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Council has its priorities upside down

March 7, 2014
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor:

Regarding the Mayor's Boondoggle, to hug our "liar in chief," Obama, without prior council approval to represent our city or pay for this Democratic Party political trip, or I was supportive of paying my own way before I was against paying my own way, from Jan. 21-24:

On Feb. 24, buried and hidden as item K in the Council's Consent Agenda so as to disguise and limit public comment or news attention, this council passed reimbursements for the Mayor, with the Mayor voting in favor, which is an appearance of conflict of interest for the Mayor. On the Jan. 27, Councilmembers Donnell and Leon had previously questioned this reimbursement, and Councilmember Burch was concerned over precedent that council may have to pay for their own boondoggles. How could this happen?, Resolution 66-06, passed seven years ago, was used to justify their 8-0 vote to reimburse this vacation, however, this precedent-established resolution was not made available to public for review.

With our city of Cape Coral struggling to pay for our police and fire personnel, this city council has established precedence to pay for luxurious trips by all members on this council and has indicated they plan more trips. This city council has its priorities upside down. Our police and fire personnel deserve a raise, college reimbursement, control over hiring their personnel, and the best equipment to do their job. While our heroes wait for their financial support from a poorly council passed fire assessment fee causing expensive litigation and legal questions, plus circumventing the citizen ballot approval right, our life-giving heroes of our community must continue to sacrifice their lives and health to protect us on low pay and poor equipment while these politicians bathe in the squandered taxpayers' dollar for their high-roller trips.

Our police and fire heroes should not have to wait for better pay, education and control over whom they hire while these politicians clamor that there is no money to support our heroes and then take unnecessary trips to the golden goose in Washington, D.C. to hug a disgraceful President. There is no ordinance or law established to allow uncontrolled or unapproved advance spending or reimbursement for unplanned city council trips, only a seven-year-old resolution, which is not a law. Sort of like Obama's tactics using a pen and phone to circumvent the Congress or the constituents and continually changing Obama Care law.

We demand a better government, a limited, accountable, responsive, responsible, representative government. A government which honors our troops and first responders and supports them with the respect they deserve and they are our first priorities. Extravagant high-roller trips to bridges to nowhere are examples of failed cities like Detroit and Chicago.

Baseball-rhetoric words at these self-serving city council meetings are ineffective. November 2014 there will be proposed charter changes to limit this city government placed on the ballot for the community's approval and these charter changes will not be sanctioned by this city council or city government.

Jack Mattachione, MRC

Cape Coral



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