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Council discusses amending board rules, OK’s hiring of six full-time firefighters

By Staff | May 15, 2019

Cape Coral City Council tabled a resolution brought forth by Councilmember Jessica Cosden during its regular meeting at City Hall Monday regarding an amendment to council rules, allowing members to participate in meetings electronically in the event they can’t attend a meeting.

Cosden, who is expected a child during next month’s hiatus, is not expected to return until sometime in August, which means she will miss several meetings, as well as the start of the budget process.

City Attorney Dolores Menendez said there are already provisions that allow for electronic participation for council members. However, there must be a quorum present and the absence must be by cause.

Mayor Joe Coviello said City Council needs to take things up on a case-by-case basis, and that Cosden’s situation seemed to qualify as a case where remote participation would be warranted.

“I can’t see why we can’t make that recommendation. That’s what I mean by case-by-case basis,” Coviello said. “She can recommend it right now and we can approve it now.”

The resolution will be brought up again next Monday during its Committee of the Whole meeting.

In other business, it isn’t often that a consent agenda item gets praise, but a resolution brought a handful of medical experts and breastfeeding advocates to the podium.

Council approved a consent item brought forth by Cosden recognizing the importance of breastfeeding in accordance to state laws and statutes.

Speakers addressed the benefits of breastfeeding for both the baby and mother. It helps protect the baby from illness, and reduces the possibility of diabetes, respiratory and ear infections.

The mother has her cancer risks reduced while also helping to fight postpardem depression.

City Council also unanimously ratified the collective bargaining agreement between the city and Firefighters Local 2424, and approved the hiring of six full-time firefighters at a cost of $464,430.

It also approved a temporary waiver of installation fees required in the South Cape banner program, which was sought by the Invest in America’s Veterans Foundation as it promotes its annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day parades.

The votes were 7-0, with Council-member Rick Williams was absent.

City Council also approved a resolution providing for the vacation of plat for a portion of Lafayette Canal and Malibu Basin rights-of-way, and the transmittal to the state of an ordinance that would remove affordable housing density doubling language, increase residential densities from 75 to 125 units per acre in the Downtown Mixed future land use, and reduce residential densities from 25 to 16 units per acre in the Commercial Activity Center future land use