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The hard part comes next

March 20, 2010
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Watching Cape Coral City Council select a replacement member Monday reminds us of the old adage about sausage: The final result may be just the thing to round out your plate but you don't want to watch it being made.

The process used to fill the District 5 seat left vacant by Councilmember Eric Grill's legal troubles was a lot less palatable than the fresh link awaiting the fork.

With but a scattering of questions for the 17 citizens who answered council's call for "applications," Erick Kuehn, constant critic of councils past, vocal political supporter of the mayor and three other contract-signing board members, easily beat out applicants with more education, more political experience, more service to the city, all with little discussion, and on the first vote to boot.

There are many who have cried foul.

We will stop short of that.

The council majority had the ability to select - as others have before them - a person of like mind or like ideals.

They did that, unabashedly voting along "party lines" to put their man in place.

So be it. That was the easy part. The hard part is what comes next, tackling the very real challenges the city faces and in such a way that the Cape will better positioned heading out of the recession than it was sliding into it.

That will be no easy task as the rhetoric stops here.

There is a clear majority - five people on an eight-man board who are like minded enough to have signed the same reduce spending/restore public trust Road Ahead "contract with Cape Coral" - to get virtually any plan or program passed.

With leadership, with insight, with look-ahead drive, this council has the possibility of being what they say they are - the best board the Cape has seen in years.

Remain rudderless, turn a blind eye to citizen input from those who disagree, continue to look backward to afix blame on previous councils and we just have more of what this same majority has criticized in others - failure to launch, closed mindedness and decisions detrimental to the city.

None of us want that. And the voters, who tend to keep tabs, will not tolerate it next election.

Welcome aboard, Mr. Kuehn. We wish you well. May you prove yourself as the best candidate for the job.

We urge you to take a strong leadership role, to garner input from a variety of sources and to put some fresh ideas on the table. The city needs all three.

- Breeze editorial



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