The Village of Estero December 31, 2014

Dear Estero Residents:

As you now know, the Estero incorporation referendum passed by a resounding 86 percent, with 12,234 residents voting for incorporation and 1,957 voting against.

The Village of Estero will become official on Wednesday, December 31, 2014.

The Estero Council of Community Leaders Board of Directors wants to thank you all for the tremendous support given to the incorporation of Estero.

Many of you solicited signatures for the petitions to have the referendum placed on the ballot, as well as encouraged your friends and neighbors to vote on this important issue.

Without your tireless support, the Village of Estero could not have been established.

We thank you.

Nick Batos, Chairman
Jim Boesch, Transportation Director
Phil Douglas, Environment Director
Marilyn Edwards, Communications Director
Don Eslick, Chairman Emeritus
Howard Levitan, Vice Chairman, Government Relations Director
Bob Lienesch, Finance Director
Roger Strelow, Community Planning Director
John Goodrich, Chairman, Incorporation Committee

Estero Incorporation Update

The October Estero Spotlight Magazine endorsed the incorporation of Estero in an editorial, stating, “Municipal incorporation is the only way to provide long-term certainty and definition as to the geographic contours of Estero. And, it will ensure that virtually all significant decisions affecting the quality of life will be made locally by an elected village board.” (Click here to read the entire editorial.)

Estero Lifestyle magazine also carried an extensive article about the incorporation effort in their October edition – see Page 22. (Click here to read.)


Voting Information

The Vote by Mail ballots have been mailed out. Please note, the vote pertaining to the incorporation of Estero is the last item on the second page. It very simply asks “Shall the Village of Estero and its charter be created?”

Early Voting starts on October 20 and goes through November 1, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Election Day, November 4, the polls are open 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
(See precinct map)


Questions & Answers re: Incorporation

Still have some unanswered questions about the incorporation of Estero? Want to know how Estero will be governed if it becomes incorporated…how this will affect your taxes…just where will the seven districts be located and who can run for council…will this change your mailing address…others?

ECCL Chairman Nick Batos, Vice Chairman Howard Levitan and Incorporation Committee Chairman John Goodrich will give a short power point presentation and want to respond to any and all questions you may have at the meetings listed below.

9:30 a.m., Tuesday, October 7, Estero Community Park

10 a.m., Friday, October 10, ECCL membership meeting, Estero Community Park

10 a.m., Monday, October 13, Estero United Methodist Church, US41 & Broadway

6 p.m. on Thursday, October 16, Estero Community Park
These workshops offer an opportunity for residents to raise any questions they may have so they may make an informed choice on November 4.

The future of Estero is in your hands!
Please vote.

City Council Rubber Stamps Beach Park Bingo

As expected, the City Council Rubber Stamped the “special exception” to the zoning of our Beach Park allowing food and beverage service – including the approval of PLCA’s request for a full liquor license (4COP). Two residents spoke regarding the lack of environmental impact studies, the potential ramification to this fragile sand bar (think septic tank and well) as well as the commercialization of this resource protected area. Little regard for these issues was shown by Council who appeared poised to reward the Hyatt for their voluntary annexation into the City.

Video of City Council Meeting
(fast forward the progress bar to 47 minutes into the meeting to see the PLCA Beach Park portion)

The video of the PLCA Beach Park portion of the Council meeting is worth watching. You will note that after public testimony, Board Member Murphy attempts to correct the Pelican Landing Attorney’s representation/obfuscation of the number of beach park visitors. It would be laughable if it didn’t clearly demonstrate the systemic disregard for transparency. FYI: months ago our Board approved a 25% increase in the No. of island visitors allowed at the Beach Park from 480 to 600. This will change our governing documents – the settlement agreement. Logically, this poses 2 questions: (l) Will people stay longer and imbibe more with the addition of food service, wine, bear, and island style drinks? Perhaps. (2) Will the increased number of visitors and the availability of food and drink increase the usage of the toilet facilities? Really?

Is this a slam dunk? Maybe not since there are environmental issues to be considered. Where are all the environmentally conscious residents?

Anyone Interested? Long Range Planning …

comment responding to Frustrated

We get the governance we deserve. Lack of interest by good people, with honorable motives, in the running of the affairs of their community, creates a vacuum of leadership that invites men of low character into the fray.
I think it was Ben Franklin who warned us of such a possibility, and it’s in evidence locally, nationally, and, I’m sorry to say, right in our backyard here in PL.

How about we make the proposition less onerous by long range planning? It can be done. However, it requires your interest, and a small commitment of time. A small trade-off for an honest board, with the idea of transparency, professionalism, and no more ‘summer surprises’ secretive management.
Anyone interested?

Frustrated Comments:
Having just received notice that the resale capital assessment fee has been almost doubled to $2,500 by arbitrary action of our esteemed Board of Directors, I’m curious to know whether this action was sent to the UOC for consideration and a recommendation. Was there a survey taken to obtain the views of the members? No, of course not. I guess that the opinions of the actual owners of PLCA don’t matter to this Board.

I feel that this fee is a random, arbitrary and unauthorized theft of our money, bearing no relationship to the administrative expenses of enrolling a new member (the property buyer) in the Association. Will it also apply to transfers by gift, by will upon death or for estate planning purposes where no money is being paid? Under what authority did the Board pass this new theft of our hard earned money? Aren’t the members entitled to vote on a significant change in our governing documents?

Perhaps most important, the vast sums that accumulate via this exaction create a huge slush fund (millions of dollars!!) for the Board to utilize arbitrarily for capital projects that otherwise would require member approval. However you feel about those individual projects, what’s wrong with requiring member input and approval of the pickle ball courts, the marina purchase and redevelopment, the expanding use of our formerly “pristine” beach, etc.?

Will the arrogance of this Board ever be controlled? I understand that most of us are retired and would like nothing to do with governing this place, but that is a sure road to tyranny.

Things That We Can Do

Further to the prior post from Margot Hill, here is a link to a comprehensive document Margot prepared Things That We Can Do

Residents should know that Margot Hill volunteered to be a member of the Privacy Advisory Group yet they chose another resident. Following is an excerpt from her BIO
Deputy Superintendent Margot H. Hill, (Retired), was a member of the Boston Police Department from 1987-2007, and held the ranks of patrol officer, detective (Sexual Assault Unit, where she was named Detective of the Year in 1989), patrol sergeant, sergeant detective, lieutenant, lieutenant detective, and deputy superintendent. Continue reading

Re: Armed Home Invasion in Tuscany Isle

Dear Neighbors,

I don’t mean to sound alarmist, but life as we’ve enjoyed it has become increasingly more dangerous. Living in a gated community sometimes gives us a false sense of security, and even in my house, we’ve succumbed to it. I leave the garage door open, the alarms off, and windows and doors open more times than I’d like to admit. On the other hand, when we’re there, we have ‘early warning systems’ called dogs with us, and I never discount their heightened sense of danger, knowing as I do that most burglars would pass my house by once they heard the barking.

I say most—not all. And it’s that other twenty percent of criminals that I worry about. The types that would ignore my dog, perhaps because they know it’s friendly because they’ve met before…and who would continue on unthwarted into my home, armed, and anticipating danger. Most likely they’d strike late at night, while we were asleep, when all of us are most vulnerable. They’d overpower us, and use force if they met with resistance.

This is every homeowner’s worst nightmare, and guess what? It happened in Pelican Landing last Wednesday night. If you lived in Bonita Bay or the Brooks, you received the details that were also broadcast on the local television news the next day. An armed home invasion that was perpetrated by three Hispanic males who overpowered a couple whom they’d wakened at 11:00 PM at gunpoint, then forced to the floor and bound with plastic cuff ties. They then used a taser gun on the homeowner for the information on the safe that held their valuables and made off with over $25,000 in jewels and other property. This took place at a residence in Tuscany, in the Colony.

PLCA decided to withhold the information and details – important details that could save someone’s life and heighten their awareness at the least – from our residents. Contrast this bad decision with the correct decision made by the managements of The Brooks and Bonita Bay. Both communities were immediately warned of the significant danger still on the loose nearby. Similar home invasions were committed this past spring in Naples, leaving me with the impression that gated communities, because of the false sense of security that they give, are ripe for the picking.
Continue reading

Bill Hill
When are the multitudes of intelligent residents living in Pelican Landing going to realize that the Board of Directors are not the least bit concerned or even interested in what they think. Is this finally an awakening to the fact that the residents have long since been removed from all decision making here at Pelican Landing. Whenever there is a deal being made involving the sale of alcoholic beverages whether in a neighborhood gin mill or on the Hyatt Coconut Point Beach Island Resort (former property of Pelican Landing residents) someone is making a buck and there are usually more partners than the name on the license. Sunlight casts shadows even here in Florida.