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City honors Purple Heart recipients

By Staff | Mar 12, 2019

TIFFANY REPECKI Mayor Kevin Ruane read a proclamation honoring those who have received a Purple Heart at the Sanibel City Council meeting on March 5.

The Sanibel City Council recognized Purple Heart recipients at its recent meeting, as well as approved an update to the city’s owl signs and held the first reading for a gender neutral language ordinance.

On March 5, Mayor Kevin Ruane read a proclamation honoring those who have received a Purple Heart. Recipients – both citizens and visitors – were welcome to attend in recognition of their service.

The council also voted 4-1 to add words to the low-flying owl signs along Sanibel-Captiva Road, between Mile Marker 5 and Mile Marker 7. Following input from the public and discussion among the dais, a motion was made to add “two miles” to the signs to better define the caution for motorists.

Citing opposition to more signs on-island, Councilmember Jason Maughan cast the dissenting vote.

The council had voted in January to reinstall the owl signs, without the bright flashing lights.

TIFFANY REPECKI Resident Larry Schopp, left, proposed adding additional language to the low-flying owl signs at the Sanibel City Council meeting on March 5.

Also during the meeting, the first reading of Ordinance 19-001 took place. It would amend the Sanibel Code to modify masculine-feminine language to gender neutral pronouns, like chairman to chairperson, and policeman or policewoman to police officer, contain a severability cause and provide for conflict and severability.

City Manager Judie Zimomra explained that the proposed change was the only recommendation to come out of last year’s charter review process and it was suggested by the committee members.

The second reading for the ordinance is scheduled for April 2.

In addition, Natural Resources Director James Evans provided a water quality update.

He reported that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started pulses releases from Lake Okeechobee.

“We support their current pulse schedule for the next three weeks,” he said.

Salinity levels in the upper and lower estuaries are good.

“So things are looking pretty good right now, but we’ve got to get that lake down,” Evans said in reference to the coming rainy season and El Nino pattern.

The council also bid farewell to Councilmember Chauncey Goss as it was his last meeting.

“I can’t thank you enough for your service,” Ruane said. “It’s been an honor to serve with you.”

Vice Mayor Mick Denham noted that Goss will continue to serve Sanibel.

“I believe you’ll be a great acquisition to the (South Florida Water Management District) board,” he said.

Goss spoke a few words, thanking those who voted him onto the council.

“I think my philosophy is you go in life where you can do the most good,” he said.