The Village Council liaison assignments were determined as follows:
- Metropolitan Planning Organization – Mayor Nick Batos
- Lee Memorial Health System (LMHS) – Councilmember Don Brown
- South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) – Councilmember Bill Ribble
- Lee County Department of Transportation (LDOT) – Councilmember Jim Boesch
- Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) – Councilmember Jim Boesch
- Florida Gulf Coast University – Mayor Nick Batos
- Horizon Council – Councilmember Jim Wilson
- Lee Department of Community Development (LDCD) – Vice-Mayor Howard Levitan
- Conservancy of Southwest Florida – Councilmember Kay Errington
The process for hiring a permanent Village Manger was discussed. This will entail forming a small committee to initiate a search for the full-time manager and will be further discussed in an upcoming workshop.
The Council voted to have Interim Village Attorney Burt Saunders become the Village’s full-time attorney.
Councilmember Bill Ribble and Interim Village Manger Peter Lombardi will initiate a study of the Council’s future municipal center/office requirements. While the Council will continue to meet at the Estero Fire Rescue headquarters through this year, both the lack of office space and parking accommodations will present a problem as more citizens participate in municipal activities.
Lee County Code Enforcement is charged with presenting violations to businesses and individuals using illegal signage, such as pennants, flags, balloons, temporary signs, etc. However, Lee County is unable to adjudicate violators, so Village Attorney Burt Saunders will draft an ordinance for an on-call magistrate to rule on such violations.
A number of topics were covered during the afternoon workshop:
Interim Finance Director Lisa Pace reviewed the Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Budget (included in the attachments for the May 8, 2015, workshop); this item will be voted upon at an upcoming meeting.
Interim Village Manager Peter Lombardi addressed the All Hazards Tax, recommending that Council drop this tax assessment as Lee County provides all evacuation and disaster services necessary for the Village. Dropping this from the Estero residents’ tax bill will not in any way affect the coverage/services residents will receive in case of a storm but will result in a small savings for all residents.
Vice-Mayor Howard Levitan addressed the need for hiring, on a contract basis, a planning professional to fill the position of Development Services Director. This position is necessary due to the significant number of cases that are coming before the new land use boards, including comprehensive plan and rezoning changes. These boards currently have no staff available to them, and a Development Services Director would be able to provide full evidence and a balanced staff report for the boards prior to having to make recommendations to the Council.