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City raising Coral Oaks fees

January 28, 2014
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Golf driving range and greens fees at Coral Oaks Golf Course are being raised slightly for the first time since 2006 with the passage Monday night of a resolution by Cape Coral City Council.

"This increase brings us up to speed with the market," said Parks & Recreation Director Steve Pohlman.

The increase amounts to about $4 on the daily 18-hole fee scale for in-season and non-season play. The discount for city employees other than course employees was reduced to 20 percent instead of 30 percent. Annual golf passes for Cape residents and non residents also increased.

The city has always set the golf fees in the past, but Council Member Jim Burch suggested the authority be handed over to the course management team.

"I don't think we need to micro manage the fees," said Burch. "It should be done by the people who know who and how many golfers are using the course."

In other business:

* A resolution sponsored by Councilman Richard Leon formally declaring council's support of the Second Amendment to the Constitution was rejected by vote of council.

"Let me just say that I support all of the Constitution, not just the Second Amendment," said Councilman Derrick Donnell. "We are opening things up something here. I say, are we going to do this for all 27 Amendments? It is not our place, it's not our job."

Several council members expressed a similar opinion, including Mayor Marni Sawicki and Richard Williams.

"I served this country in the military. I fought for the Constitution," said Williams. "We don't need to be doing this. I support the Constitution and the Second Amendment, I don't need to reaffirm that with this resolution."

Three citizens spoke to council backing the resolution based on a State House Bill 733 being introduced by Rep. Dane Eagle of Cape Coral that they said would end the state's participation with federal gun laws. The measure would prohibit any "agent of the state or its political subdivisions (from participating) with or (assisting) federal agents in the enforcement of federal firearms laws."

"Our County Commission has reaffirmed this," said Sawicki, who quizzed Police Chief Bart Connelly about the number of guns that have been taken from residents. "We have not taken any guns away from any residents, so until there is some threat I will not support this."

* Staff appeared before council with a resolution for the authority to bill the 114 Tier 2 properties for the fire protection assessments. Council previously approved a similar resolution for the rest of the city parcels. However, an appeal of a court ruling validating the assessment is facing a Feb. 14 deadline to challenge the ruling.

Council members were of the opinion that until that appeal process plays out, the city should not proceed with billing property owners. The resolution passed unanimously after the billing section was removed.

* Councilmember Jim Burch offered that the city reimburse Sawicki for her travel expenses associated with her recent trip to the U.S. Mayors Conference in Washington, D.C. Even though Sawicki did not seek council approval in advance, Burch is of the opinion that the session would be beneficial to Sawicki and the city, as was the case when he served as mayor and attended the conference.

After some discussion, Sawicki was asked to submit receipts for council review and a final decision on reimbursing her.

* Council made a number of appointments to various boards and committees. Included among those were two vacancies on the Budget Review Committee filled by Anthony Solgard and Betty Sussmann. Four members of the Citizen's Advisory Board for Community Development Block Grant were reappointed and one new application from Charlotte Yager enabled council to fill five vacancies.

Five of the nine vacancies on the Contractors' Regulatory Board were filled by reappointing Wayne Moomjiam, Irina Prell, Gary Colley, Douglas "Woody"Woodward and Gary Celestino. Ed Crann was appointed to fill the one vacancy on the Golf Course Advisory Board.

Two vacancies on the Municipal Police Officers Pension Trust Fund Board of Trustees were filled as well as two vacancies on the Municipal Firefighters Pension Trust Fund Board of Trustees.



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