Accessibility Information

Mayor

Mayor's Message

December 2022

As we embark upon the holiday season, family, and friends, near and far, will gather to share stories of what has transpired in their lives during the past year.

As I continue my term as Mayor of the City of Cape Coral, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to our residents for their civic engagement and continued support. During these times of uncertainty and change, I can reassure you that my leadership will be authentic and straightforward. As your leader, I will continue to negotiate and work with others that will enable our community to thrive. 

Despite the challenges of Hurricane Ian, this has been a productive year. Cape Coral experienced significant economic growth.  We have several large-scale multi-family developments in the works and several thousand square feet of commercial projects under construction. More than 4,000 new construction building permits were issued in 2022, and our population continues to grow. 

One of the primary responsibilities of the City Council is to adopt the annual operating budget. Council adopted the Fiscal Year 2023 budget in September, and we lowered the millage rate from 6.250 mills to the rollback rate of 5.3694 mills. This budget allows us to expand public safety and invest in our infrastructure. It is the single most effective way to stimulate our economy and rebuild our city to be more resilient, equitable, and prosperous. We want Cape Coral to remain one of the safest cities in Florida.

We held ribbon cuttings on several projects completed over the past year, including the SW Irrigation Tanks and High-Service Pump Station, the completion of Giuffrida Neighborhood Park, and we unveiled the Utility Box beautification project and the roundabout art sculpture project, both located in downtown Cape Coral on SE 47th Terrace. These projects are crucial to the city's success because they stimulate the economy, enhance property values, instill a sense of civic pride, reduce crime, and help current businesses and attract new ones.

City Council remains committed to improving water quality and will continue to work closely with other local, state, and federal officials on solutions to water quality issues. The Waterway Advisory Board, created by your City Council, provides valuable input and recommendations concerning decisions regarding the city’s waterways.

As we head into 2023, we will continue moving forward with extending utilities to property owners in the northeastern part of Cape Coral. The extension of our utilities is necessary for the environment and the city’s future economic development.

Recovery efforts in response to Hurricane Ian continue and are likely to continue for months and possibly years.  As debris is removed from the streets, some areas look almost back to normal, but I’d like to remind you that many of our friends and neighbors continue to face challenges in the wake of the storm.  The City is prioritizing the work ahead of us, a crucial element of our community’s recovery.  Recovery efforts will demonstrate the importance of building new infrastructure that is stronger and better equipped to meet our city’s needs. 

We encourage our residents to visit our website capecoral.gov and click on the Hurricane Ian Recovery button.  There you will find answers to your questions related to emergency permitting, individual and business assistance, hurricane debris collection, internet provider contact information, and more.

Cape Coral is a great and unique city with a bright future, for which there is much love and admiration. Because of that, we’ve become something we never set out to be; a big, striving, and prosperous city. A great place to start and raise a family. A place that we can call our own. We ask that everyone be good stewards of our environment and continue that kindness and support.

From our family to yours, I offer you all my warmest wishes for a joyous holiday season and a Happy New Year. I look forward to a new year, which offers exciting opportunities for a fresh start and new beginnings.


November 2022

A little over a month ago, Hurricane Ian made landfall, which devasted our region. Hurricane Ian was the deadliest hurricane to hit Florida since 1935. We are still feeling the aftermath of its destructive force.  In the storm’s wake, millions of us were without power.  The devastation left behind could be seen for miles, with snapped power poles and power lines littering the roadways. It heavily damaged our homes and building structures, many of which took on water, and the impact of the storm surge could be seen all along the coast as well as inland. Many people were forced to flee their homes, and sadly some had no homes to return to.

As soon as it was safe, our Public Work crews were in full force and could be seen clearing the debris off of the major roadways. This allowed our search and rescue teams to access those in dire need of assistance and provide aid to those in distress or imminent danger. As many of you know, it will take months, even years, to rebuild. As we continue to recover, please know that you are not in this alone. Many of you are experiencing emotional distress, overwhelming anxiety, and constant worrying. Together, we must remain strong and remain unified as a community.

We encourage our residents to visit our website capecoral.gov and click on the Hurricane Ian Recovery button.  There you will find answers to your questions related to emergency permitting, individual and business assistance, hurricane debris collection, internet provider contact information, and more. If you don’t have a means of going online, our 311-call center is available from 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 a.m. Monday – Friday for Hurricane information as well.

In the hours after the storm passed, millions of residential and business customers were without power. Thousands of utility workers traveled to Florida to help with the daunting task of restoring the power grids. As of today, over 97% of accounts have been restored. LCEC urges customers remaining without power to inspect the damage to their homes or business due to Hurricane Ian. It is essential to understand what LCEC is responsible for and what the customer is responsible for. Please visit https://www.lcec.net/reliability/storm-center/hurricane-repair for additional information.

If you are experiencing internet connectivity issues with Xfinity, Comcast, CenturyLink, Quantum Fiber, and/or Lumen, customers are encouraged to contact their provider(s).  For contact information on each provider, visit capecoral.gov, select the Hurricane Ian Recovery button, and scroll down; it’s on the main page.

Over the last several weeks, FEMA has deployed additional Mobile Registration Intake Centers (MRICs) in Cape Coral to assist residents with the initial registration and application for FEMA assistance. As of Friday, November 4, FEMA opened a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) at the Lake Kennedy Center, 400 Santa Barbara Boulevard in Cape Coral, to help residents with their initial registration and provide recommendations and assistance for individuals based on their unique needs. The site is open daily from 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. To check your FEMA application status or get more information about available resources, visit https://www.fema.gov/.

The challenges faced by many after a hurricane is evident, but at the same time, we need to channel our resources. We are prioritizing the work ahead of us, which is crucial to the recovery of our community. The recovery efforts will demonstrate the importance of building new infrastructure that is stronger and better equipped to meet the modern needs of our city. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to stay strong. We are all going to pull through this together as one. #CapeCoralTogether


September 2022
Council is currently reviewing the budget for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23).  We have been successful over the past several years by having sound financial policies in place. Although we have been divided on selecting the millage rate, no matter which rate is selected, Council is looking to reduce your property tax rate. I am recommending the Rollback rate to ensure residents will not see a tax increase.

One of the primary responsibilities of your City Council is the adoption of the annual operating budget. The annual budget is among the most important documents a local government produces, and the budget process is an undertaking that requires a great deal of consideration by the City Council. The budget allocates limited resources among various priorities deemed important for the organization and the community.

Cape Coral is among the fastest-growing cities in the nation. This impressive growth presents both benefits and challenges.  We intend to ensure that the FY23 property tax rate allows us to keep pace with the growth we are continuing to see. We will not only maintain our current level of service but will exceed it in many areas.

Two local referendums passed in the primary election in August.  The Filling of Vacancies of Mayor and Council Members as well as Authentication, Codification, and Availability of City Records.  There will be an additional referendum on the November Ballot; for details on the referendums, visit our City website at www.capecoral.gov. 

I, along with city staff, am working diligently with other elected officials, and the Army Corp of Engineers, in the final stages of developing the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM). This agreement will be in place for many years, and we must ensure we make the right decisions to protect the best interest of our city and this region involving water quality. One of my priorities will always be water quality, and as we all know, water quality is essential for the success of our community.

On September 9, the city is hosting a ribbon-cutting event at Giuffrida Park.  The event will begin at 10 a.m. and is open to the public.  The park improvements include two Pickleball courts, a multi-use path, upgraded parking, improved landscaping, a shade structure over the playground, new concrete curbing, installation of sod, and more. This is another neighborhood park improvement in our city that will better serve our residents.

I encourage residents to stay informed and engaged about city issues that are important to them. There are many ways to participate in the decision-making process, and provide us with your input. I look forward to what we can accomplish when we work together as a community. As we work together, I forecast a brighter future for our community.

As always, I am honored to serve as your Mayor and will continue to work diligently to set high expectations for our community while moving our city forward in a positive direction.


August 2022
It’s August already and as our rainy season continues, I encourage residents to continue to refrain from the use of phosphorous and/or nitrogen-containing fertilizers.  Runoff from these nutrients feeds algae in our waterways and can cause harmful algae to bloom and affect our quality of life.   

The hurricane season began June 1 and being prepared for severe weather is the best way to keep you and your family safe. Our city is well-prepared thanks in part to our Fire Department and its Emergency Management Division.  Hurricane season continues and I encourage residents to be prepared as storm threats remain through November 30.

Speaking of safety, the new school year begins this month, and your City Council and the Cape Coral Police Department’s school resource officers are committed to the safety and security of our students.  I’m asking all motorists to be extra careful so students can get to and from school safely.   City Council is doing its part with plans to continue to fund the construction of more sidewalks prioritizing those near schools.  Also, last year the city expanded the partnership between the city and the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs of Cape Coral by replacing deteriorating picnic tables at school bus stops with new longer-lasting benches.

City Council is in the process of setting the FY 2023 Operating Budget for the City. What is before us now is the responsibility of establishing a budget for the year ahead. We are working with the City Manager and his staff to develop a budget that will provide the level of service our community expects and to confirm our priorities for the next fiscal year. Public safety is always a top priority; however, we have several other priorities including infrastructure, economic development, and water quality improvement. City Council is also working on determining the millage rate with a strong consideration to decrease the rate. Input from our residents who volunteer their time to serve on the Budget Review Committee is important in establishing the budget. Public hearings on the budget will be held this month to gather input from our residents. 

One of our largest projects underway is the Caloosahatchee Connect joint project, which will reduce Fort Myers’ discharges into the river while providing more irrigation water to Cape Coral property owners for lawn watering and fire protection purposes. Cape Coral has one of the largest reuse water systems in the country. Our reclaimed water system has eliminated the City of Cape Coral’s discharges of treated wastewater into the river.  Another important water quality project is the installation of bubble curtains. City Council approved funding for these devices to help keep harmful algae in the Caloosahatchee River from entering 10 of the canals that open to the river.  We recently received the necessary state and Federal permits, and staff hopes to complete the installation process in the next few months. 

In the first week of August, the City is hosting a ribbon-cutting event for the SW Pine Island Reuse Pump Station Project.  The event will be August 5 at 10 a.m. and is open to the public.  The new facilities include two prestressed, reinforced concrete ground storage tanks, a high service pump station, and an electrical room.  The new facility will provide up to 10 million gallons of additional reclaimed water storage and provides increased irrigation pressure and flow.

As always, I am honored to serve as your Mayor and will continue to work diligently to set high expectations for our exceptional community while moving our city forward.


July 2022
Cape Coral is flowing with possibilities!

On July 4, 1776, almost 250 years ago, Congress declared our independence and founded our nation on the ideals of liberty, justice, and equality.  As we prepare to celebrate Independence Day with gratitude and the blessings of freedom, I would like to thank active duty and veteran members of the military for preserving our peace and security and protecting our freedom.

I encourage all Cape Coral visitors and residents to join us on July 4th for the City’s Red, White and Boom celebration.  The event is free for attendees and will have music, food, entertainment, and the best fireworks display in Southwest Florida. I will be attending, and I hope to see everyone there to bring our community together for this great yearly event.   

June was a busy month; we celebrated the groundbreaking of Yellow Fever Creek Preserve.  The finished product will be an innovative park concept that will host a fantastic nature preserve with hiking, equestrian trails, a dog park, primitive camcampsites, and more!  To get an idea of what it will look like upon completion check out the renderings on our Go Bond Project webpage.

The City’s Southwest Water Reclamation Facility received the first-place Earle B. Phelps Outstanding Wastewater Treatment Facility Performance Award for the third year in a row.  I’m proud to report we are the only city in Florida to receive first-place recognition for three consecutive years.

The City’s Fleet Services received awards in two categories, they were recognized as one of the 100 Best Fleets in the Americas by the National Association of Fleet Administrators, and as one of the top 50 Government Leading Fleets in the U.S. and Canada.

On June 1, the Lee County Property Appraiser provided the City with a tentative taxable value which indicates a 20.77% increase in value year over year.  The City Council also started budget discussions in June and will continue those discussions thru September. During these discussions, Council will need to determine the financial impact to our residents when developing our upcoming FY2023 budget due to the largest taxable value increase that Cape Coral has ever experienced.

I’d like to take this opportunity to tell our police and firefighters that I appreciate them and the work that they do for our community.  We are blessed to have a very safe city.  As our city continues to grow, I am committed to keeping our community safe and being proactive when it comes to crime in Cape Coral.  I have a long-standing respect for our police and firefighters, and I’m pleased to report that Cape Coral has great leadership when it comes to our Police Chief, Fire Chief, and Command Staff.

Finally, I want to remind Cape Coral residents to practice hurricane preparedness.  As Floridians we know it’s not “if”, but “when” the next storm will strike.  This hurricane season, I’d like to encourage all Cape Coral residents to have a plan in place to ensure that you and your loved ones are prepared.  Visit our Storm Season Prep webpage for information and helpful links.

In closing, I hope to see you at Cape Coral’s Red, White and Boom event, and I hope you have a safe and enjoyable summer. Additionally, I’d like to remind you to continue to limit your use of phosphorous and nitrogen-containing fertilizers so we may experience the best possible water quality for our community.

As always, I am honored to serve as your Mayor and will continue to work diligently to set high expectations for our exceptional community while moving our city forward.


June 2022

It’s hard to believe it’s already June, which is shaping up to be a very busy month.  June marks the start of hurricane season, the beginning of our fertilizer ban period, and we have several City events to look forward to.

Officials are once again predicting an above-average Atlantic hurricane season in 2022. While we keep our fingers crossed that no major storms hit our city, it’s important to be prepared.  I want to take this opportunity to encourage everyone to review their emergency plans and assemble a hurricane supply kit to ensure you are well-prepared if a storm should impact our area. It is important to create a list of supplies that you could take with you if you are forced to evacuate.


I strongly encourage all Cape Coral residents not to be complacent and begin your hurricane prep now if you haven’t already. As part of your preparations, please know your flood zone and determine where you would go if ordered to evacuate.  Check your insurance coverage, inventory your possessions, and remember to secure valuables and important documents. Please don’t forget to ask your neighbors if they need any extra help or assistance. Knowing where to turn for reliable, up-to-date emergency information is also crucial to making it through a disaster.  Be sure to regularly check the city’s website www.capecoral.gov and our official social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date information. 

Hurricane season is also our wet season.  During our rainy season, I want to remind all Cape Coral residents that fertilizer use rules changed on June 1. The application of fertilizer containing phosphorus or nitrogen is prohibited from June 1 through September 30. Eliminating the use of phosphorus and nitrogen during the wet season helps to protect our canals and waterways, quality of life, and economy.  Excess nutrients can cause harmful algal blooms that can cause fish kills, harm pets, and wildlife, and potentially injure people who encounter them.  Keep an eye out for City messaging on this topic and encourage your friends and neighbors to “Be Wise, Don’t Fertilize.”   [link to webpage with more info]

Coming up on June 8, we will celebrate with the South Cape Community Redevelopment Agency as the newest addition to 47th Terrace, an art sculpture is unveiled at the roundabout located at SE 47th Terrace and Vincennes Boulevard. Art sculptures are a distinguishing part of our public history and our evolving culture. The event will take place at 4 p.m. near the roundabout, and the public is invited, so I hope to see you there. 

Then later in the month, we will have a groundbreaking ceremony at Yellow Fever Creek Environmental Park at 10 a.m. on June 24th.  City Government officials and Executive staff will be there for the event, and we hope the public joins us for this one as well.  

I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the City of Cape Coral’s award-winning Finance Department.  They recently received two separate awards, one for Excellence in Financial Reporting and another for Distinguished Budget Presentation. The Finance Department was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for their Annual Comprehensive Financial Report for fiscal year 2020.  This certificate is the highest form of recognition in governmental accounting and financial reporting.  

The Finance Department also received the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association for their fiscal year 2022 Budget Presentation. The award represents a significant achievement by the City of Cape Coral’s Finance Department, reflecting the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting.  The City of Cape Coral’s Finance Department is pioneering its efforts to improve the quality of budgeting. I am very proud of these accomplishments and thankful for the outstanding team who earned them.  I’m honored to say that the City’s work provides an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.

In closing, I’d like to again encourage our residents to join us in celebrating the downtown art sculpture installation and the groundbreaking at Yellow Fever Creek Park and remind you to start preparing for Hurricane season and begin limiting your use of phosphorous and nitrogen-containing fertilizers. 

As always, I am honored to serve as your Mayor and will continue to work diligently to set high expectations for our exceptional community while moving our city forward.


May 2022

With the warm weather we’re already experiencing, it’s hard to believe the official start of summer is a month away. Speaking of summer, the Parks and Recreation Summer Program Guide and Summer Camp Guide were both recently released and are available to view on the City website. Summer in Cape Coral is a good time to learn something new and connect with others, and what better way to do that than to try an activity offered by the City’s Parks and Recreation?
 
Summer 2022 will be a busy time for the City, with many projects underway and others scheduled to start soon. North 1 UEP is in the engineering design and permitting phase, and construction is set to begin this summer. The remaining areas of the city without public utilities are part of the UEP Master Plan, a guide for future utility expansion. The Master Plan is a necessary tool utilized to prioritize future areas of utility expansion, identify existing infrastructure needs required to accommodate future development, and establish realistic schedules and preliminary cost estimates.    
 
Construction has begun on the Cape Coral side of the Caloosahatchee Connect Project. Crews are installing pipe along Everest Parkway and near Horton Park, and we are still on schedule to complete the improvement sometime next year. Once complete, the 7,600 ft reclaimed water transmission main will be the largest and longest underwater horizontal directional drill project using fusible polyvinyl chloride pipe in the U.S. This project aims to provide Cape Coral with more reclaimed water to help maintain freshwater canal levels during the dry season.   
 
I can’t mention canal levels without elaborating on the topic. The City has been working for decades on mitigating the water shortage issue often experienced during our dry season. The Caloosahatchee Connect project is only one solution to this problem. We are also working to construct a pipeline from a private reservoir in south Charlotte County that stores excess water to provide additional irrigation water and help maintain our canal levels. The UEP, which is the expansion of water, sewer, and irrigation, helps remove private wells and reduce the impact private wells have on the Upper Floridian Aquifer. 
 
Our Strategic Plan is near completion. City Council continues to prioritize integrity and transparent government, environmental sustainability, public safety and quality of life, fiscal responsibility, community engagement, and innovative thinking. The plan will go in front of Council this summer for approval.  
 
Also, with the month of May comes this year’s round of graduations and a new group of young, talented graduates. I want to offer some words to congratulate our students on their achievements and motivate and inspire the young minds of our future. The young generation is the future leaders of tomorrow. Your promises and dreams can be achieved through hard work, dedication, and planning.
 
I am honored to serve as your Mayor and will continue to work diligently to set high expectations for our exceptional community while moving our city forward.

April 2022

As we enter the month of April, Cape Coral continues its steady growth and economic stability. Our unemployment rate is low at about 3.4% and continues to remain below the state rate of 3.8% and the national rate of 4.3%. Over the last 12 months, our job growth is 5% compared to 1.4% nationally, and our population grew by approximately 1.7%. 

Cape Coral continues to have a robust economic climate where individuals have opportunities to thrive in our region. Cape Coral is a wonderful place for businesses and families to grow their footprints. The City is working hand-in-hand with its partners to create innovative and valuable opportunities for our residents and business community. Smart growth in our community moving forward is essential for our success In future economic development.

City Council will continue to discuss several topics of significant interest to our residents, including the Storm Shutter Ordinance. No matter which side of the issue you are on, I encourage Cape Coral residents to make their voices heard by coming to public meetings or submitting their input via E-comment. Community input by our residents is always important when making decisions that will impact our community.

City Council has set a public hearing for April 6 regarding ordinance 27-22 to amend the City Charter. The ordinance stipulates that when a special election is required to fill a Council vacancy if there are three or more qualified candidates, a special primary election will be required. This change in our Charter is needed so we can meet the State requirements in the current election laws pertaining to Special Elections.

Since April is Autism Awareness Month, and I imagine we all have a neighbor, friend, or family member whose life has been affected by autism, I encourage you to support Autism Awareness. It gives a voice to people who want to be heard and understood. Simple things, like sharing awareness information on social media, can be powerful.   

As always, I am honored to serve as your Mayor and will continue to work diligently to set high expectations for our exceptional community while moving our city forward.

 


March 2022

As we spring into March, I am thankful for all the upcoming opportunities and enhancements coming to our City and our Parks.


Last year, we broke ground on four neighborhood parks and began improvement projects on other existing locations. With how popular sports and recreation are in our community, thankfully we have so many parks that while one is under construction there are many more to consider.

The Yacht Club Community Park is still set to begin renovations; however, it will happen a little later than originally anticipated. I encourage everyone to continue to visit the Yacht Club Community Park before construction begins, as spring is a perfect time of year to enjoy this waterside venue.

In addition to recreational opportunities, Cape Coral is thriving with new businesses and economic development. The Seven Islands project in Northwest Cape has selected a master developer and is currently negotiating the terms. In south Cape Coral, we will soon break ground on a transformational project, the Cove on 47th.

Council approved a city-initiated Future Land Use Map amendment from Commercial/Professional to Mixed-Use for about 182 acres referred to as “Academic Village,” located near the intersection of Kismet Parkway and Del Prado Boulevard North. The amendment will provide additional opportunities for light industrial and flex space which is a greatly needed development in our community.

I am happy to report the CapeCompetes Economic Development Incentive Fund, approved by City Council in December, has generated a lot of initial interest from the business community. The city is currently working on the applications and guidelines that will establish the process to begin accepting applications this summer. Our goal is to attract larger businesses with higher paying jobs so they may be offered to the residents of our community.

Looking forward to the opportunities we have on our horizon, I am excited for our city. I am honored to serve as your Mayor and will continue to work diligently to set high expectations for our exceptional community, while moving our city forward.


February 2022
It’s only the second month of the year and already 2022 is shaping up to be an extremely busy year for Cape Coral. 

Some of our top priorities, which include the expansion of utilities, the addition and renovation of city parks, residential and commercial growth, public safety, and finalizing the strategic plan, have built significant momentum and continue to propel us forward.  Our strategic plan includes managing the city’s increase in population and ongoing development while providing exceptional services to our community. 

Like any large city, we have challenges we are working to overcome.  As many of you are acutely aware, our community is experiencing horticulture and bulk waste pickup delays throughout our city.  I am committed to resolving this issue, and I’m asking for your help.  I am asking residents to use our 311 Call Center to report missed waste collection pickups.  Reporting your missed pickup helps the city to analyze the magnitude of the problem, as well as to resolve individual concerns by identifying homes where waste collection has been delayed. Council will be discussing possible alternative solutions at our upcoming meetings. In the interim I appreciate your continued patience and support until we get this issue resolved.

Finally, I can’t complete the February edition without mentioning Valentine’s Day. I think it’s a great time to recognize the people who are the most important to us. Please remember your family, friends, neighbors, first responders, city employees, and volunteers who make a positive impact in our lives. Our community is a great place to live because of the people who live and work here. Whether you give them a smile or send a thoughtful thank you message, a little goes a long way.

I am honored to serve as your Mayor and will continue to work diligently to set high expectations for our community while moving our city forward.


January 2022
Happy New Year!
 
Last January, I was appointed to be Mayor by our City Council, and being entrusted to lead this community is a great honor.
 
As the New Year begins, let us reflect on the resiliency and spirit found in our community over the past year. The pandemic brought us unexpected challenges, however, it also highlighted the fellowship that exists in our great city. Both residents and businesses have been impacted by these challenges, but we have much to celebrate. Last year was one of our most successful years in terms of growth and development activity in Cape Coral. More than 4,000 new construction permits were issued in Fiscal Year 2021 and Census estimates expect our population to exceed 200,000.
 
As your Mayor, I am committed to working with the City Council and our dedicated city employees to accomplish a full plate of projects, tasks, and goals this year. Together, we are excited to keep the momentum going with many projects and community improvements already in the works. The City’s newest multi-year strategic plan will be finalized soon and will serve as the foundation for our future policy-making decisions. Public safety will remain a top priority in the new year with more staffing and new police and fire training facilities. Major improvements at the Yacht Club Community Park are expected to start this Spring, and construction is getting started at several of our new neighborhood parks. These construction projects are part of the citywide voter-approved initiative to expand parks and recreation amenities. Other plans for the new year include road resurfacing, canal dredging, sidewalk construction, median landscaping, expanded broadband services, alley paving, expansion of water, sewer, and irrigation services in the northern part of the city and the installation of bubble-curtain devices that will help to keep harmful algae in the River from entering many of our canals. Additionally, the City is working to bring good-paying jobs to Cape Coral in the new year. Your City Council recently approved an ordinance that will provide business development and job creation incentives to attract new jobs to the city. 
 
I am committed to working with residents, our business community, community organizations, and our state and local government partners to build a bright future for Cape Coral. I expect it will be a productive year for us and appreciate the ongoing support.


December 2021

Happy holidays to our residents and visitors. Welcome back to our snowbirds.

As I wrap up my first year as your mayor, it has been an honor serving the Cape Coral community. The end of the year is a time to reflect on the past year and plan for the year ahead.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, this has been a productive year. The City witnessed significant economic growth. The City has five large-scale multi-family developments in the works and several thousand square feet of commercial projects under construction. More than 4,000 new construction building permits were issued in 2021, and the most recent population estimates indicate that just over 200,000 live in Cape Coral.

One of the primary responsibilities of the City Council is to adopt the annual operating budget. Council adopted the Fiscal Year 2022 budget in September, and we lowered the millage rate from 6.375 to 6.250. This budget allows us to expand public safety and invest in our infrastructure. We want Cape Coral to remain one of the safest cities in Florida.

We broke ground on four new parks and looking forward to breaking ground on others in the coming year. These parks are part of the citywide parks and recreation expansion (Parks GO Bond) that our voters approved in 2018.

City Council is committed to improving water quality and will continue to work closely with other local, state, and federal officials on solutions to water quality issues. The Waterway Advisory Board, which Council created, provides valuable input and recommendations concerning decisions regarding the city’s waterways.

As we head into 2022, we will be extending utilities to property owners in the northeastern part of the city. Future expansion areas will be determined in the coming months. The extension of our utilities is necessary for the environment and the city’s future economic development.

Cape Coral is a great city with a bright future. We appreciate the continued support from our residents, visitors, and businesses.

I wish you and your family a happy holiday season.


November 2021
One of the primary responsibilities of your City Council is the adoption of the annual operating budget. The annual budget is among the most important documents a local government produces and the budget process is an undertaking that requires a great deal of consideration by the City Council. The budget allocates limited resources among various priorities deemed important for the organization and the community.

Council adopted the Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Budget at the end of September and this budget helps us to expand public safety, invest in our infrastructure, add more sidewalks than any previous year, attract businesses, protect our environment, and support our charter schools. We have been successful over the past several years by having sound financial policies in place and we reduced your property tax rate from 6.375 to 6.250 or $6.25 per $1,000 of assessed value. While I initially advocated for the rolled-back rate of 5.992, the additional $8.7 million in revenue will be used in part to increase staffing in our police, fire, and parks and recreation departments.

Cape Coral is among the fastest-growing cities in the nation. This impressive growth presents both benefits and challenges. The FY22 property tax rate is a good compromise that allows us to keep pace with the growth.

For the tenth consecutive year, the city’s property tax base increased over the previous year and property values increased 10.88 percent citywide. Florida’s “Save Our Homes” amendment restricts the annual increase of the assessed value of homesteaded properties to the lesser of three percent or the percent change in the National Consumer Price Index. For FY22, homesteaded properties are limited to an increase of about 1.4 percent. Non-homesteaded properties are limited to a 10 percent increase.

The FY22 budget went into effective October 1, 2021, as our fiscal year is October 1 through September 30. We will begin work on our next budget at the beginning of the new year.

In addition to passing the budget, your City Council recently adopted stricter fertilizer regulations to help improve our local waterways. The Waterway Advisory Board recommended changes to the fertilizer regulations that have been in place for more than a decade. The Waterway Advisory Board makes recommendations and provides input on decisions concerning the city’s waterways.

Looking ahead, the City’s updated strategic plan will be finalized in the coming months; and we hope to share some important economic development news about future projects planned for Cape Coral.

I encourage residents to stay informed about city issues that are important to them. There are many ways to participate in the decision-making process and provide us with your input. I look forward to what we can accomplish when we work together as a community in the new fiscal year. 


October 2021
Cape Coral City Council adopted the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget on September 29 following two public hearings, several joint meetings with the Budget Review Committee, and months of preparations. Council lowered the millage rate from 6.375 mills to 6.25 mills following an overall increase of 10.88 percent in taxable property values in Cape Coral. The increased taxable values from $16.6 billion to $18.4 billion is below the city's peak of $21.7 billion in 2007.

The FY 22 budget allows the City to expand public safety, invest in infrastructure, improve facilities and city amenities, add more sidewalks, attract businesses, protect our environment, beautify neighborhoods, and strengthen our charter schools.

The annual budget is one of the most important documents a local government produces. It functions as a roadmap for accomplishing the financial, infrastructure and service delivers goals we establish for the upcoming year. It allocates limited resources for the community and the organization with input from staff, elected officials, citizen volunteers appointed to the Budget Review Committee, and the public.


September 2021
Welcome to our new monthly e-newsletter, Cape Connect. Through recent surveys and information gathered by the Florida Institute of Government as part of our strategic planning process we learned that many residents prefer to receive city news and information delivered to their email inbox.

We are moving into the second half of the hurricane season. Let’s continue to be prepared as storm threats remain through November 30. The hurricane season began June 1 and being prepared for severe weather is the best way to keep you and your family safe. Our City is well-prepared thanks in part to our Fire Department and its Emergency Management Division.

Speaking of safety, the new school year is under way and your city council and the Cape Coral Police Department’s school resource officers are committed to the safety and security of our students. I asked all motorists to be extra careful so students can get to and from school safely. Your city council is doing its part with plans to fund the construction of more sidewalks especially near schools. Also, we recently discussed expanding the partnership between the City and the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs of Cape Coral to replace deteriorating picnic tables, that were placed by community groups, at school bus stops with new longer-lasting benches.

In Cape Coral, September is the month when the Council sets the budget and confirms our priorities for the next fiscal year. Public safety is always a top priority; however, we have several other priorities including infrastructure, economic development, and water quality improvement.

Recently, we opposed the Army Corps’ proposed version of plan CC of the Lake O System Operating Manual. The river and estuary have shouldered the burden of the Lake O releases and increasing these releases to the Caloosahatchee River as proposed is unacceptable. Cape Coral is one of the fastest growing communities in the country, with 409 miles of salt and freshwater canals. To help preserve our unique environment, the City has invested millions of dollars in infrastructure to improve water quality.

One of our largest projects underway is the Caloosahatchee Connect joint project, which will reduce Fort Myers’ discharges into the River while providing more irrigation water to Cape Coral property owners for lawn watering and fire protection purposes. Cape Coral has one of the largest reuse water systems in the country. Our reclaimed water system has eliminated the City of Cape Coral’s discharges of treated wastewater into the River. Another important project that helps to improve water quality is North 1 Utilities Extension Project (UEP). The engineering and design for this project is well underway. The North 1 UEP will eliminate about 3,000 septic systems. The North 2 UEP was recently completed and extended potable water, sewer, and irrigation services to abut 9,000 parcels in the northern part of the city. Septic systems are one source of excess nitrogen that contributes to poor water quality. Other water quality projects include the installation of bubble curtains. City Council approved funding for these devices to help keep harmful algae in the Caloosahatchee River from entering 10 of the canals that open to the River. The permitting process for these devices is underway and installation should be taking place soon. Later this month, city staff will be presenting a pilot project for another water quality improvement pilot project that may be helpful in removing nutrients from stormwater drainage areas before these nutrients can enter our brackish canals.

What is before us now is the responsibility of establishing a budget for the year ahead.

City Council is in the process of setting the FY 2022 Operating Budget for the City. We are working with the City Manager and his staff to develop a budget that will provide the level of service our community expects. Input from our residents who volunteer their time to serve on the Budget Review Committee is important in establishing the budget. Public hearings on the budget will be held this month to gather input from our residents. Details about the public hearings are available in this newsletter