Mayor Nick Batos started the meeting by reading a proclamation supporting the creation of an Estero Historic Preservation Citizens Committee. While this committee is not an advisory board to the Council, Batos stated Council members look forward to hearing suggestions from the committee in the future.
Charles Dauray, chairman of the historic committee and the College of Life Foundation, accepted the proclamation reaffirming the committee’s key role in identifying and preserving Estero’s history for generations to come.
Kim Dailey, Papyrus Document & Design, demonstrated the enhancements she has made to the Village website. The upgraded website will go live on Friday afternoon, July 17, at the same address www.estero-fl.gov.
Colin Baenziger, Colin Baenziger & Associates, reported he had met with all Council members regarding conducting a search for a permanent Village Manager. He has prepared a comprehensive recruitment document so that potential candidates will understand what it is like to live and work in Estero. Council voted to set the salary range at $135,000 – $175,000. Baenziger will start the search immediately.
Mayor Batos named two Estero residents and a Village employee to the Metropolitan Planning Organization’s committees: Mary Gibbs, Estero’s Community Development Director, will serve on the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), Pat Hiltman will serve on the Citizens’ Advisory Committee (CAC) and Doug Saxton will serve on the Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinating Committee.
The Council adopted a Resolution to determine the proposed ad valorem tax millage rate of .8398 mills for the 2015-16 fiscal year, commencing October 1, 2015. The Resolution also set the TRIM Hearing and first budget hearing for September 3, 2015 at 6:30 p.m., and the final tax millage rate hearing and budget hearing for September 16 at 6:30 p.m., at the Village Hall.
Vice-Mayor Howard Levitan stated that a request for qualifications (RFQ) had been issued for a Community Development Department. This contract would start in October and would include code enforcement, zoning and planning. Building permitting will start in January. Mary Gibbs, the Village’s Community Development Director, will supervise this department.
Mayor Batos announced that the interlocal agreement for public services with Lee County should be completed by October 1.
In addition, Mayor Batos made the following statements:
“At our last workshop, we heard comments from the public and a Council member that the Council should support the efforts of a committee to get the County to fund the sidewalk project on Estero Parkway.
I would like to express my strong belief that that is completely the wrong direction to go in.
Estero is now a municipality, and the residents voted for this Council to represent them. As such, that committee and the residents of Estero should support this Council in its work with the County to get that and other projects done.
I encourage all the residents to advocate for things they feel we need, but I feel that they should advocate through this Council.
We all have the best interests of Estero at heart and if we work together there is no limit to what we can accomplish. But if individual groups continue to push their agendas on items that are within Estero with other governmental agencies, they, in my mind, will do nothing less than damage the Village’s ability to be successful.
We have been working with the County on many important issues. Commissioner Kiker and the County staff have been very cooperative. Yes, we have our differences, but we are moving forward together. We need the County and the County needs us for all of Estero and Lee County to be successful. We should recognize the help and cooperation the County has given us.
I am asking all the residents of Estero to give us their support and to work with us, not to go on their own.
I ask the residents of Estero to give this Council the opportunity to bring to fruition the vision we have for Estero; the vision why over 86% of you voted for incorporation. The vision you voted this Council in and rightfully expect us to work together for you. “
Additional information is available in the minutes of this meeting.