City Council was supposed to discuss Lamar Advertising's digital electronic message centers (DEMC) proposal at a special council meeting today, but the original proposal was withdrawn by Lamar representative Joe Mazurkiewicz.
Mazurkiewicz made the surprise announcement during general public input at Monday's council meeting.
"Changes being made to the proposal by city staff has changed the direction so much that we no longer agree with it," said Mazurkiewicz. "We proposed two DEMC placements at the bridges and the city presentation has opened up nine sites. We don't want billboards all over the city. It's so different from our proposal that's why we withdrew it, but we're not going to give up yet."
Lamar offered to erect two billboards on city owned or controlled property at the Cape Coral Bridge and Midpoint Bridge. In exchange, Lamar would provide the city two small DEMCs free of charge to install on the Veterans Parkway overpass at Del Prado Boulevard for the city's own use.
The city would also receive a percentage of the two billboards' advertising revenue.
"We weren't allowed to talk to staff while they worked on an RFP (request for proposal)," said Mazurkiewicz. "Now that it is withdrawn we can go back and talk to them and say, that's not what we proposed. It's like they are taking public ownership of it."
In light of the withdrawal, Council-member Jim Burch made the motion to remove the discussion and presentation from Wednesday's meeting agenda.
Council approved the motion 6-1 with Richard Leon casting the lone dissenting vote.