Cape Coral City Council is gearing up for a planned joint meeting with the Lee County Board of County Commissioners.
City officials say they have a lot to talk about.
We agree, there are a number of pressing issues that warrant joint discussion and a memo from City Manager John Szerlag to Council hits all the high points:
- The Ceitus barrier and the North Spreader Ecological Management Agreement;
- The toll agreement dividing revenues between the Cape and the county;
- The long-proposed extension of Del Prado Boulevard through to I-75 with the hope of a "Cape Coral" interchange;
- The acquisition of rights of way along Burnt Store Road, which hit a speed bump due to an unfavorable court ruling concerning compensation to affected property owners;
- The oft-debated "flyover" or overpass at Veterans Memorial Parkway and Santa Barbara Boulevard which was in the original plan designs for the regional roadway, but some in the city now vehemently oppose;
- Various interlocal agreements, including those for animal control and emergency medical services;
- The city-county relationship, always good political fodder.
Council has tentatively agreed to winnow the list down to two or three and then meet with their counterparts at the county level some time this spring.
We suggest council choose wisely in both its agenda and its approach. There is a brand new opportunity here for the better, a less adversarial relationship that moves past both the ain't-gettin'-our-share chest puffing and the threat of lawsuits that would stick taxpayers twice.
November's election brought two new faces to the commission, Cecil Pendergrass and former Fort Myers Beach Mayor Larry Kiker. Commissioner Kiker, in particular, has made reaching out to the county's municipalities a priority.
We're optimistic as should be the city.
Ceitus and its related NSEMA would be a good place to start. Resolution is overdue, the potential cost of continued disagreement is huge - and it's readily resolvable, especially taken in the context that the state has already weighed in with a definitive opinion.
We're looking forward to that first meeting.
Hope does spring eternal.
- Breeze editorial