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Civic & Community Corner: Weigh in at the next Civic Association meeting set for Sept. 12

September 6, 2017
By Mike Land , North Fort Myers Neighbor

Sorry I haven't submitted a column in almost a month - my wife fell coming out of the shower a month ago and hasn't been able to walk or stand ever since.

She spent a week in the hospital with all kinds of tests, followed by pain killers, muscle relaxants and a skilled nursing home ever since, with me by her side most waking moments racking my brain for a solution or diagnosis other than "sciatica" and a possible cure or course of treatment.

So, let's pick up where my I left off.

If you recall in late June or early July, I advocated in this column, personally and as a member of the press, that we consider changing the name of our town from "North Fort Myers" and I recited several reasons for my personal opinion.

At the next NFM Civic Ass'n meeting over 200 angry residents showed up, most wearing their red NFMHS tee shirts, all angry because I had placed it on the Agenda. Three deputy sheriffs appeared and were urging that I "shut this meeting down."

I told the deputies that unless we had violence I intended to honor the freedom of speech rights of the protestors and that I would hear them out, since they had left their homes and families to come speak their minds.

Eventually they stopped shouting, and I led a movement to defeat my own proposal unanimously.

Thirty of the protestors joined the Association, two of them volunteered to serve as members of our Board of Directors, and I encouraged two of the most outspoken to fill two other Board vacancies, and I was optimistic that we would all meld homogeneously for the betterment of NFM.

I even prepared a list of my own suggestions for a Board Orientation of Do's and Don'ts for Directors and Do's and Don'ts for Meetings, thinking it would create teamwork and harmonious meetings.

Unfortunately, the controversy hasn't cooled and I'd like to share some personal frustration along with some additional information.

Since then, two of those directors have made a motion to impose a Code of Conduct on me and to have me censured because I made the "proposal" that we change the name.

As it turned out I didn't suggest a particular name, I didn't circulate a petition, and I didn't place newspaper ads, as the NFM Chamber of Commerce had done many years ago (without any repercussions) - I just placed it on the Agenda for discussion and possible action and, when I saw how passionate people were about the name at the demonstration, I abandoned the passing notion.

Now their motion seeks to prevent me from writing any more of these columns in my name, from proposing anything controversial and tying my hands as President in many ways.


I accepted these members and Directors in good faith. But I am not ashamed of anything I did. If people were punished for a suggestion or proposal they made, then no one would ever propose anything and nothing would ever get done. A leader tries many different approaches and ideas to get results. some ideas are popular and some aren't.

During my 2-1/2 years as President probably 95 percent of the ideas and motions on our Agendas were mine and most have been well received. So, if you think I have done a good job in my 8.5 years as an officer of Civic, or if you think that the remaining 6 months of my term as President should not be unduly restricted, come to what should be the most interesting meeting ever Tuesday, Sept. 12, at 7 p.m.! Other key items on the Agenda are:

* Revision of the NFM Civic Association pamphlet.

We printed 2,000 of them in February and have given them all away, so we need to print more but prior to so doing, I have asked our Board of Directors to submit their input, just like last time, but we are emphasizing fewer words and more pictures, and our new member, Laura Ray, with wonderful skills in marketing and pamphlet layout and production has given our pamphlet a major facelift.

If any of my readers have any suggestions, see the first version at, and then contact me. Attend our 9/12 meeting to watch the approval process.

* The News-Press is offering grants to qualifying non-profits.

I sent word of this to my Board and asked for a volunteer to write a grant application. New Director Holly Marth responded in the affirmative and has put together a wonderful application dealing with municipality beautification. Come to our meeting, see Holly's application and offer suggestions on how to implement the grant if we get it.

Hope to see a great many of you on 9/12!


Contact me at 239-823-3631 or if you have some event, project or idea that you would like in this column, or with any comments or questions. Visit



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