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Incoming Council ready to get to work

By Staff | Nov 16, 2017

On Monday night, Cape Coral Mayor Marni Sawicki will hand the gavel over to Joe Coviello, who along with three new members and one returning member will be sworn in to serve on the Cape Coral City Council.

The regular City Council meeting at 4:30 p.m. will be mostly ceremonial, with the swearing in of the new mayor and council members, the naming of a vice mayor and committee appointments for the newly configured board.

From that point forward, there are many issues the new Council is going to have to address, such as LCEC, Bimini Basin and Seven Islands and Coviello said he is ready to take them on with a mix of council veterans and new blood.

“We have a lot of good things happening and a lot of issues that need to be addressed. I believe we have a strong group of individuals that will work closely together,” Coviello said. “Those who were elected were the ones I wanted to see get elected.”

Coviello said he believes the meetings will go well, as he has chaired Budget Review Committee meetings and is familiar with Roberts Rules of Order.

With several new business-minded people on the dais, his ideas and vision will be pushed forward in a positive manner.

“I’m going to need a ramp-up period to get acclimated to the role. I don’t anticipate problems, but there’s a process that needs to be followed,” Coviello said. “We need to make sure we push forward some good things.”

“We need to make the city more business friendly. We need to streamline processes for permitting and invest in making sure potential business owners have a positive experience,” said councilmember-elect Jennifer Nelson.

Sawicki said for Coviello, the best day in office is the day you’re sworn in. It can be all downhill from there, especially from someone who, like she, won the election by a small margin.

“Every meeting you go to, you’re going to piss someone off,” Sawicki said. “When you walk into a room of 100 people, 50 will love you and 50 will hate you. That leaves you free to do the right thing.”

The two have not spoken much since the election, as Sunshine laws apply to both in regards to city issues. Sawicki offered her congratulations after the election and wished him well in his new role.

As Sawicki leaves, she said her four years were a great growth opportunity and she felt empowered by the job. She said she didn’t mind muddying the waters and serving as an agent of change.

But after everything that’s happened, especially the public soap opera made of her personal life, Sawicki said she’s glad it’s over.

She also said the city is in good hands.

“I got everything I’ve gotten from this. We have a very progressive council that will continue what we’ve started,” Sawicki said. “I won’t miss it. I haven’t been to say anything since the election because I don’t want to overshadow Joe. He’s mayor now.”

Before the regular meeting, the current board will hold a special meeting at 3 p.m. to mostly tie up loose ends to help give the new Council a clean slate.