To the editor:
Previous to our newly elected mayor taking the oath of office we had several previous mayoral administrations. It should be noted from the research I conducted none of these previous mayors took junkets to network with other political figures outside the Great State of Florida. Why, in an era of budget deficits for our great city, does our city's mayor decide it necessary to go to two seminars to Boston and Washington, D.C.?
As a taxpaying member of the City of Cape Coral I want to know what these two trips and seminars cost the taxpayers. And what benefit we, as a city, will receive from this networking and visits.
Madam Mayor, it is my ambition that you have the insight to understand that when you spend a dollar of the taxpayers' money that you've established a return on the taxpayers' investment in the training. Oh, you say how you quantify a return on the taxpayer's investment - that's an easy answer, Madam Mayor.
Let's go to the days of the "Peanuts" cartoon. These Peanuts children would set up a lemonade stand, they would buy the lemons, the sugar, and use their parents' water. Lucy was brilliant. After the day of selling all the lemonade she calculated the cost of materials and the amount that was charged and she found that if they had to pay their parents for the water used to make the lemonade, they would have made a considerable loss. You see, they learned that they broke even.
Running our great city is not anything like running a lemonade stand so it is my hope that you won't, either. Currently for the next three-plus years you are our mayor. Remember, it is a responsibility that needs to consider every dollar that you spend. And for every dollar spent there needs to be a measured benefit for every citizen of Cape Coral.
So Madam Mayor, what can we, as the citizens for Cape Coral, expect from your two seminars that you went on? How did your networking with other mayors of desolate cities that are running in the red on budget items help us understand how we can avoid default on our city operations and debt? Was this even a subject that was discussed? So what information did you bring back to share with your constituents so we can join you in "drinking the same lemonade"?
Oh, also, I was watching the City Council Meeting for Feb. 10. You weren't there. I hope that everything is OK?
- Council voted to reimburse Mayor Sawicki $1,247.03 for her attendence at the Conference of Mayors, the trip to D.C.. She initially paid out of pocket but Council voted to reimburse her "as they thought it was an important conference for the mayor to attend."
- Mayor Sawicki was absent from the Feb. 10 meeting due to a scheduling conflict. She, and other local officials and mayors, traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with federal legislators on the flood insurance rate increases. The legislative trip with the mayors of Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel and Lee County Commissioner Larry Kiker was $827.90.