Cape Coral Marni Sawicki announced on social media that she will not seek re-election.
Sawicki wrote on Facebook that while she is proud of the city's accomplishments, with her children now in college she will focus her efforts on her business once her current term ends. Her statement, in full, reads:
"Cape Coral is at a CrossRoads
"People still ask me what inspired me to run for mayor of the 10th largest city in Floridaand my response is, and always will be, "I knew I could make a difference". With a politically active mother, I was taught at a very young age that if you don't like something - change it. It's that simple. When I ran for office my platform consisted of three core messages: Increase transparency and accountability of city government, strengthen our local economy, and improve our community's quality of life.
"While keeping my campaign promises, I've remained committed to listening to our community by hosting 15 Mayor's Night Out "Town Hall" meetings throughout my term in addition to numerous other speaking engagements throughout the years. As a city, we implemented Munetrix (go to CapeCoral.net/Open Government) to add transparency to our budgeting. We applied for and were selected by the Bloomberg Philanthropies to be a What Works City. The program is designed to accelerate cities' use of data and evidence to improve the lives of our residents. With the addition of our new 3-1-1 program, "CapeConnect" mobile app and revamped city website, we have proven transparency in government to be a high priority.
"Additionally, our council reduced the millage for the past 3 years and still managed to improve the level of service our citizens receive by all departments. With a new Economic Development Plan, incentive package, online permitting and reduced regulations for businesses we have truly made a difference in how we are viewed as a city. We have grown our commercial base from just 8% to 12% in three short years. The Top 10 lists we are on speak for themselves.
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.... I am proud of our city's accomplishments; however, with both of my children now attending college and the amount of hours required as mayor, I am choosing to focus my energies on building my company when my term ends. Therefore, I am making the difficult decision not to seek re-election. I am announcing this early in hopes that those in our community who have a desire to move our city forward will consider running. Now is not the time for complacency. Strong and caring leaders won't get elected unless we all take the time to get educated on the issues and most importantly, VOTE to allow the Cape to continue its forward momentum. I believe it's critical we elect forward-thinking people who will continue to improve our city and grow it to its full potential....
- Mayor Marni Sawicki
"We have improved the quality of life in many ways. We've continued to support the revitalization of South Cape Coral. We approved an $8.5M game-changing streetscape project for 47th Terrace, selected a project manager for Bimini Basin, put in sidewalks, bike lanes, streetlights, improved medians throughout the city and implemented a rolling 5-year $6.5M paving program. We also completed a Parks Master Plan and equipped our first responders with much-needed vehicles, equipment and body cameras. We addressed pay parity and raises for city employees, which hadn't been addressed in 7 years, all the while remaining fiscally responsible with every decision. Fighting for improved water quality has been a priority from the beginning, which led to Cape Coral joining 164 municipalities and 19 counties affected by damaging water pollution, to sign onto the largest regional compact ever initiated in the nation.
"I am proud of our city's accomplishments; however, with both of my children now attending college and the amount of hours required as mayor, I am choosing to focus my energies on building my company when my term ends. Therefore, I am making the difficult decision not to seek re-election. I am announcing this early in hopes that those in our community who have a desire to move our city forward will consider running. Now is not the time for complacency. Strong and caring leaders won't get elected unless we all take the time to get educated on the issues and most importantly, VOTE to allow the Cape to continue its forward momentum. I believe it's critical we elect forward-thinking people who will continue to improve our city and grow it to its full potential.
"Our elected officials must leverage our strengths and minimize our weaknesses. We don't have an I-75, a port or an airport, so we must focus on what we DO have. Continuing to develop our political landscape to foster higher education facilities to move here, which will elevate our workforce and attract companies, focusing on ways to offset the rising home costs for our teachers and first-responders, improving our infrastructure and understanding that by focusing on medical, technological, hospitality and construction along with the many, many home-based businesses, we will succeed. Those elected officials must understand the big picture and how each decision changes future outcomes.
"We should strongly encourage our leaders to take active roles in the Florida League of Cities, League of Mayors, US Conference of Mayors and other organizations to bring back great ideas to improve our community. As one of the largest 150 cities nationally, Cape Coral needs to be constantly thinking outside the box to find more efficient ways of doing things. Our residents and officials must continue to fight for our local Home Rule authority and water quality by communicating our specific needs to our state representatives.
"Furthermore, our residents play a vital role in shaping our city! Community involvement, volunteering and participating in the Citizen's Academy are just some of the ways residents can contribute in making our city better. Review our elected officials overall voting record to see if it lines up with the direction you'd like to see our city move forward, understanding that you'll never totally agree with all of their decisions. It's important to become educated rather than just opinionated. People can't fully understand an issue by reading a blurb in the newspaper or watching a 30 second TV-clip, nor do you always get the "truth" from social media. Please get involved and engaged by watching council meetings, reviewing council agendas, attending the debates and asking HOW specifically a candidate plans to carry out their campaign promises.
"For the remainder of my time in office, I will continue to ask the tough questions. I will do the right thing for our city, regardless of political opinions or the loudest voice and I will finish strong. I want to ensure the best policies, practices, procedures and controls are implemented for the betterment of our city and our residents. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve you. It has been an honor.
"Yours in Service,
Mayor of Cape Coral
#CapeCoralStrong #ProudToServe #ThankYou "