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Outsource for Government-Lite

Letter to the Editor

July 19, 2017
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Outsource for Government-Lite

To the Editor:

I'm glad this Council is discussing downsizing town staff and vehicle inventory by looking at outsourcing again, just six years ago we had about 50 full and part time employees, which included our maintenance crew, Bay Oaks, Mound House, code enforcement, building supervisor, environmental, community development, etc. We now have around 80 full and part time employees and a parking lot full of town-owned vehicles. Since the elevated pool setback fiasco in 2014 that cost us taxpayers a ridiculous $259,000 due to staff error, the in-house staff errors have continues. Neighborhood docks torn down by public works without letting the neighbors know: construction trucks on our environmentally critical beaches without a permit; a dock permitted to be built into navigational channel; half a million dollars of gas tax money used for Town Hall; millions in unpaid invoices; code violations being ignored or selectively enforced; vehicles carelessly driven on our beaches; a terrible negotiated storm water cost share agreement, etc. The Town incorporated with a promise to its citizens of Government-Lite, meaning we would exert local control while keeping that control simple and thin. As the need for new services increases, the town is supposed to find other private and public agencies to assume those responsibilities. We were told Government-Lite would not allow our government to grow, and we'd be protected from a growing bureaucracy. Our beautiful island is only seven miles. After the 2014 election, town department heads were fired with several staff leaving too. We thought we were getting rid of government bloat, but they were all replaced in-house and then some. Hopefully we will have a town council that checking into the problems created by past administrations and fixing them.

Fran Cooke

Fort Myers Beach



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