Action by Fort Myers Beach Town Council at its regular meeting on Monday, earlier this monts, involved enhancements of the Mooring Field, an upcoming traffic signal at Old San Carlos and Estero Boulevard, and appointments to two of the Town’s advisory boards, among other items.
Public comment was about Lee County’s plans for the Big Carlos Pass Bridge, consulting with FWC to find out if window tinting is an option for compliance with turtle lighting regulations, the ongoing dune walkover dispute, report from the Town Attorney that mask mandates have been ruled constitutional, conducting landscaper fertilizer training modeled after the City of Sanibel’s, joining with Lee County to receive FEMA funding to help pay utilities for lower income families that have been impacted by COVID, and confirmation that pan handling is illegal in the Town.
Council approved Resolution 21-02 to update the Matanzas Mooring Field Management Plan and add language about the expansion of the Mooring Field. These actions were necessary for the Town to complete the final steps in the permitting process with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the expansion. The Army Corps of Engineers has already approved the engineering permit.
This expansion has been in the planning stages since 2019, when it was first approved by Town Council. It encompasses the west side of Matanzas Pass Bridge and adds approximately 19 mooring systems. The added systems allow for accommodating vessels up to 80 feet, increasing the current vessel limit of 52 feet.
Related to Mooring Field, Town Councilors approved Resolution 21-04 authorizing the Town Manager or his designee to apply for and administer a grant from the Florida Boating Improvement Program (FBIP). If received, this grant would provide up to $200,000. A $100,000 match would be required by the Town, to be budgeted for in the 2021-2022 Fiscal Year’s cycle. The grant would be through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and could be available after October 1, 2021.
In other business, Council approved a contract of $75,572.82 for construction engineering inspection on the new traffic signal with AECOM Technical Services, Inc. This approval authorizes the Town Manager to execute contract documents from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT). This is the Town’s first Local Agency Planning (LAP) project which provides reimbursement from FDOT for construction and construction engineering inspection.
Rebecca Guidry was appointed by Council to the Bay Oaks Recreational Campus Advisory Board (BORCAB). Council also appointed six members to the new Nuisance Abatement Board (NAB). NAB members appointed were Anita Cereceda, Charles Meador, Jr., Dawn Thomas, Jan Fleming, Monica Schmucker, and Tre Gillette. Schmucker was chosen as the chairperson.
Other agenda items:
• Recommendation to Lee County of two possible locations at Lynn Hall and Bowditch Point Parks for a scaled-down, single version of the original arches previously located on San Carlos Island;
• Acquisition of the Town’s pension and deferred compensation plans for employees by Envestnet Retirement Solutions, from Mass Mutual;
• Authorization of the Town’s voluntary, no-cost participation in the proposed Southwest Florida Regional Resiliency Compact;
• Recap of the public hearing conducted by Lee County about plans for the Big Carlos Pass Bridge on the south end of Estero Island; Town Council decided not to join with the City of
Bonita Springs to advocate for an alternative to the proposed construction of a 60-foot bridge to replace the current bridge.
The next regularly scheduled Town Council meeting will be on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at 9 a.m. in Council Chambers at Town Hall, 2525 Estero Boulevard. (The President’s Day federal holiday is Monday, February 15.) In keeping with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about COVID-19, Council meetings are social distanced with reduced audience capacity. Masks or other face-coverings are mandatory.
Council meetings are broadcast live on the Town’s YouTube channel and Comcast Channel 98.
Visit the Town’s website at www.fmbgov.com, click on the title Mayor and Council, then go to Meetings & Agendas. Agendas and minutes of meetings are also available at that link.
To find out when Council meetings are scheduled, visit the Town’s website, and scroll down the homepage to the calendar.
Keep up on meeting schedules by signing up to receive emails through the website’s Notify Me feature. Find that feature under the Popular Pages column on the homepage.
A couple days ago, I found myself humming along to a Supremes song.
Mary, back in the day of the Supremes
Then I did what everyone does today, in the age of the internet: I logged onto YouTube, found a music video and lost myself in some vintage footage of the 1960s supergroup performing some of their greatest hits.
Mary had a romance with Tom Jones for 2 years
It was a soulful trip down memory lane, and I lingered online for some time, soaking up images of Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard performing much-loved, high-energy favorites such as "Stop! In the Name of Love" and "Baby Love."
Hours later, in an eerie stroke of coincidence, I learned that singer Mary Wilson had died that same day at age 76. Ms. Wilson was one of the group's original members, and the news sent chills down my spine. The timing was uncanny. It was the end of an era, and I felt deep sorrow.
For me, the news that we lost Mary was personal. Years ago, I had the rare opportunity to spend time with her when we connected by chance at the Harbor View Hotel in Martha's Vineyard where we were both staying. We spent an entire afternoon together and she regaled me with stories from her illustrious career in the entertainment business. We talked about collaboration on a TV show from her Las Vegas location, as well as politics, business and global traveling. We laughed, and we connected on a personal and spiritual level. Serendipity, perhaps. All I know is that it was unforgettable.
Mary was a warmhearted woman with an incredible soul and a magnetism that matched her amazing talent. The music she and her bandmates produced as The Supremes brought immeasurable joy to millions of people.
In the days since her passing, I have reflected on the lessons we can all learn from Mary Wilson's trailblazing life. And there are many.
Mary Wilson after she sang national anthem in Detroit april 4 2019
First of all, time is short. Never wait to cherish the people who make your life special. Too often, we fail to appreciate the people we admire and respect until they are gone, and then it is too late.
It is so essential that we celebrate and cherish the time we have with the unique people who make this world a more beautiful, happy and joyous place through their God-given talents. Music has the power to transcend and create connections between people and to lift us up in the times when we need it most.
When life seems grim and the future looks bleak, an inspiring lyric and a catchy tune is often all we need to turn things around. In our moments of greatest joy, we express happiness through the celebration of music, a universal language. Mary's passing reminded me of this.
Also, Mary's passing is a stark reminder that America's world influence is not solely derived from our democracy and national principles. Our global impact is also rooted in the sheer genius of our people. There is no country in the world that has our power to effect change and to impact lives through the creativity of entertainment.
As I reflect on Mary Wilson and the legacy of her amazing life, I am reminded that her talent, success and bold determination to blaze new paths are representative of those elements that make America truly special. This is a unique country where people of talent and brilliance can share their gifts with the world, not just with their immediate audience.
They can transcend borders and truly lift up people all across the world.
As we say goodbye to Mary, I will continue to celebrate her legacy of love, life and music. The memory of her joyful energy and that special day we shared long ago will always remain in my heart.
To celebrate and commemorate her astounding life, I encourage you to play one of her CDs or call up a song by The Supremes on YouTube. Take a moment to listen to this impactful, creative woman at work: It will bring a smile to your face as you escape into yesteryear.
Thank you, Mary, for the beautiful and everlasting gift of your musical genius. Your timeless legacy will live on forever.
Flippers on the Bay is open seven days a week serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
It has been named the “Best Waterfront Restaurant” on Ft. Myers Beach by USA Today and provides picturesque views of the Bay in an alfresco setting which allows you to watch the dolphins play while you enjoy incredable meals prepared by Chef Juan Cruz
and the Rum drinks and Martinis are our favorites!
The casual setting is the perfect backdrop to an American menu that surprises and delights the palate.
It's a little more upscale, and the food is supurb, the ambience is beautiful, and the service is unmatch in this area.
Tell them that Bobby, from the Sun Bay Paper recommended them highly!