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New commissioner could help Captiva

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Sep 16, 2020

Kevin Ruane. PHOTO PROVIDED

news@breezenewspapers.comThe Captiva Community Panel sees good things ahead in the likely event that Kevin Ruane becomes the new District 1 County Commissioner in November.

That was the theory members of the panel came to during their monthly meeting Tuesday morning via Zoom.

The former mayor of Sanibel faces only a write-in candidate in November after his victory in the Aug. 18 Republican primary. Many of the things Ruane believes are the things people in Captiva believe in, and they hope he has some sway in making those things happen.

Among them is to return Roosevelt Channel to a slow speed zone. Current county commissioner John Manning asked to craft an ordinance that would return the channel to a slow speed zone year-round.

David Mintz and David Lanigan said people are speeding on boats and personal watercraft as they approach the bridge from the west. This is a potential danger to manatees and the wakes also result in erosion.

Another thing Ruane might support as a commissioner is the planned Sanibel/Captiva sewer system. Jay Brown said while research needs to be done before a decision can be made by the BOCC, with Ruane on the commission and with him having supported it as mayor of Sanibel, his vote would carry heavy weight for approval.

In other business, the panel discussed the possibility of the creation of a Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) for iguana control through waiving the notary requirement. The BOCC put the item in the consent agenda on Sept. 1 and it passed, however, it does not intend to fund it so as to avoid setting a precedent.

Brown liked the idea, but wondered about how many people it would take. Boca Grande famously created a similar ordinance when it was nearly overrun by the reptiles.

The panel also decided it wanted to have signs made up on the beach to prevent people from littering, though these signs won’t have as much wording. The panel will see if there is funding available for three or four of them, put them in key locations and see if it works.

It also announced the first notice of an amendment to the Bylaws, which says a member filling a vacancy on the panel will be seen as having served a full term (three years) if it lasts more than 18 months and therefore can only serve one more term. If less than 18 months, that person can be eligible for two three-year terms.