To the editor:
We have had a mass exodus in Cape Coral since the fall of the housing market. Many houses in this area are still sit vacant where they were abandoned after the housing bust.
Yet today we are being told that the city manager has proposed a $2.4 million dollar tax increase. Now this is for the proposed budget in general. Later they are wanting to ask for another vote, according to Councilman Kevin McGrail, that will be earmarked to repair roads that have not been repaired in 40 years. Does he think our income has improved so much that we can afford to repair them now? This voluntary levy would be on top of a 2.8 percent tax increase put forth by City Manager John Szerlag. Our proposed millage rate has almost doubled from 4.8 percent to 7.9 percent since 2007-08. Friends, that is the same as a property tax increase. It's just another way of saying it.
Szerlag's proposal calls for $1.4 million for road improvements and new vehicles. Let's think about this, the city presently has 208 marked and 118 unmarked police cars. Then we have we have the volunteer police cars, the codes cars and many other city vehicles and not to mention the fire department vehicles. Councilman Lenny Nesta said he'd like to see a higher tax rate. All this for thousands of fewer people than before the housing market fall.
Councilwoman Rana Erbrick is asking for more staffing even though the new proposal would employ 21 new people. She thinks some may be "Waiting too long" for construction permits. What is wrong with these people? Do they fail to recognize that the economy has fallen? Have they noticed that Bonita Springs will have a budget that will not call for a tax increase? Lenny Nesta's question is are we going to give the people the life they moved here for? Well, I moved here for the comprehensive land plan that was set forth by the Rosen brothers. The "Waterfront Wonderland." Not this big city planning and poor management we seem to be getting now.