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High hopes for our new city council

November 13, 2015
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

On Monday, Cape Coral residents saw four council members sworn in to serve on the city's elected board.

Two, Rana Erbrick and John Cariosica, are returning members. Two, Jessica Cosden and Marilyn Stout, are newly elected.

Added to the current council makeup - Mayor Marni Sawicki and council members Jim Burch, Richard Leon and Rick Williams- the returning and incoming reps will help comprise one of the most representative councils in recent memory.

Split evenly by gender, broadly diverse according to age, background and profession, the new eight-seat council includes members both working and retired, those raising a family or enjoying the grandkids, new to the political arena and seasoned vets.

We think this is a solid, look-ahead board, one on par with the most recent council and one of the best in recent years.

That's a good thing.

With the pressing issues at hand - continuation of the city's water and sewer expansion project; renegotiation of the franchise agreement with LCEC or municipalization; business expansion anticipated from the new conference center and the Bimini Basin and Seven Islands proposals; on-going employee compensation review and pension reform - the new council certainly has its work cut out for it.

And that is to do the homework, ask the hard questions, evaluate the options and then render the types of decisions that separate long-term vision from short-term boosterism.

That is no easy task.

An uptick economy and increased revenue brings challenges that are different - but no easier - than those faced in a down economy.

Put another way, spending on "wants" when the economy is heads up is the flip side of cutting "needs" when it's duck-and-cover: Either way, the taxpayers watch their coin roll to the gutter.

We think the new Cape Coral City Council understands the difference and collectively will execute what we believe to be the voters' collective mandate: To keep Cape Coral moving forward without giving in to the temptation to window shop or impulse buy on the taxpayers' dime.

Certainly, that is our hope.

Welcome to our new officials. Thank you, and those returning, for your willingness to serve.

- Breeze editorial



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