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Time to move on

April 3, 2014
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

It baffles the mind and turns the stomach when past councilmen proclaim to have the answers to issues that they failed to work on during their time on the dais. When you have the opportunity to create policy for the future with majority control of the vote for two years and fail to make any substantial decisions for the residents' future needs, but spend far too much time chasing innuendo and trashing employees and hiding faux evidence, all the while costing the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars defending a lawsuit he brought against the taxpayers, it makes you sick. It came as no surprise that he dropped his suit before it went to court, but not until his actions drove the City's legal bill to about $80,000. Where was his support for the taxpayers then?

Now he wants us to believe his interests are serving the same taxpayers by fighting the City in court over what is plainly a revenue diversification plan to better control long range planning and related costs for the taxpayers. Let it not go unmentioned that this revenue diversification plan has already received court approval. The improvements needed for the City's residents (paved roads for example) are being delayed further by legal maneuvers initiated by the former councilman and his cohorts, with some believing the reason to be their avoidance to pay fees for the multiple vacant speculative properties in the areas in need of new roads. He was accused in the past of using his elected position to benefit his past legal actions against taxpayers, and his excuses now still don't pass the smell test.

Methodology in UEP projects has been tossed around for years for being unfair for some while benefiting others, but it has been decided by current and past Councils as the fairest of the bunch. The former councilman supported changing these methods in the UEP back in 2011 by charging commercial and professional properties twice the amount to the benefit of single family homes, all the while claiming attaboys for being business friendly unlike past Councils. So which side of his mouth do we believe?

Now one side of his mouth is questioning the methodology being used to support the Fire Assessment Fee, but similar conclusions will be the result of this waste of taxpayer resources, as it was with the UEP. Like the UEP, there are different ways to assess property owners for the Fire Assessment Fee but as the courts have recently decided the methodology being used is fair and legal. Have you had enough yet?

If the former councilman had not ignored the future needs of the City's assets at the expense of political expedience, as his four cohorts did on Council we would not need to "catch up" with managing City assets, such as emergency and construction vehicles. If the former councilman had supported a professional city manager who likely would have had the professional integrity to tell the Council that ignoring future City needs would be a mistake then the revenues being brought in by these diversification fees would have seen an equivalent decrease in ad valorem dollars. But the former councilman pretended to have never heard the catch phrase "pay me now or pay me later."

It is one's choice to remain a thorn in the side of progress and positive planning, but there comes a time when those baseless negative complainers need to wake up and realize that they are clearly in a small minority whose repetitive ranting is a waste of fresh air. They claimed the reins of the City once and failed to lead taxpayers with honesty and integrity but they can't seem to grasp their current insignificance. The majority of voters decided to look forward and not under rocks they have already walked past. Maybe the former councilman needs to stop looking under those passed-by rocks.

Wally Ilczyszyn



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