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A parable

August 30, 2013
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

A fellow stopped at a rural gas station and after filling his tank, he paid the bill and bought a soft drink. He stood by his car to drink his cola and he watched a couple of men working along the roadside. One man would dig a hole two or three feet deep and then move on. The other man came along behind and filled in the hole. While one was digging a new hole, the other was about 25 feet behind filling in the old. The men worked right past the fellow with the soft drink and went on down the road.

"I can't stand this, "said the man tossing the can in a trash container and heading down the road toward the men. "Hold it, hold it," he said to the men. Can you tell me what's going on here with this digging a hole and the other is filling it up. You're not accomplishing anything. Aren't you wasting the City's money?" You don't understand, mister," one of the men said, leaning on his shovel and wiping his brow. "Normally there's three of us - me, Rodney and Mike. I dig the hole, Rodney sticks in the tree and Mike here puts the dirt back." Yeah," piped up Mike. "Now just because Rodney's sick that don't mean we can't work, does it?"

I saw this in an entertainment paper and couldn't help think of Cape Coral and how it translates.

You see I have lived in Cape Coral for almost 11 years and the City is the second largest in Florida, but you wouldn't believe it. Just because it's the second largest it should have made more progress than what we have today. You see when I first arrived, there were so many ideas what was going to happen to the downtown, but they turned out to be only pictures.

Then we had a city manager who didn't know how to put a city together, so Cape Coral is the largest bedroom community in the State of Florida. A bedroom community is great, but what is keeping the infrastructure going to keep it that way? Tax the residents. Not a bad idea, but the residents are mostly retired and living on a fixed income.

I remember talking to a Development director for the city one day, and he informed me we may not get much done, but we do have a great pension. Well, that seemed to be the mentality of this city, but the people working on Veteran's Parkway and Pine Island in the restaurants and stores would like the same opportunity, but their minimum wage won't allow that to happen.

This City has grown with Pine Island, Veterans and other areas with businesses, but it seems our tax structure remains the same for the residents and one would think the businesses would be helping to offset this property tax, but the people like Rodney, Mike and the other have that same mentality in Cape Coral.

We added a Army Reserve and a Veteran's facility, but these are federal institutions and lend nothing to offset the taxes for the residents.

If you look at the story, you will get the picture. Punta Gorda, Fort Myers, Estero, Bonita and Naples in the area have all progressed, but lonely Cape Coral is still digging holes for our taxes.

In the northwest a company wanted to build a similar Tarpon Point or Cape Harbour, but the people in the northwest didn't want it and our Council decided with the quarter population versus the democratic version and allowed the minority to overrule the majority. The area would have brought millions of revenue to the city, the $10 million they would pay to take the water from Chiquita to the site would have offset the debt substantially for the residents and the tax base would have helped the residents and their property taxes. This is only one example and there are so many more.

We need a Council who understands business and stop this social mentality. You were and are elected to represent the people of this fair city and stop your power plays that have gone on in this city for 50 years.

Richard Kast

Cape Coral



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