With less than a month to the General Election, a group of Cape Coral business owners have banded together in hope of getting a higher turnout than the city's small ballot, council elections have drawn since they were moved off the heavier even-year cycle.
Led by Dan Puleio, a business owner relatively new to the Cape, a dozen or so establishments are offering voters who cast a ballot on Election Day - Nov. 5 - a discount just for coming in with an "I Voted" sticker.
Among the goodies?
Well, Mr. Puleio is offering 10 percent off dry cleaning at his business, Cape Cleaners at 810 Cape Coral Parkway.
Hoboz Fine Dining, Dorado's Dockside Seafood, Sweet Magnolia's Coffee House, Maria's Italian Restaurant and Creative Creamery & More are all serving up some tasty food discounts.
Voters will be able to get a free slice of cheese pizza at Backstreets Sports Bar or no-cover admission at Dixie Roadhouse and lots more - all for taking part in an election that will select the people who will determine everything from tax rates over the next couple of years to what streets will get paved to exactly how and when the restarted utility expansion project will progress north of Pine Island Road.
The are four seats up for grabs on the eight-seat council -the mayor's as well as those for Districts 1, 4 and 6.
Running for mayor are Marni Lin Sawicki and incumbent John Sullivan. Running in District 1 are James "Jim" Burch and David R. Headd. District 4 features incumbent Chris N. Chulakes-Leetz and Richard Leon with incumbent Kevin McGrail and Rick Williams facing off in District 6.
There are some differences of opinion and approach among these candidates so, if you have an opinion on what you would like the city to do on critical issues, we agree with these businesses - it's important to vote.
For those planning to cast a ballot, Election Day is, again, Tuesday, Nov. 5, with early voting Oct. 28-31 and Nov. 1-2. Mail ballots are available through the Lee County Elections Office.
For those who would like more information on the businesses taking part in the one-day "I Voted" promotion, visit votecapecoral.com . The site, created by Mr. Puleio, lists the businesses and their respective incentive. It's an impressive list that's still growing.
Businesses that would like to take part can e-mail their offers to Dan@Cape-Cleaners.com for inclusion on the website.
The only requirement is that merchants offer customer discounts on Election Day.
- Breeze editorial