that public safety, and jobs, were of the utmost importance to the cit.

Hundreds of people lined Cultural Park Boulevard on Thursday to protest the mayor’s decision to unfund the budgets for the police and fire departments, a move he made earlier this week. Dubbed the “Save the Cape Rally”, residents and union employees made it known that public safety, and jobs, were of the utmost importance to the cit.

Hundreds of people lined Cultural Park Boulevard on Thursday to protest the mayor’s decision to unfund the budgets for the police and fire departments, a move he made earlier this week. Dubbed the “Save the Cape Rally”, residents and union employees made it known that public safety, and jobs, were of the utmost importance to the cit.

‘Save the Cape’ rally draws protesters by the score

By Staff | Sep 8, 2011

Laurie Taylor and Adam Hahne hold signs during a "Save the Cape" protest Thursday of Cape Coral Mayor John Sullivan exercising his line-item veto of the public safety budgets. Sullivan has said all options are on the table including the possibility of the city outsourcing or privatizing its police and fire services. MICHAEL PISTELLA

Hundreds of people lined Cultural Park Boulevard on Thursday to protest the mayor’s decision to unfund the budgets for the police and fire departments, a move he made earlier this week.

Dubbed the “Save the Cape Rally”, residents and union employees made it known that public safety, and jobs, were of the utmost importance to the city.

For Cape Firefighter and Local 2424 member Donald Archambault, the dissatisfaction with the current administration began when Cape Coral City Manager Gary King received $17,750 in incentive pay while the city’s public safety personnel were asked to take pay cuts.

A council majority has continually shown it is not in favor of the unions, Archambault said.

“It’s a feeling of disrespect,” he added. “I don’t feel as if I’m being respected for my service to this city.”

Cape Coral firefighter Jim Rallo holds a sign during the "Save the Cape" protest near city hall Thursday. MICHAEL PISTELLA

Rally organizer and political blogger Dave Montrose said he put out notice of the rally on facebook and on his website “Spotlight on Cape Coral” and the effort quickly snowballed.

He had some initial hesitancy with the rally but the mayor’s veto was enough to move the event forward, Montrose said.

“Response was immediate. People are just upset,” Montrose said. “The mayor’s veto has put jobs and public safety on the line.”

Cape Coral Professional Fire fighters Union Local 2424 President Mark Muerth hoped the event would change some minds on council about their attitudes toward public safety personnel.

“If you don’t come out and make your presence known, politicians begin to think they’re doing the right thing,” Muerth said.

Cape Coral firefighter Donald Archambault holds a sign during the "Save the Cape" protest held Thursday before the city's first public hearing on the budget. MICHAEL PISTELLA

As the police and fire unions are at an impasse with the city, Muerth said he’s never seen the relationships between council, the city administration and public safety personnel so strained.

“It’s unfortunate it’s come to this, but to my knowledge it’s never been this bad,” Muerth said.

Cape Coral firefighter Donald Archambault holds a sign during the "Save the Cape" protest held Thursday before the city's first public hearing on the budget. MICHAEL PISTELLA