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Good governance must prevail to ensure downtown revitalization

Letter to the Editor

January 10, 2017
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Good governance must prevail to ensure downtown revitalization

To the Editor:

One of the overarching principles of the Estero Island Taxpayers Association, EITA, is to support downtown revitalization. To date TPI spent the summer working with resident taxpayers and businesses to come up with a concept they could support. The results of this work is a plan that will require not only permitting from the town, but that the county be a joiner in the permit application. The county has said "no way". Rather, they want Fort Myers Beach council to signal to the Board of County Commissions that council would like to see the application to advance. This is not a normal approach to next steps, so TPI, on Dec. 12, 2016, attempted to submit their downtown revitalization project to Fort Myers Beach for review, staff would not accept the application without a threshold issue of authorization from affected property owners - the County. So therein is the problem - the county wants to hear from the town and the town wants to hear from the County, a volleyball game, while we the taxpayers continue to suffer a crumbling downtown.

To be perfectly clear here, this is not about supporting or opposing a TPI downtown revitalization project. This is ONLY about getting the application submitted so that the process can begin!

It is for this reason that EITA would like to thank Mayor Boback and the council for practicing responsible governance at their Dec. 19, 2016, council meeting, acting in the best interest of the Fort Myers Beach taxpayers and taking positive steps in getting the TPI application to the review phase by agreeing to send a letter to the county. We hope this solution satisfies the County, but we also recognize that if the County chooses to ignore Fort Myers Beach Council, that Council may have to direct staff to conditionally accept the application at which time the county will have to weigh in.

EITA strongly supports Fort Myers Beach council to take any and all steps, with or without precedent, to ensure the TPI proposal goes to application review. This will allow all taxpayers to learn more about the proposal so that each and every one of us can determine for ourselves the future of Fort Myers Beach downtown.

Beverley Milligan

Executive Director

EITA - Estero Island Taxpayers Association

P.O. Box 2502 Fort Myers Beach, Fl 33932



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