Progress Needed


It has now been nearly 13 years since Hurricane Charley. Our town has made virtually no progress in rehabilitating itself to this point. Post that event we have often elected leadership whose main goals have been to fire people, say no to nearly every advancement, or implement either a special interest or personal agenda.

I believe most of our citizens want to see real, observable progress without the obstructionist, nit-picking that we often witness. I am a firm believer that just complaining without an alternative is also not productive.

So here are some things that should be done as quickly as possible.

  1. Per the advice of staff promptly advance the “Stormwater Plan.” The county is going ahead with the Estero Blvd. project. Do we want to dig our streets up again due to the shortsightedness of some Council members?
  2. Quickly and aggressively pursue approval of the TPI project.
  3. Streamline the permitting process via a new Administrative Code that gives staff more autonomy to make decisions regarding minor improvements to existing structures
  4. Without further delay move to change the 50%/5 year rule to 50%/1 year rule. This will be a powerful tool in preserving our traditional neighborhoods
  5. Address water quality in an unemotional, scientific, manner.
  6. Revisit the Land Development Code. It is in need of simplifying and fitting the needs of ALL our citizens.
  7. As council members have the insight and courage to address the woefully inadequate millage rate which makes realistic budgeting nearly impossible. Lastly, leave your ideology and personal vendettas at home and replace them with thoughtful pragmatism. “Draining the Swamp” is neither a plan nor solution for addressing our local issues!


Mike Ratliff
Fort Myers Beach