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Spending money we don’t have?

February 13, 2014
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

Cape Coral city manager has spend more than $100,000 on consultant fees, according to an article in the Fort Myers newspaper, and has spent taxpayer monies suing the residents of Cape Coral. Doing all of this just to get his "fire Assessment" approved. The city manager of Cape Coral mentioned on channel 2 News last Thursday morning that Cape Coral is broke, I wonder why? The city manager said he hired the consultants in the beginning to see how much money was needed to run the city.

Cape Coral has five high schools and I know that if the math departments at these five schools were given task of finding out what the city's financial needs were they would have come up with the amounts needed and I am sure without spending more than $100,000 doing it. If asked I am sure they could also come up with a plan of making it happen without the "fire assessment." The city could have given all five high schools a generous scholarship for their work and still saved the city a lot of money and not be in the mess we are in today.

This city has spent more than $13 million on buying land that they just "might" need sometime in the future, money taken from the water account. The city is now repaving roads, again money that they yet do not have. The city is now looking at spending $200,000 on a one bay garage for a fire vehicle. You can build a nice home for less than that; again this is money they do not have.

The city of Cape Coral has a major problem of an un-funded retirement program, this has been ongoing since it started. My wife and I read many letters to the editor concerning this issue prior to moving here some 15 years ago. This present city manager claims that we will see some progress on this in 25 years down the road, that is nothing but smoke and mirrors, we the taxpayers need to have this fixed now.

Cities should be able to finance their needs through property taxes, period. There is no excuse for a city manager to spend taxpayer money trying to find ways other than the property tax to finance the city's needs.

The Cape Coral Breeze newspaper has a weekly opinion poll. On the question of the "fire assessment" the response was 54 percent against and 17 percent was only if it did not raise taxes, I think we know the answer to that. How could the city council and city manager support this type of taxation with most everyone against it? The city revenues were up $9 million this past year due to the increase in the property values and yet this is something that city hall won't talk about.

Our water and sewer rates have doubled within the last 10 years, all because only those on city water and sewer are paying for the water plant on Kismet. This is plant that was not needed and, if built, should have been paid for through the property tax.

Cape Coral's city water and sewer expansion program costing each residence around $20,000 is something that should not be allowed. Each and every resident is paying for new roads, about 40 percent of the total bill; road construction should be paid for through city bonds. Not only are these residents paying for new roads, they are also paying for the road repaving going other parts of the city. Doesn't seem very fair does it.

Richard C. Perry

Cape Coral



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