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Keeping the Promise – ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’

March 27, 2014
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

"Mirror, mirror on the wall. Who's the fairest one of all?" - Like fairy tales of ole - these words bring a distinct meaning to vanity and wishful thinking. It is reminiscent of that same ole saying "Keeping the Promise." Yes, just like the mirror on the wall and keeping the promise; our local government here on Cape Coral, Fla. is living a fairy tale. Someone needs to awaken "Snow White" and the "Seven Dwarfs" need to quit singing "hi ho, hi ho, it's off to spend we go" with our tax dollars.

Yes, I read feedback from those who read my previous letter to the editor. One comment was why I didn't write anything concerning past Cape Coral City Council expenditures. My answer is I wasn't involved at that time, but, now I am and I am going to continue to inquire as to why our elected officials make the decisions they do.

Fellow taxpaying Cape Coral Citizens: We are not in a fairy tale. Reality is our local government has over spent for years. And they are attempting to run roughshod over the citizens of Cape Coral through improvising new and improved methods of revenue creation. We've seen them pass the Personal Services Tax and the Fire Assessment on the local population. People will say, OK it is done, let's get on with life, we need to quit talking about what was done in the past and move onto the future! WRONG! We need to discuss and write and discuss and write about wrong decisions made by our elected officials.

The Public Service Tax on our electricity consumption only impacts home owners and business that operate in Cape Coral. Ok, "Keeping the Promise" on the signs being posted on the road networks is only a reminder that our elected representatives will keep the promise to impose any new tax or revenue creation scheme whenever there is a Cape Coral City Budget Shortfall. And all these shortfalls are due to the lack of leadership and management oversight to control out-of-control spending on the part of the decisions made by our elected officials and hired city leadership.

Oh, people will tell me, we needed our roads repaved. I would respond, yes, you are absolutely correct, our roads did need repaving. But why wasn't the estimated overpayment and building costs for the Kismet Water Treatment Facility caught through the city auditors' due diligence and that money saved used as a partial payment for repaving our roads? Or why did we spend $500,000 for a gasoline usage software product to record gas consumption (yeah, you should remember that council decision). Or the land purchase of 652 acres of land scattered throughout the north part of the city valued at $14 to $23 million (I don't remember the actual price tag), or the wanting to purchase the golf course in the southeast section of the Cape at a price tag of $8 to $10 million dollars. Where is the money coming from? Who will make the decisions to increase our taxes? I tell you who, private consultants who are paid by our city government which consists of our hard-earned tax dollars to research new ways to "strain more blood out of a rock"

Cape Coral Citizens who vote or want to vote - where does all this spending end? Oh, let's not forget the latest action by our elected representatives, our newly established "fire assessment." Oh, my neighbor would tell me, we need a fire department that will protect our homes from burning down. I would again respond, yes, we need our fire department, we need fire department equipment that is maintained and operational. We need fire department facilities that will facilitate operations, use, maintenance of all fire department equipment and personnel. And our first responders need to be paid an adequate wage and be trained(fire and police combined). But then I ask myself, the northeast part of Cape Coral needs a fire department facility in the Gator Circle area. One exists, but it isn't a fire department facility, it is one of the previously foreclosed homes which the City of Cape Coral is using and which has the fire engine is sitting outside to the elements gathering rust and grime. he fire fighters are doing their best to maintain the equipment. But the elements make their efforts short lived. If there was a properly structure to house the "pumper," then the elements wouldn't have much effect. So, the Fire Department Leadership attempts to do their "due diligence" and requests that a garage be constructed to house the "pumper" to protect it from the elements. The cost of such a structure is approximately $250,000. Well, you guessed it, there is no money available for the fire department, but there is money available to hire 22 new employees for the overspent water treatment facility on Kismet. By the way, where is the money coming from to pay for these 22 new employees? Why can we not have a proper fire station built in the Gator Circle community?

Here is the what "keeping the promise" means to me. Mayor, City Council, and non-elected leadership of Cape Coral - keep this promise - Be stalwart and keep the Cape Coral City budget balanced. Don't waste our limited resources when you make decisions. Vet large expenditures through a public referendum. Communicate with the citizens of Cape Coral. (keeping the promise signs is a great idea, but you should also take it a step further, post signs that are informative about upcoming legislative changes for the entire community), etc..

As for a saying - which doesn't relate to the subject within this letter to the editor. Will Roger's once stated - "One Ad is worth more to a paper than forty Editorials."

Yes, words are cheap, it is your action or your vote that matters. Remember, we all have that responsibility to vote to make sure that our elected officials keep in step with what the voters of our community want.

Dick Peppe

Cape Coral



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