Estero Council of Community Leaders
Minutes of the Regular Monthly Meeting
October 22, 2004
Chairman Eslick called the meeting to order at 2:00 p.m. at the Marsh Landing
clubhouse. Exhibit A lists the members attending.
Chairman Eslick commented briefly on the significance of election of new
members to the Board of Lee Memorial Hospital to people in Estero. He said that
leaders of the ECCL had asked members of the Lee County Board of County
Commissioners with home ECCL had worked most closely to recommend the candidates
for the Hospital Board whose they thought would be most beneficial to the
The Council invited the identified candidates to appear before
ECCL at the
current meeting, asking each candidate to tell the Council, in three minutes or
less, why they felt they were qualified and how their election would benefit the
Two of the candidates were unable to appear. The Council did hear from Brian
Griffen and Spring Rosen (District 1), Eugene Principi (District 2), Linda Brown
(District 3), Mike Buff (District 4), and Gayle Ann Lyons (District 5).
Council members in attendance were impressed favorably with all these
candidates. Mr. Rosenthal moved that ECCL endorse these candidates and so
indicate in a message to those on the ECCL mailing list. The motion was seconded
and passed unanimously.
Minutes of the meeting of September 22, 2004, were circulated with the
agenda. Mr. Rosenthal moved that the minutes be approved. The motion was
seconded and passed unanimously.
The Treasurer presented a report as of October 22, 2004, showing a cash
balance of $861. Mr. Rosenthal moved acceptance of this report. The motion was
seconded and passed unanimously.
Application to IRS For 501(c)(4) Status
In Mr. Fraserís absence, the Chairman reported that the application to the
Internal Revenue Service for recognition as a 501(c)(4) corporation is ready to
be submitted, except that a two-year and three-year budget are needed.
He then presented budgets proposed by the Treasurer for Calendar Year 2005,
anticipating income of $3,000 and expenses of $2,500, resulting in net income of
$500, and for Calendar Year 2006, anticipating income of $4,500 and expenses of
$4,000, again resulting in net income of $500. In both years, the net income
would be transferred to an ECCL Reserve Fund.
The IRS application, with these budgets attached, will be submitted shortly
to the IRS, in accordance with action previously approved by the Board.
Treasurer Wagner initiated a brief discussion of various community- and
ECCL-oriented projects or activities that might be undertaken with modest funds.
At present, with ECCLís broad constituency, it is difficult to know which
activities or projects would best serve the needs of the community and
One member suggested purchase of a U.S. flag, so that ECCL meetings could
start with a Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. Another suggested that ECCL might
undertake some social activities for Council members.
Comments were made also that there should be no dues for community-wide or
Treasurer Wagner presented a list of potential ECCL projects suggested by
various Delegates and member organizations, should adequate funding become
Landscaping around Estero High School
Monument sign for Estero High School at US41 and Williams Road
Outside enhancements for the
new community park
Interior enhancements for the new recreation center
Signs on US41, in both directions, showing Estero community boundaries
Still another suggestion was a monument or sculpture for the traffic
roundabout at Williams Road and Sandy Lane, for which Tricia Fay, of the
FCGU Arts Program, has volunteered her assistance.
Treasurer Wagner asked for further suggestions at the ECCL November meeting.
Discussion turned to ways in which to improve ECCLís image in the Estero
community and the larger surrounding area, particularly in view of recent public
criticism in Letters to the Editor.
There was general agreement that ECCL must maintain its stability and ignore
personal criticism of ECCL leaders. A statement might be made that
not condone the behavior reflected in these attacks. Because much of the
criticism emanated from The Cascades,
ECCL should make a greater effort to get
this community genuinely involved in ECCL activities.
It is evident that many people in the Estero area do not understand what
does, how it is organized, and how it operates. To address this problem, Barbara
Akins is leading an effort to develop a new ECCL brochure. John Ruehl will have
a major role in developing policy statements for use in these public
Chairman Eslick again reminded Council members that each community and
Estero-wide community organization is asked to identify one delegate and one
alternate to represent it in the Council and to vote on matters before the
Council. He asked that communities and organizations that have not done so,
listed below, take such action at their earliest opportunity.
Resident Controlled Communities
Covered Wagon Trailer Park
Estero River Heights
Pelican Landing (member only)
Developer Managed Communities
Estero River Estates
The Lakes of Estero
Estero Fire & Rescue
Estero Civic Association
Estero Community Planning Panel
Estero Historical Society
Estero High School
Pinewoods Elementary School
Mr. Dick Schweers, Delegate from Fountain Lakes, moved that Joe Pavich be
recognized as Alternate Delegate from that community. The motion was seconded
and passed unanimously.
Jim Ramsburg reported that an updated version of the 40-minute PowerPoint
presentation, Village With A Vision, is being prepared, with a target date of
January 18 for its first presentation. Additional presentations will be
scheduled in various communities and other venues on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and
Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. Communities desiring to schedule presentations should
contact Jim Ramsburg at (239) 949-0362.
Sandy Lane alignment issues will be considered by the Lee County Board of
County Commissioners in mid-November. Attendance and testimony by
will be critical to their disposition of the matter.
Bob Perry updated the Council on the
Estero Parkway Wal-Mart situation. The
Lee County Board of County Commissions has approved the zoning requested by
Wal-Mart, with the added condition that Wal-Mart cannot obtain a building permit
for the store from the County until a construction contract for widening of US41
has been executed. Negotiations and further explorations now center on how this
road widening can be expedited. The situation is described at greater length in
the November issue of the Estero Development Report.
In the absence of Mr. Fraser, who has been heading the team negotiating with
Wal-Mart on ECCLís behalf concerning this project, Chairman Eslick reported
that, after its rezoning petition was denied by the Hearing Examiner, Wal-Mart
has filed suit in Lee County Circuit Court to overturn this denial. The case
will be heard on November 15.
Wal-Mart also met about two weeks ago with ECCLís Coconut Road Wal-Mart
Committee and its attorney, Mr. Uhle. Wal-Mart states that it has filed a motion
to amend its rezoning petition. This motion will be included in the court
session on November 15.
The Chairman reported that, after ECCLís intensive negotiations with the
developers of the proposed Paradise Shoppes of Estero (along the west side of
US41 between Pelican Sound Boulevard and Williams Road) the developer agreed to
an extensive list of concessions. In view of this, ECCL decided to support the
developerís rezoning proposal.
The Hearing Examinerís report, when issued in early November, is expected to
be in essential agreement with ECCLís position, also noting prominently the
urgent concerns of adjacent communities with respect to resulting inevitable
eastbound traffic congestion at the intersection of Williams Road and US 41. The
Board of County Commissioners is likely to consider the matter in December.
Again, substantially greater detail on this matter is contained in the
November issue of the Estero Development report.
North Point DRI, West Bay Club Rezoning Plans, and Emergency Health
Care/Stabilization Task Force
In view of limited time remaining, very brief reports were presented on these
three matters. Eric Pachner, heading the Emergency Health Care/Stabilization
Task Force, said that more members are needed for this committee.
After a brief discussion of the critical importance of the Babcock Ranch
property to the ecology of all of southern Florida, it was moved, seconded, and
passed unanimously that ECCL support the fund-raising effort of those who would
purchase Babcock Ranch for the public good.
Available time having been exhausted, the meeting was adjourned at 4:25 p.m.
The next meeting will be held on November 17, 2004, at 2:00 p.m. in the Marsh
Richard J. Steelee