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Unincorporation could mean less government meddling

Letter to the Editor

July 11, 2018
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Unincorporation could mean less government meddling

To the Editor:

When I first arrived here at Fort Myers Beach a few years ago, I noticed the nice flowers and landscaping everywhere. It was with some surprise that I found an empty and dilapidated water fountain next to Nervous Nellies at the bay side of Old San Carlos street. When I learned it was Town property, I spoke with various public works people who informed me it would take action of Town Council to get it fixed.

So I used three minutes given for public comment at a council meeting to ask for the empty water fountain to be repaired as Town Code laws require, and was told way back in 2016 by that Council not to worry, the Town was going to turn that fountain into a nice park, or something, in the near future. So what do we have after two years? The same old broken remnants of the fountain, while Code enforcement officers from the Town run around looking for violations of the building Codes on private residences and businesses. This is another reason many folks are thinking of dissolving the Town's charter, and allowing Lee County Parks Dept. handle issues like this water fountain.

I'd also like to respond to Anita Cereceda's lengthy guest commentary in the July 3 Observer, let us explore the underlying fallacy on which she predicates her plea to keep the local island government. She writes: "who doesn't want to control their own destiny, especially when it involves their own back yard?"

The nature of that question implies selfishness and arrogance. Government can never be what "I" or "you" want, it must always be about the group consensus, what is best for all those who are governed. Her statement also intimates an arrogant pride when average people who have not been in governance, argue that they know best, that they know more than those who have been reading laws, writing laws, having those laws enforced for many years, yet suddenly every Fort Myers Beach voter thinks they can jump into this complicated world of law and govern themselves better? Come on, this Town has adopted so many Codes and passed so many Ordinances, most of which haven't been enforce uniformly or at all, as the Mayor mentioned recently about one ordinance. that hadn't been enforced in 15 years.

We have many more government positions in this nation than we have skilled and experience people to fill those positions, so when Anita closes her commentary by encouraging those who don't like the way the Town is operating to run for office themselves and change things, she is falling into the trap of believing any average citizen can get elected and bring themselves up to speed on all the laws, policies and issues as soon as they take office. Ain't going to happen. What will occur is more confusion and inept government when new folks are voted in this complicated world of politics and laws.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment has been the recent Council approval of the TPI project, when three of those Councilors ran for office under the promise of "government lite". Giving triple density to a project is not lite government!

Maybe it is time to dissolve the Town charter and return to County government, after all, the County already are the people who are rebuilding Estero Blvd., they take care of Lynn Hall and Bowditch County Parks, as well as some beach access points, it is County water we drink and they are placing the pipes to dispose of this island's storm water and sewage. Not much to lose and maybe less government meddling?

Leon Moyer

Fort Myers Beach



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