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Who was representing the taxpayers?

October 11, 2013
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

Who, from the City staff or Council came to court to defend the citizens against our City's lawsuit against US????

Only Mayor Sullivan and Councilman Chulakes-Leetz came to speak and testify as witnesses before the court.

Thank God we have retired attorneys who did a stellar job defending the citizens against their own City. This group was denied help by our state elected officials as well. I suggest that we have our own "Firing Service." These folks are working to save each taxpayer in Cape Coral hundreds of dollars each.

I notified the State Attorney's office, Lizbeth Benequisto, our state representative, and the governor by certified mail that taxpayers wanted intervention and defense from our own City! Our State Attorney representative had only a few words to say in court. They were "no comment" and "I have nothing at this time". Left up to him we would have a new Fire Service Tax right now.

While our city manager lacked knowledge during his testimony, deferring questions to others, the new fire chief was found to not know the meaning of "real property." Real property owners are expected to pay an extra special assessment to protect their real property based on the value of that property but the fire chief doesn't know what real property is. It seems he just wants a new bigger pile of money so he can spend any way he wants.

Councilman Nesta was called to the stand as a witness. As a retiree receiving a pension partly paid from the City general fund, Nesta did not know he had a conflict of interest when he voted three times on issues that raise revenue on funds from which his pension is paid. He also didn't understand when there are six sponsors for the Fire Service Assessment that it would be an advance notice as to who is voting in favor. This is public record of a Sunshine violation. Who sent a messenger to the six council members asking them to sponsor? Mayor Sullivan and Councilman Chulakes-Leetz stated they were not contacted.

We the people, the taxpayers, the citizens are required to pay over $40,000 for fancy lawyers that would foist this new tax on us. This was approved by 6 councilmembers. Voting NO were Sullivan and Chulakes-Leetz. They deserve your vote.

Nobody is paying the retired attorney group that is defending the city. I hope Judge Kyle finds in favor of the citizens and awards some compensation to defer costs at least for research and consultation. I appreciate the courtesy and leeway granted by Judge Kyle so that city hijinks could be exposed. I hope that the Judge will find in favor of our citizens realizing that the Fire Service Tax is an attempt to get around the State's maximum millage legislation.

Steve Crane

Cape Coral



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