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Cape Coral at the crossroads — again

December 3, 2011
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

In the two years since the municipal election of '09, Cape Coral has come full circle - a new council and, soon, a new city manager.

Change, by itself, is little more than a constant - it's what you do with it that makes it either a bad thing or an opportunity.

Our new council, with its fresh amalgamation of viewpoints, sees it as an opportunity and has wasted little time in setting a new direction that, at first blush, appears to be a lot less political than the path previously followed.

That would be a good thing.

Voting blocs can get a lot done but not necessarily in a way that cultivates compromise or fosters the type of leadership that brings factions together instead of fomenting dissent by shutting out those who dare to disagree.

Hence the election that saw the defeat of two incumbents and the decision not to run by a third.

Hence the ouster of a city manager swept in by a strong-willed political faction whose catch phrase might well have been "our way or the highway" rather than "the road ahead."

Like Gary King or not, think he did a stellar job or accomplished little, his appointment was tainted from the get-go by politics, and his comment that he likely would be held to a higher standard proved prophetic - at least as it pertained to those outside his inner circle.

So with his "without cause" contract termination Friday we, as a city, start over.

Yet again.

Now there are some who are decrying as political council's decision to terminate Mr. King's contract early.

It is not. Far from it.

It is council's attempt to reestablish the division of authority and responsibility outlined in the city's charter by separating the spheres of politics and professional management so the city can get on with the business at hand.

That decision is well within council's purview and authority as is the decision to appoint whom they choose.

Given the cost of paying off Mr. King's contract, it's also a gutsy move, one which shows that, perhaps, this new board is not going to be shy about tackling the tough issues ahead.

Now that would be a change we all could endorse.

- Breeze editorial

 
 

 

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