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Civic Association adds board members

December 20, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

The North Fort Myers Civic Association had a special visitor at its monthly meeting last week at the recreation center. It was jolly ol' St. Nick, who passed candy canes out to guests and association members and later on sat in on the meeting.

Danny Ballard portrayed Santa for the association, and the meeting was a spirited one to close out 2017 and ending with two new board members.

Kim Tester volunteered to be on the board and serve as treasurer, while Deb Ballard, Danny's wife, also volunteered, a circumstance that did not go over well for everyone.

Article Photos

Danny Ballard, dressed as Santa Claus, hands out candy canes before the North Fort Myers Civic Association meeting at the recreation center last week.


Board member Andy Rosman had an issue with having a husband and wife on the same board, even though Deb is a lifelong North Fort Myers resident. He voted against her being on the board.

The board also discussed what to do regarding board members who can't be at all the meetings or who are not coming for unexcused reasons.

The situation seems to center around one member, John Lightbody, who has missed five of the last six meetings, including this past one because of a death in the family.

President Michael Land defended Lightbody, saying he has tried to sell his home in New Jersey so he can become a full-time Floridian. He also said that he has been very effective when here and has always voted on issues online.

"It's their word if they are excusing themselves for a reason. I would expect them to have the character to tell us if they are missing the meeting unexcused," board member Doug Dailey said. "If someone is violating a rule, you don't change the rule."

Land also wanted the board members to brainstorm on what kind of fundraisers they can do to get the insurance money needed for the organization. The civic association has done pancake breakfasts the past two years, with last year's event having very few participants.

Among the ideas bantered about were a car wash, pavers, a barbecue cookoff, and even a Heritage Day with vendors.

Also, Land said the group was trying hard to get North Fort Myers High School football coach Earnest Graham to speak at next month's meeting. He also said he wanted to award Graham with a plaque to celebrates the team's perfect regular season.

Again, it was Rosman who objected.

"This could open up a bag of worms. We could end up buying plaques for everyone," Rosman said, before another member said that not everyone who wants a plaque will get one.

Land suggested they create a plaque for the outstanding person in the community, a single one that could be housed somewhere.

Also, there was an update on the proposed cultural arts center, which now has a tentative name "Lee County Arts Center of North Fort Myers" and will serve as the final of three pieces the area needs after the rec center and the library.

Land also bemoaned the lack of attendance for the annual Carol Sing and Christmas Tree lighting the night before, which featured the North High chorus.

Ballard said that very little promotion was done for the event and that the kids who come out after the day's activities did not join in.

Despite that, the board voted to give the chorus an honorarium for their service.



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