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Acknowledgments and updates top council agenda Monday

By Staff | May 8, 2019

Acknowledgments, a union update and a final zoning vote on the city-owned Seven Islands site contributed to a full Cape Coral City Council agenda Monday.

For Kimberly Bruns, it was her first meeting as city clerk after she was named to the position by City Manager John Szerlag Monday. She had been serving as the interim clerk since November after the retirement of former clerk Rebecca vanDuetekom.

Jon Iglehart, South District director of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, presented its Environmental Stewardship Award to Brooke Bascomb, 12, for her work in cleaning up a canal in Cape Coral.

Just recently, the FDEP gave a similar award to Carl Veaux for a lifetime of service to the environment.

The Cape Coral vehicle fleet was also recognized for having the 15th ranked fleet in North America.

Szerlag said he had a goal in 2012 when he took over as city manager to have one of the top 50 fleets in the country, so to have that happen last year and move up ahead of large cities such as Sacramento was a dream come true for him.

The Cape Coral Community Founda-tion presented Mayor Joe Coviello with a check for $8,200 for the purchase of bike racks in the South Cape. The acceptance of the donation had to be put in a resolution, which passed unanimously.

There was an unusually large crowd at the beginning of the meeting, many of whom were city workers who sat in solidarity after the city and union workers reached an impasse in negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement.

Wally Ilczyszyn, Business Manager / Secretary-Treasurer of IUPAT District 78, said it was unfortunate things had reached this point before motioning for his fellow workers to stands. Dozens rose.

“When things were at their worst, we stepped up. We didn’t take pay raises for six or seven years. We always negotiated in good faith,” Ilczyszyn said. “But things have changed.”

Szerlag said an offer was made and that he would not negotiate any contracts through the media.

City Council also selected seven junior members and one senior member to the Cape Coral Youth Council and approved one regular full-time customer service supervisor position in the Community Development Department.

Council also approved 7-0 an ordinances for a MX7 zoning district and related Land Use Map change for the Seven Islands.

John Jacobs, president of the Northwest Neighborhood Association, objected to the ordinances since he thought maximum allowable building height was too tall, that such development would damage the estuary and because the council member who represents the district, Rick Williams, was absent from the meeting.