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Cape Coral City Council: Fees, tax, and high water rates?

April 13, 2013

To the editor: We have a city with no leadership, no budget, etc. The only thing they are good at are collecting fees and tax money, which they waste....

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(24)

lightswitch

Apr-24-13 11:39 PM

As far as Stewart being tapped for the County Manager job we see won't we. However Seminole County passed on him before his flight from Cape Coral. Hoary, South Carolina passed as well. He was looking and that was before the FAB 5 (and they were) elected. He knew what had happened!

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1sandy

Apr-16-13 8:48 AM

@lightswitch: You say, "Sort of like taking a CEO out of ATT and putting that person in a company valued at penny stock price." Isn't that what the RAGs did only in reverse? The RAGs took a manager of an IT Department and made him our City Manager. And your guy is where? Working for what town? Applied to what City, Sarasota? And he has been working there, how long? Bawhahahahahaha!

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lightswitch

Apr-15-13 4:02 PM

Now is it a bit clearer why the city of Cape Coral< Fl. can't live within a BUDGET. The city should hire 10 of these types! That ought to get us exactly where we should be under a state receiver! And really you have to question the caliber of individuals on the city council ^ in this bunch, 3 in the last, and 6 in the one before that. History points out even the ones before those.

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lightswitch

Apr-15-13 3:56 PM

Onlythetruth there were 2 counts the first by Terry Stewart the former city manager before Gary King. Stewart could not even match the number of vehicle insurance policies with the number of vehicles. Finally after 3 months he gave his report.."IS THIS YOUR FINAL ANSWER?" Vehicles sold, junked, given away who really knew? He had no clue! In my opinion you really have to go back to the altercation at Home Depot with the developer Stewart claimed got him fired. How can a city manager be a good one when his accounting procedures were so nonexistent and sloppily handled. unless of course there was a reason. He could have put it on his right hand man Financial Services Director Mark Mason. He didn't. So was it loyalty or just that they had the same agenda? Oh another now city manager Carl Schwing Terry's hand picked Assistant Manager is now a City Manager as well, in a smaller setting, no Police, No Fire Dept. Only took him 2 months plus to validate a Petty Cash account with $59,

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lightswitch

Apr-15-13 3:39 PM

Onlythetruth in smaller cities at much smaller wages and benefit packages.

Sort of like taking a CEO out of ATT and putting that person in a company valued at penny stock price.

Stewart is Manager of Ft. Myers Beach, a town government. Population 6,500 year round, no police or fire dept. However he was true to form hiring a Public Works Manager wanted by law enforcement in MICHIGAN for allegedly stealing money from that city by selling scrap metal. Defended the guy and himself by laying it on some company doing the background check. Too busy to look it up on the internet himself? Only 6,500 full time residents. No fire dept. no police dept. to manage. I did more to find out about Troy Michigan & Szerlag before he was even hired. I knew he gave the same little speech to the New York Times that he gave our local media. The same!

Mark Mason when last I checked he was in a similar setting but it was a city.

Pavlos was in a city of just over 20,000

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Raydunavant

Apr-15-13 11:07 AM

Steve Lovejoy, Are the items you print as poorly worded and punctuated as what you write here?

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lightswitch

Apr-15-13 3:14 AM

Onlythetruth Sal Grosso way before this excuse of a city Cape Coral, Fl. went into its Dying Swan Song he said it would. He was so right.

Let's talk about the first phases of water, sewer, & irrigation he called it that the costs would escalate and that the city did not have staff supervising what work was done. That resulted in high escalating rates and 2 law suits with 2 contractors for $10 million each that the city never went after. That was in the 90's. He looked at what was happening with MWH, aka Brown & Root aka Halliburton. Change orders again, piles of them, (we still do not even know what Jeff Pearson found about 1,134 change orders for the North Water Plant. Grosso again was told to shut up. Why such a lack of transparency? He was correct in what he found. The water plant project with the push from TetraTech went ahead when in fact it needed to be stopped. Why falling water usage. Before your home building went belly up. If false why is the city in the trouble

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onlythetruth

Apr-14-13 8:28 AM

SLovejoy, I beleive the person responsible for the count of the fleet was one "Bill Towler", after all that was his supposed reason for being hired. If you have a beef, that's where to start He spent over 18 months being a consultant and he couldn't accurately count cars/trucks/equipment. This is but one reason why people felt as if they were duped by the road ahead.

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SLovejoy

Apr-14-13 8:27 AM

Onlythetruth: It’s coming.

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onlythetruth

Apr-14-13 8:23 AM

Just a reminder for those of you who will claim that many of the previous Directors and City Managers did not know what they were doing, or were unhireable.

Mark Mason, currently a City Manager Terry Stewart, currently a City Manager Carl Schwing, currently a City Manager Chuck Pavlos, currently a Director of Public Works. All left voluntarily, except one, who was forced out. All are a gainfully employed in their chosen field due to their talents, Cape's loss is someone's gain. Now, there is only one Previous City Manager who cannot find work. Care to venture a guess who that might be?

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SLovejoy

Apr-14-13 8:19 AM

CapeCoralCuestions: Is that how you respond in public or on duty. The city Police and Fire Depts received up to a 64% increase in pay from 2005 to 2009 they did not take a pay cut. Oh just for you info the starting salary for a Florida Highway Patrol Officer is $33,977.04. Let’s look at your next comment about the city manager, first wasn’t it Stewarts group who put us in debt with the water sewer plant, oh and then Schwing wanted to invest in the swim center, so far two previous city managers with city experience and both failed to protect the tax payers of the city Let’s look at the Police fleet, no one can gave an accurate count, the estimates have all been over two hundred vehicles maybe even three hundred, if they went to a pooled car program we could reduce the fleet substantially. JUST THE FACTS JACK!

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onlythetruth

Apr-14-13 8:14 AM

SLovejoy, it seems to make sense that if you did indeed possess the facts and figures you claim such a story would be "THE" breaking story on all tv news broadcasts and featured above the front page fold in virtually every form of local written media. Why is this not the case? What were the results of the MWH Audit?, The UEP Audit? I don't seem to recall the airwaves and written media leading with the resulting arrests generated from these audits. Why?, because nothing was discovered.

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onlythetruth

Apr-14-13 8:04 AM

lightswitch, the sainted Sal Grosso has been calling in false claims against the Finance Dept for 20 years. To date; nothing, absolutely nothing, has come of it. Why? because he and most of those who follow him blindly do not know what they are talking about. Where are the arrests, the censures, the resignations as a result of PROVEN WRONGDOING? They are nowhere, because nothing wrong has been done. Lobbing false accusations like grenades does not make them true,and repeating them often does not make them true. Show me the results of your claims, i.e. arrests, censures, resignations due to PROVEN WRONGDOING. I'll wait here.

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SLovejoy

Apr-14-13 7:55 AM

Netransplant: you are truly liar, I asked them to justify the program to me and show where they think they are saving money. None have come forward to show me in black and white where they are saving money, I have my facts and they know it. The mailings where done by someone else my company just printed them, again you lie , although the facts in the mailers where true an accurate, if you think you can proof me wrong on that, I will be happy to set with the press and you, and you can show me that where it is not true.

Oh at lease I have the courage to list my name on here another cause for me to dislike you, admit who you are!

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CapeCoralCuestions

Apr-14-13 12:23 AM

Are you an ignorant clown or a selfish tightwad? Employees took huge pay cuts when they agreed NOT to take their CONTRACTED increases and gave back 5% of pay. The starting salary for a Cape Cop is $37,000. There was a time when no policeman would work in this city—want that back? “”why pay for a city manager he is just a paper pusher for them”” The City Manager, an expert, (with the glaring exception of Gary King!) runs this town at the will of council. Kevin McGrail is up for re-election this year, yet he stepped forward to do what is right for this city and future generations. You complain of new police cars and lack of maintenance in the same breath. The vehicles were not bought on a whim--the lack of upkeep of fleet, buildings and infrastructure was based on a whim of the Fab5 and the M8. Well that turkey just came home to roost! Roy & Flo are paying $680 to live in Cape Coral. You have a 2K sq ft home with a pool on a canal. What’s your *b-itch, *b_itch?

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lightswitch

Apr-14-13 12:16 AM

Why be fearful of an audit conducted by the state of Florida?

Why we might even find money in accounts that should not be there.

We could find out if the flaws in the accounting they found when Stewart was city manager have been followed up on and fixed.

We could see if the city checks are being stored where anyone could pick one or two up.

We could see if the remote access of the city computer was ever secured. Erroneous information put in police personnel files. How could that happen. No one took responsibility.

Pin numbers unsecured are they now?

There are more but I am not going to list all 22 items they found when Terry Stewart was city manager.

Utility billing why is there a glaring glitch every year at season's end. Always one big one comes before council. They have changed software twice and it still occurs at homes without a resident. Why? It is either the software, the meter or someone tampering with the billing.

Mr. auditor don't come here unless

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lightswitch

Apr-13-13 3:45 PM

Yes Terry Stewart did just that and always painted a picture that exposed the city to the very good potential of going broke. Guess what it still has that chance with the bulk of the council sitting on that dais. So I guess everything was not really done in the sunshine so to speak under Stewart? All the more reason for Cape Coral< Fl to be audited by State of Florida. Oh but we were and the 22 items on the 9 pages of documents from the auditor general Terry Stewart either denied, or left unfixed before he fled.

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netransplant

Apr-13-13 12:50 PM

It's obvious that Lovejoy doesn't comprehend what facts are. Anyone can look at the city's budgets and see the actual dollars, but Steve continues to drink Deile's koolaid and spew false statements. He keeps claiming that council won't listen to "his" facts, but the truth is they have and "his" facts are not real. His mailings two years ago were loaded with wrong numbers and biased opinions, and he still is wrong. Sullivan, Deile, Brandt and Leetz will go down in history as the worst mistakes the voters have ever made. The sad part is none of them are intelligent enough to ever realize it.

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1sandy

Apr-13-13 12:33 PM

My neighbor said to me, "You know this City Council doesn't think we are on to them." I said, tell me more. My neighbor said, "Well, if City revenue doesn't increase the City will have to lay-off City employees and that will effect City services, Parks will close, Police & Fire lay-offs, less Code-enforcement and that will eventually lead to blight, which will lead to lower property values, you know, our homes will be worth less, and then property appraisals will be lowered by the Lee County Tax Appraiser and that will lead to lower property taxes. It will be a win, win for us." So I said, you think blight is good? My neighbor said, "it worked for my brother in Detroit, his taxes went down 50 percent." You know, you just can't fix stupid!

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numbnutz

Apr-13-13 9:59 AM

Opps...meant bane for the good ole boy club

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numbnutz

Apr-13-13 9:58 AM

True dat Ray! That is EXACTLY what Mr Stewart did! He performd his duties in a professional manor and the FAB 5 rejected common sense and all the financial woes Mr Stewart predicted would happen if the FAB 5 followed their agenda came true. PS a little birdie told me that Mr Stewart may be tapped on to run the County! That would be a Godsend for us taxpayers and band for the good ole boys!

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Raydunavant

Apr-13-13 8:42 AM

The City manager is supposed to do what Council directs...that is the way a Council/Manager form of government works. He does, however, have an obligation to recommend actions consistent with the law, and to point out errors made by Council.

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SLovejoy

Apr-13-13 8:35 AM

1sandy can you tell the truth for once, such a liar

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1sandy

Apr-13-13 7:33 AM

And the RAG's keep spewing their lies. It didn't work last election and it won't work in this one. So many RAG's, so little time...

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