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Civic & Community Corner: Rescheduled Civic meeting set for Oct. 19

October 11, 2017
By Mike Land , North Fort Myers Neighbor

The twice-hurricane-postponed meeting of The North Fort Myers Civic Association is now scheduled for next Thursday, Oct. 19, from 7 to 9 p.m. at its usual place in Rooms 102 A and B at the North Fort Myers Recreation Center, 2000 North Recreation Park Way, off Business 41, next to the Public Library, between Pine Island and Littleton Roads.

Perhaps the most significant item on the Agenda is a motion by two new directors to impose a Code of Conduct on my presidential actions and to "censure" me for a few months ago advocating in this column, personally and as a member of the press, that we consider changing the name of our town from "North Fort Myers" and I recited several reasons for my personal opinion.

If you recall in late June or early July, I advocated in this column, personally and as a member of the press, that we consider changing the name of our town from "North Fort Myers" and I recited several reasons for my personal opinion.

At the next NFM Civic Association meeting over 200 angry residents showed up, most wearing their red NFMHS tee shirts, all angry because I had placed it on the Agenda. Three deputy sheriffs appeared and were urging that I "shut this meeting down."

I told the deputies that unless we had violence I intended to honor the freedom of speech rights of the protestors and that I would hear them out, since they had left their homes and families to come speak their minds.

Eventually they stopped shouting, and I led a movement to defeat my own proposal unanimously.

Thirty of the protestors joined the Association, two of them volunteered to serve as members of our Board of Directors, and I encouraged two of the most outspoken to fill two other Board vacancies, and I was optimistic that we would all meld homogeneously for the betterment of NFM.

I even prepared a list of my own suggestions for a Board Orientation of Do's and Don'ts for Directors and Do's and Don'ts for Meetings, thinking it would create teamwork and harmonious meetings.

Unfortunately, the controversy still hasn't cooled and I'd like to share some personal frustration along with some additional information.

Since then, two of those directors have made a motion to impose a Code of Conduct on me and to have me censured because I made the "proposal" that we change the name.

As it turned out I didn't suggest a particular name, I didn't circulate a petition, and I didn't place newspaper ads, as the NFM Chamber of Commerce had done many years ago (without any repercussions) - I just placed it on the Agenda for discussion and possible action and, when I saw how passionate people were about the name at the demonstration, I abandoned the passing notion.

Now their motion seeks to prevent me from writing any more of these columns in my name, from proposing anything controversial and tying my hands as President in many ways.

Well.

I accepted these members and directors in good faith. But I am not ashamed of anything I did. If people were punished for a suggestion or proposal they made, then no one would ever propose anything and nothing would ever get done. A leader tries many different approaches and ideas to get results. some ideas are popular and some aren't.

During my 2-1/2 years as President probably 95 percent of the ideas and motions on our Agendas were mine and most have been well received.

So, if you think I have done a good job in my 8.5 years as an officer of Civic, or if you think that the remaining four months of my term as President should not be unduly restricted, come to what should be the most interesting meeting ever.

Or, if you support the motion speak in favor of it.

Other key items on the Agenda are:

* Revision of the NFM Civic Association pamphlet. We printed 2,000 of them in February and have given them all away, so we need to print more but prior to so doing, I have asked our Board of Directors to submit their input, just like last time, but we are emphasizing fewer words and more pictures, and our new member, Laura Ray, with wonderful skills in marketing and pamphlet layout and production has given our pamphlet a major facelift. If any of my readers have any suggestions, see the first version at www.northfortmyerscivicassociation.com, and then contact me. Attend our Oct. 19 meeting to watch the approval and revision process.

* Our annual participation in The Fall Funfest, a safer version of Halloween, is the next day and we need volunteers to help decorate our tent, to bring any fun games for young children to play in addition to our Ring Toss that was immensely popular last year, to "dress up" in a non-scary costume, come up with a new idea or just distribute candy. Contact doramiller1@comcast.net or tell us at the meeting.

* A proposal that we man our tent at The Shell Factory's Nam Jam on Sunday, Oct. 22, from noon to 3 p.m. We can sure use volunteers to meet and greet attendees, decorate our tent, pass out handouts and recruit new members. Veteran volunteers would also be especially appreciated. Contact me to volunteer.

* A proposal that we embark on a Civic pride and participation campaign. I have a presentation from the city that won this year's Florida League of Cities Award, that might give us some good ideas. We need a Chair, some volunteers and inspirations.

* A proposal that we subscribe for a month at nominal cost, to News-Press' online service which will allow us to research news articles for more than a century to perhaps find an historical event, person or building that we could use as a rallying point or event, or use to add pictures to the Gallery section of our website. Any volunteers to research online? Contact me.

* We have formed a Hurricane Irma Litter Patrol to help residents of NFM remove hurricane litter and debris. If you still need help, or would like to help us help others, contact Chair, Doug Dailey at dougpi@comcast.net.

The Joint Monthly Meeting of the NFM Community Planning Panel and Design Review Panels has been re-scheduled for its usual first Tuesday of the month, Nov. 7, 6 p.m at The Rec Center. It has several applications that will be heard.

The NFM Commercial Corridor Revitalization Task Force had a nice turnout at its Sept. 28 meeting. Its excellent website was discussed. Check it out at www.DevelopNFM.com to learn a lot of good info. They discussed a Hurricane Irma update and reviewed a Lee County flyer relating to resources and a Post Disaster Business Impact Survey, Inner City Capital Connections and the NFM Financial & Regulatory Incentives, which was reported upon in some detail by Chuck Ballaro in this publication a few weeks ago. The reason there is not more detail is because this is a pilot program where the $2 million dollars earmarked to this program has been passed, but the details of the legislation has not yet been worked out. According to John Gardner, Chair of the Task Force, it is almost always done with the legislation preceding the funding, but doing it this way shows the emphasis that the County Commissioners have on fast tracking this program. We are all hoping that this will attract new business and investment.

PUBLIC APATHY IS THE PLAGUE OF THE 21ST CENTURY! VOLUNTEER - IT'S GOOD FOR THE MIND AND THE HEART." - MIKE LAND

Contact me at 239-823-3631 or mike.nfmca@gmail.com if you have some event, project or idea that you would like in this column, or with any comments or questions. Visit northfortmyerscivicassociation.com.

 
 

 

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