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CEPD agrees to draft, extend offers to candidates

By TIFFANY REPECKI / trepecki@breezenewspapers.com - | Nov 16, 2020

The Captiva Erosion Prevention District’s commission approved moving forward with employment contract offers to two new staffers, plus an existing interim consultant, during its recent meeting.

On Nov. 9, the commissioners voted 4-0 to allow Chairman Mike Mullins and their attorney work together on drafting offers in the amount of up to $200,000 total for two administrative employees and up to $90,000 for a third technical employee. Vice Chair Bob Walter was absent from the meeting.

Prior to the vote, Mullins shared the results of the search committee.

“We want to be able to present two candidates today,” he said to the others, explaining that Commissioner Rene Miville, consultant Bob Gray and himself conducted the search.

“We narrowed it down to two that we’re recommending to the board,” Mullins added.

Miville reported that the committee had a set of qualifications it was searching for, but no one candidate out of the 30 or 40 possessed them all. However, two did split the qualifications.

“I’m very very excited about both,” he said.

Candidates Jennifer Nelson and Daniel Munt spoke at the meeting.

A Cape Coral resident and sitting councilmember, Nelson has lived in Southwest Florida for about 12 years. A graduate of the University of Texas, she started out in marketing and fundraising, then worked for Goodwill Industries before becoming the executive director at the Uncommon Friends Foundation.

She said she learned about the opportunity from a friend on Captiva, who recommended she apply. Nelson added that the position speaks to her in terms of coastal management and environment issues.

“I’m really looking forward to taking this organization to the next level,” she said.

Originally from Orlando and residing in South Fort Myers, Munt joined the U.S. Army in 2006 and served for nine years. He has a bachelor’s degree in computer networking and in business, along with a master’s degree in business administration. Munt worked as a permit representative in the Lee County Department of Community Development before joining the Lee County Property Appraiser’s office.

He has since rejoined the county and is now employed as a planner.

Mullins explained that the committee’s recommendation is to hire Nelson as executive director and bring on Munt as technical director — a new position that would oversee beach renourishment projects. It also recommended keeping on consultant John Riegert as an administrator director under Nelson.

He noted that consultant Evan Cutler has wished to remain as such.

“We’re recommending three hires,” Mullins said.

Secretary Harry Kaiser questioned if the CEPD could afford that.

“Do we have all this money? I just want to make sure that we have all the monies within our budget,” he said, noting that it would place the finances on the taxpayers as the CEPD is a special district.

Mullins said the administrative positions should even out to what the CEPD has paid recently, and Munt could be covered in the project budget, with possible savings by bringing some work in-house.

Treasurer Dick Pyle shared that the committee’s recommendations sounded good to him.

Kaiser agreed, as long as the CEPD has the finances to handle it.

“This is CEPD 2.0. We are going to the next level,” Miville said. “I’m really excited about this.”

IN OTHER NEWS

– Riegert noted that Lee County commissioners were expected to vote on the county’s 2021-21 interlocal agreements for beach and shoreline projects at an upcoming meeting.

On Nov. 10, the county commission unanimously approved 10 interlocal agreements, which included the CEPD’s two: $72,800 for beach facility maintenance and $323,526 for beach renourishment. The Lee County Tourist Development Council had previously recommended approval of all of the projects.

– For October, a total of $58,030 in parking meter revenue was raised.

Riegert reported that daily sanitization has been initiated at the Alison Hagerup Beach Park and Grady Scott Jr. has started with the CEPD, charged with weekend service at the lot and its general upkeep.

– The commission approved its board meeting and TRIM hearing schedules for 2021.