To the editor:
The Lee County Board of Commissioners (five members) and the Cape Coral City Council (eight members) disagree about the replacement of the Ceitus Boat Lock/Barrier in the North Cape. The county says replace it; the city says it is an unnecessary expense. This is government at its best, and worst. Two large factions are about to go to "war" to settle this primal territorial dispute. In full public view, the leaders of both groups will argue their positions, present their "facts," discuss, deliberate and reach a binding decision. There will be no "bloodshed", (we hope), no property damage, and we, a government of the people, by the people, and for the people will be served. No, everyone will not be tickled pink with the final decision, but there will be resolution and both factions will move on to the next problem.
Cape Council seems to be in agreement, after years of research and vigorous debate from experts, that the barrier should not be replaced. It seems to be a reasonable decision.
Here is the issue. Two members of the Cape City Council injected their personal anger into this public dispute. A resolution has been drafted, with the help of the city law department, which has very terse, inflammatory and accusatory language. One council member, almost weeping visible tears, repeated his mantra that he felt that the city was again being treated like the "red-headed stepchild (not sure what that means, but me thinks it's not good) by these county commissioners and he seemed very angry. Another council member lectured us weaklings, that we need to bring a "hammer" (hopefully he meant that figuratively)" to this fight because the county commissions were deceitful scoundrels, who could not be trusted and needed to be taught a lesson by his Cape Clan.
Cooler heads on Council spoke up saying that they supported the position of the resolution, but found it unnecessary to use such "inflammatory" language.
"The child is the father of the man." Perhaps our two council members grew up in difficult times and in "tough hoods" where bravado, threats and physical confrontation made things better for them. I believe they are committed to the Cape, but their public demeanor and their public voice from the dais, as our representatives, demand our attention. No good outcomes can come from their angry and aggressive tirades. It is just not necessary and it makes the Cape look like a bunch of belligerent blowhards.
County commissioners are political. They are also sincere and are trying to represent the view of the ecology- minded voices they are hearing. There are two sides to this story. That is how good government should work. Ecologically concerned people should not be denigrated as "echo-freaks or terrorists". BTW, Florida D.E.P. agrees with the Cape.
The Cape should prevail because experts like Mr. Clarke, Mr. Scott and the Northwest Homeowners Association have done their homework and make a logical, reasonable argument. No matter what happens, this is an opportunity for the Cape to project itself as a thoughtful, intelligent and focused city.