Key Points from the ECCL’s Monthly Meeting Report
(Reporter Karen Katz)
President Jim Gilmartin called the meeting to order and there followed a moment of silence for COVID-19 victims.
Kyle Coleman, Estero Deputy Village Manager, spoke about the Estero Community Database. It attempts to display and map the different characteristics and amenities of communities and services in Estero to help people, especially those looking to purchase a home, know what the area offers. Volunteers are collecting data to develop this project. He also spoke of Estero “Village” embodying “government light” – contracting out for maintenance and consultants, resulting in taxes being low and reserves high.
Speaker Steve Sarkozy, Estero Village Manager, spoke about the land transfer that resulted in 67.5 acres at Corkscrew and US 41 being acquired by the Village. Much of the land is planned to be kept in its natural state.
CANIN & Associates of Orlando, an architectural, landscape, planning group, was selected to prepare a set of suggestions and concepts for the acquired land. Environmental education will be offered through a partnership with the YMCA. Focus groups, surveys, and forums are being conducted to seek guidance on various options under consideration.
President Gilmartin spoke of the ECCL’s support for Estero participating in the SWFL Regional Alliance Compact. The Compact will address issues of climate change, algae deposit, sea-level rise, and heat increase.
There will be a workshop regarding ECCL policy changes. ECCL will join with the Chamber & FGCU to identify all resources and programs available to aid future economic planning.
Judy Hammond of the Culture & Recreation committee spoke about the planned Veterans’ Recognition Pocket Park. It is not meant to be a memorial with statues, etc. but flags representing the various military and coastguard branches offering a place for reflection. The location is still undecided but will need accessibility and parking. You can contact Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Yelling working with the ECCL’s Transportation Committee spoke of the four-mile stretch of US 41, which ECCL has adopted. The first event on October 24th is followed by one Saturday morning each month through April. These will be small planned groups of ten or so volunteers per event. For further information on dates and how to join in, please contact Julie at ECCLHwy41@gmail.com
In working with the ECCL’s Education Committee, Amy Kuchenbecker spoke about the ECCL’s involvement in Junior Achievement. ECCL volunteers work with Grades 2 & 5 at two elementary schools, Grade 8 at one middle school, and Grade 11 at one high school. There has been high praise for the effort to educate the children about financial issues, including taxation! Many communities and businesses are contributing one hour per week to the program of financial literacy.
A Finance Committee Report indicated general funds stand at $22,000. The ECCL Advocacy Foundation received two $500 donations recently, and contributions stand at $14,300. The committee is looking for new volunteers with applicable backgrounds in the financial and accounting areas – contact John Quin, ECCLCFO@gmail.com, for more information.
Barry Freedman, Chief Membership Development Officer, reported that memberships are paid for the year – steps are underway to expand memberships to include non-residents and businesses. Contact Barry at ECCLmshp@gmail.com for more details. Also, ECCL representatives are including the monthly meeting summary reports in community newsletters.
Allan Bowditch, Chief Communications Officer, reported that ECCL is trying to expand its reach through increased social media use. New members of the committee include Karen Katz, from Wildcat Run, who will act as a reporter, and Mike Wasson from Grandezza, with a journal publishing career. Board members have also been encouraged to participate in the various committee to add their expertise.