To the editor:
Well, like myself, I'm sure many others witnessed the resident turn out on Monday, Feb. 11, in support of attempting to persuade the city into renewing KC's lease. It was, to say the least, quite impressive; it was quite emotional; but what it was not was representative of all the 155,000 residents of this city we call home.
Being a student of how our local government has operated in the past, I think I finally have it down pat after being a resident during the last 11 years. It appears the usual modus operandi was for a small group of citizens to show up en masse to Council Chambers whenever they anticipated a decision they deemed unfavorable about to be delivered from the dais. The purpose of such a showing was to "back Council down" and cause such a vote to either be delayed, or cast favorably in the crowd's favor
. I've watched this occur repeatedly over the course of the last 11 years, yet on Monday, Feb. 11, 2013, (as is becoming habit with this group of council members), something quite refreshing occurred. Council cast a vote from the dais in which the "entire" populace of the city was taken into consideration. This appears to be becoming an ingrained way of conducting business, and a welcome one at that. Council's decision was not punitive in the least. They simply voted to gather all possible information in order to make an informed decision regarding the future of the site in question. This, when one thinks about it, is how we should expect our elected leaders to conduct business. Taking the time to consider all options prior to rendering a decision will benefit the city as a whole, regardless of the final outcome.
The current operator of KC's has not been shut out by such a vote, as was repeatedly intimated by the tone of those requesting the lease be renewed without Council even considering other options on behalf of all the residents of our city. She is free to submit a business proposal just as any other business entity will do that possesses genuine interest in the site.
I fully understand that politics is emotional, but the execution of city business should not be. I've witnessed as our elected leaders on the dais have struggled to wring every penny from all aspects of city operations during these tough economic times, just as every other municipality has had to do. This is no different. Business is numbers driven, that is simply a cold hard fact. In fact, I would confidently venture to say that if KC's was not collecting the type of return on investment the current operators had hoped for it would have been KC's who chose not to renew the lease. At which point we wouldn't have heard nary a peep from anyone.
In essence, one of two results will occur from an RFP; 1. Proposals will be collected that show KC's is in line for a reduction in expenses on their next lease negotiation, or 2. Those same proposals will show that the citizens of Cape Coral have, in essence, been subsidizing KC's operation, thus allowing them to stay afloat and open.
In either case the citizens will ultimately turn out to be the winners, which is the way it is supposed to be.
Feels good doesn't it?
James Angiulo Jr.