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Cape Council rejects street name change

By Staff | Nov 7, 2017

If Paul Sanborn were still alive today, he may have been honored to have a street named after him – but not at the cost of controversy or causing anyone hardship.

That is what the Cape Coral City Council determined Monday during its final regular meeting before the board is reconfigured in the wake of Tuesday’s General Election.

The Council unanimously voted to deny the name change after hearing residents on El Dorado Boulevard register complaints about the proposed change to Paul Sanborn Boulevard, .

However, Council did leave open the possibility of either naming another street after Sanborn or giving him an honorary road, with the original name still intact.

Residents complained the name change would cause undue hardship, including having to change their driver license, passports, and all business they do with people to the new address, resulting in lost time and money.

Fred Rossiter said it would take an entire work week – 41 hours – to change all documents to the new street name, at a cost of up to $1,500.

Clifford Hicks said the old name would still be floating around, posing a risk for identity theft and having credit cards made out in your name.

Elmer Tabor, who along with Sanborn is one of the city’s pioneers, said he supported the name change because Paul was a person who didn’t have an enemy.

“It’s kind of an oxymoron the kind of person he was and the controversy to naming the street after him. If you people knew him, you would approve it,” Tabor said, adding that if a street is to be named after Sanborn, it should not just be honorary.

Former mayor Eric Feichthaler, who proposed the name change, said it was to honor a man who meant and did so much for the city in its infancy. He also wanted to end the confusion between El Dorado Boulevard and El Dorado Parkway, in the south end of town.

After hearing the arguments, Councilmember Richard Leon made the motion to deny the name change, adding, though, “I would pay $1,500 to change the name to Sanborn.”

Leon proposed naming another street after Sanborn, such as Driftwood Parkway near the Yacht Club which Sanborn ran when it opened in the 1960s.

Mayor Marni Sawicki suggested naming Cultural Park Boulevard after him.

“There are many ways we can go, from honoring him with an honorary street. Staff had an idea to name the road around the city government after him,” Leon said. “Whatever the residents think best would be a good idea.”

El Dorado residents were happy with the decision.

“I’m jubilant because the burden is immense. It would have been catastrophic for us. Had the name change gone through, it would have exposed us to another layer of identity theft,” Hicks said.

“I’m pleased as a resident the motion was denied. It saves us a lot of time, money and aggravation,” Rossiter said. “I never knew (Sanborn) but he seemed like an honorable man that did a lot for the city and should be honored. But not so it inconveniences residents.”

A companion resolution on the consent agenda regarding the city’s street naming policy was also passed by council.

The policy was created to provide consistent criteria for naming or renaming streets in the city.

It said for honorary street designations, a commemorative street sign may be mounted above or below the official street name or free-standing signs may be placed along the route in each direction. Honorary street designations shall be considered and approved in the same manner as changing a street name.

The policy would not apply to state, federal or county roads.