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Honoring influential residents

By Staff | Sep 13, 2016

Reacting to recent inquiries seeking to honor influential individuals from the city’s past, Mayor Marni Retzer proposed drawing up an ordinance to establish a process for renaming local streets at Monday’s City Council meeting.

While the city has named parks and buildings in tribute to individuals, there is no formal process for individuals or organizations to follow in initiating the renaming of streets. Those on council expressed mixed reactions.

Councilmember Jim Burch is adamantly opposed to renaming streets because of the cost it carries for everyone residing or owning businesses on that street.

Councilmember Richard Leon supports the idea and thinks the ordinance should include the naming of buildings and parks.

“There is a method to the madness in Cape Coral regarding street names,” Burch said. “Renaming streets can be extremely expensive. You have to notify endless contacts, change business cards and anything with your address on it.”

Burch has no problem with continuing to name buildings and parks to honor citizens.

Councilmember Jessica Cosden is undecided on the issue, preferring instead to wait and see what such an ordinance contained.

Council allowed Retzer to work with staff in creating an ordinance for presentation at a future meeting.

Council split on land use

change request

Council was split down the middle concerning a request to amend the city’s future land use map for property located at the intersection of Southeast 6th Avenue and Southeast 15th Street. The owners were asking the 20,000-square-foot parcel be redesignated as multi-family residential instead of the current single-family designation.

The waterfront parcel is adjacent to both single- and multi-family properties and the owner, Daniel Richard, wants to construct a duplex.

Council has denied similar requests before, maintaining that changing designation for individual parcels is unfair to established residents who were counting on the land uses in place when they invested in the neighborhood.

Despite receiving emails in opposition, Leon said he believes the subject property request conforms to both existing single- and multi-family in the area.

Councilmember Rick Williams disagreed, citing the difference being the adjacent condos and residences are owned by those who live there whereas the duplex would be a rental investment.

Councilmember John Carioscia, Williams, Burch and Cosden cast the dissenting votes in the 4-4 split denying the applicant.

Fingerprinting with background checks

Council approved requiring fingerprinting as part of the city’s background checks when hiring employees for certain positions of special trust, sensitive location or responsibilities.

Those positions typically apply to employees in the police and fire departments, those with access or control over cash, checks, credit card info, IT systems and employees driving city vehicles.

The new process allows the gathering of additional information on potential employees to include aliases and court proceedings that were not available before.

Police Chief Dave Newlan said the fingerprinting will need to be updated every five years. The program is estimated to cost $17,300.

Council’s next meeting is on Monday in Council Chambers at City Hall.