Candidate Guest Opinion – Ber Stevenson

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In light of the latest news regarding the FBI’s investigation of the secret meetings regarding Grand Resorts between Larry Kiker, Anita Cerecedo, Don Stilwell and Tom Torgerson, Fort Myers Beach (FMB) needs to take a close look at the direction FMB is going and the importance of this election. This is the time for action and change for our residents, as the very fabric and character of our little island community comes in jeopardy.

This may also be a golden opportunity for FMB to change the flow of money between FMB and Lee County, and SEND THE MONEY SOUTH. As it stands right now, FMB is the “baby” which receives its money from “mama” Lee County. FMB deserves better than this.

We also need to understand why Lee County would even consider selling the Crescent Beach Park and the former Seafarers parcels to a private developer, when it would be more appropriate to utilize these properties for the use and benefit of the public.

Right now, Torgerson wants to purchase both properties for his Grand Resorts project. It makes much more sense to retain Crescent Beach Park as a public park, and to utilize the Seafarers parcel as a public parking hub and off- and on-loading station for the trolleys. This would help alleviate the issues of foot traffic crossing Estero Boulevard and the subsequent stopping of traffic at this location. We should construct a pedestrian crossover connecting Crescent Beach and the Seafarer’s property. The crossover could be a replica of FMB’s original arches, becoming an aesthetically pleasing and visual gateway to Fort Myers Beach.

It may not be a bad idea to also install a large resort-type saltwater pool at Crescent Beach Park for use by residents and tourists alike to insure that there is always clean water available for swimming in Fort Myers Beach.

The handwriting is on the wall. The Comprehensive Plan is going to be revised this July, and the people who will be sitting on the Town Council at that point are going to be in a position to determine the future direction of our community. Choose wisely on March 15th. This could be one of the most important decisions we as FMB residents will be making for a long time.

Please contact me via email at ber627@gmail.com to give me your opinions, questions and/or issues. I want to hear what you have to say.

Ber Stevenson

Candidate for Town Council

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