To the editor:
In response to A. J. Boyd, Sr.'s letter to the editor, "Trip down memory lane", one can only conclude that he is ignorant of the facts or lying. You be the judge. Mr. Boyd's claim that I was "inexperienced and unknown" prior to my election in 2007 is not supported by the facts. Prior to being elected I served on the City's Budget Review Committee and on the City's Dispute Resolution Committee, and I was a frequent speaker during Citizen's Input at Council meetings. I was on the steering committee of the Lee County School District's Pride & Patriotism program. I was a member the Cape Coral Art League, the Cape Coral Civic Association, the Southwest Cape Coral Neighborhood Association, the Cape Coral Republican Club, and the Lee County Republican Executive Committee. I was a Lee County poll worker. And, I have voted in every election since I have lived in Cape Coral. In addition to being a life member of the VFW, I was the President of the local chapter of the Military Officers Association of America for three years and later became the southwest area Vice President for the Florida State Council of Chapters of MOAA for two years. After Hurricane Charlie I worked for FEMA/SBA facilitating loans to rebuild damaged residences and small businesses. Neither of my opponents in District 3 have had that level of civic involvement. In fact, one of my opponents failed to vote 2/3 of the time in the past several years. They are the true inexperienced.
As for being a political novice - I know of no Council Member or Mayor, save Arnold Kempe, who held elective office prior to City Council.
Mr. Boyd stated that I "voted to let Mr. King file for next year's bonus". The truth is it is incentive pay not a bonus and there never was such a vote. Mr. King's salary is $132,500. The prior City Manager's salary was $164,715, and he received another $82,358 plus a payment of $28,192 for accrued vacation when he resigned - a cash payout of $110,550 plus up to 6 months of pre-paid family COBRA as a going away gift. The total compensation was $275,265 for the prior City Manager vs. $149,500 for the current City Manager. My "trip down memory lane" did not disclose Mr. Boyd becoming agitated over that largess. The cash payment alone was seven times greater than Mr. King's incentive pay. The fact is I can no longer support any incentive program for Mr. King or anyone else working for the City. Some have made the atmosphere too toxic to permit rational discourse to be heard, let alone prevail.
With regard to the fire and police departments turning down the contracts, nothing more was asked of them that the other City unions had not already ratified. At the most recent negotiation session, the police union failed to put any new proposals on the table. We have been at this for eight months and their only suggestion is to abandon the process and begin anew when the current contract expires. This will just introduce more delay and expense into the process while being counter productive. Council will be discussing options at a "shade" meeting due to the deadlock we are now faced with.
Mr. Boyd wrote that I said, "rather than run for re-election I would rather do two tours in Iraq". The truth is that in answer to a really nasty email and, then, of course, taken out of context, what I said was I would rather be serving in Iraq than on City Council. I volunteered and served in Vietnam, and in the first Gulf War. I volunteered to go to Iraq, but was turned down due to age. And, although retired, I am still a soldier and I am appalled that some in this community would try to use one's prior combat service in two wars as a negative. I guess Mr. Boyd has never read these words,
"Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!"
(Courtesy Edward Everett Hale "The Man Without a Country" 1917)
One last thing - Mr. Boyd supported me in 2007 only because of his extreme enmity for my opponent.
William P. Deile
Council Member District 3