The North Fort Myers Civic Association and the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce held a "Meet and Greet the Primary Election Candidates "on Monday, July 18 starting at 6:30 p.m. at the NFM Recreation Center. Candidates for contested positions appeared, spoke, answered questions and then greeted and mixed with the audience after the formal program. Moderator Skip Mitchell skillfully guided the 13 participating candidates through their introductions, fielding questions from the audience and summing up. Contrary to the national political scene, and even other county venues, there were no protests, demonstrations, threats, altercations, insults or profanity, which speaks well of the decorum habits of North Fort Myers residents, who were there in large numbers.
The candidates who participated were:
SHERIFF: Stephanie Eller and James Didio.
SUPERVISOR OF ELECTION: Incumbent Sharon Harrington, Carmen Salome and James Hefren.
School Board Districts 6 and 7 which NFM residents can vote for: Charles Dailey, Richard Dunmire and Don Armstrong from District 6. Cathleen Morgan, Betsy Vaughn, Chris Quackenbush, Guido Minaya, Derrick Donnell from District 7.
Since no county commissioners appeared, the Civic Association decided, as a service to the public, to conduct another similar forum, limited to the County Commissioner Candidates and the two Judicial Candidates today, Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Recreation Center. Already confirmed as attending are incumbent Frank Mann, Kenny Dobson, Dianne Zigrossi, incumbent Larry Kiker and Dick Anderson and the two candidates for judge, incumbent Archie B. Hayward, Jr. and Leah Harwood. Come hear these influential men and woman vying for the right to help run the county's government. Ask them questions and meet them one-on-one from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., followed by the candidate's presentations from 7 to 8 with opportunity for questions from the audience. Skip Mitchell will be reprising the role of moderator again. Afterwards the public is invited to stay in that same room to participate in the regular monthly business meeting of the NFM Civic Association until 9 p.m.
Mark your calendars for the following Civic Association functions:
Meeting on Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. with guest speaker Ronni Wood, State Director of the Florida Main Street Program. She was scheduled a few months ago but had to re-schedule because of a late scheduling conflict. She is considering our Business 41 as a subject for sponsor for this program which has been utilized successfully by Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte and Sarasota. With the sponsorship comes state know-how and training for the businesses in the sponsored area, advertising, grants and more. Every property owner, merchant, manager, tenant, motel, restaurant or dreamer along this venerable stretch of newly-widened highway should make sure they attend this meeting to add their input. Put this in the category of "Required Attendance."
"Meet The General Election Candidates Night" on the following night, Wednesday, Sept. 14 from 6 to 9 p.m., co-sponsored with the NFM Chamber of Commerce, in Room 104 A and B of the Rec Center. This will afford every attendee the opportunity to shake hands and converse one- onone with the county, state and federal candidates in our area and listen to what promises to be a spellbinding evening. I expect that some of the Presidential Campaign rhetoric will be present as well.
3. At The Rec Center, Room 102 A on Oct. 11 from 7 to 9 p.m. will be the monthly meeting with featured speakers Carolyn Rogers and Tessa Le Sage of the Community Foundation, an extremely effective local organization, who will explain what this group does and how they might benefit the Civic Association and North Fort Myers.
The NFM Chamber of Commerce conducted its fun fundraiser, Celebrity Waiters, lunch time on Tuesday, Aug. 9 at Faith Assembly Church, 7101 Bayshore Road. This event features local celebrities such as elected officials, candidates currently running for office and some lesser lights such as yours truly acting as waiters and doing various comedy things, performing requests, singing, generally making a fool of themselves and doing anything to make a buck for the Chamber. The mirth munch also featured a silent auction, and a good time was had by all.
The North Fort Myers Design Review Panel met on Tuesday, Aug. 2 at 6 p.m. at the Rec Center. It heard applications as follows:
The Nauti Parrott Restaurant/Nightclub, at Marinatown, under recent new ownership, is seeking an order legitimizing the existing outdoor patio and bar and its right to have live outdoor music at a comfortable sound level, neither of which had the correct county paperwork under the previous ownership. They have gone to great lengths to keep the noise level under the required 72 decibels with the new directional speakers pointing inward to minimize their impact on neighbors several of whom appeared to testify in support of the application, some even adding that this facility has increased their property values. Their entertainment policy now provides for acoustic guitarists/singers and they play until 10 p.m. weekdays and 11 on weekends with no heavy basses or drums to upset the neighbors. So go check it out! Say hello to 1/3 of the family ownership, Tyler Geib, who gave an excellent presentation. The Panel unanimously voted to recommend this application to the county.
Apllication by Brian Smith of Ensite on behalf of end user Fresenius Kidney Care, seeking a development order for construction of a 10,000 square foot medical office at 15991 N. Cleveland, on a 2.98 acre site south of Littleton and the 7-11 Store. The proposed one-story structure will connect via sidewalk along N. Cleveland Ave to the 7-11 and Littleton Road and will feature several key elements of the required Old Florida architecture such as a silver-colored seamed metal roof, with exterior done in Colonial blue stucco and wood siding, cornices, a dormer and two porticos. The Panel unanimously affirmed to the county that it had no objection to this very compliant application.
The public is invited to attend these meetings held at the NFM Recreation Center on the first Tuesday of the month starting at 6 p.m., hear the presentations, see the applicants' exhibits, hear and participate in the questioning and hear the recommendations of the Panel.
"PUBLIC APATHY IS THE PLAGUE OF THE 21ST CENTURY! VOLUNTEER-IT'S GOOD FOR THE MIND AND THE HEART." MIKE LAND
Contact me at 239-823-3631 or email@example.com if you have some event, project or idea that you would like mentioned in this column, or with any comments or questions.