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Cape Council votes to join National League of Cities

By Staff | Dec 12, 2017

The Cape Coral City Council agreed Monday to join the National League of Cities and named Councilmember Jessica Cosden, Council rep on the state’s League of Cities, municipal representative to the organization that has 19,000 city members nationwide as well.

Membership is expected to cost the city $10,000, not including travel to its main event in Washington as well as two others they hold throughout the year.

Councilmember John Gunter said the cost will be be worth the investment.

“Any time we can have national exposure and learn what other cities are doing, it would be advantageous,” Gunter said.

Cosden said the number of representatives allowed depends on a city’s size. For Cape Coral, that would be four or five.

Renewed membership interest in a regional organization was tepid.

Council did not make a decision as to whether to rejoin the Southwest Regional Planning Council, with a majority seeming to be against.

Councilmember Rick Williams said the organization seems to be in trouble, with the county even taking a pass on membership this go-around.

In other business:

* City Council discussed hiring one, or possibly two, assistants to fill vacancies its office while also promoting the remaining assistant currently working there.

Currently, there is only one fulltime employee working as assistant to the Council along with a temp. Previously, there were three fulltime workers in the Council office, however two of them left after spouses took better offers elsewhere, officials said.

Councilmember John Carioscia said they only need to fill one vacancy, since hiring a third has proven to be overkill over the years. Williams said it did not matter whether a candidate comes from “the outside” or within the city organization. Councilmember Dave Stokes said he would prefer to hire from within.

* Council unanimously approved the issuance of Water and Sewer Revenue Bonds.

Victoria Bateman, the city finance director, said the idea was to lock in better interest rates, which could save the city up to $870,000 this year, which would better promote the city’s A1 rating recently given the city by Moody’s.

* Council named Anthony Bennie and Jeffery Slapper to the Planning & Zoning Commission and named Paul Blanchard to the Cape Coral Police Employees’ Pension Board of Trustees.

* Council, meeting earlier as the Community Redevelopment Agency board of directors, voted to retain John Carioscia as its chair. Gunter was named vice chairman.