Cape council appoints new leadership to CRA
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - They started at the top eliminating the executive director's job at the Community Redevelopment Agency, better known as the CRA.
For the past four years, John Jacobson has been the top boss at the CRA, which is devoted to attracting new business to downtown Cape Coral. But now that city hall has taken it over, Jacobson's out of a job.
"Thank you Mr. Jacobson and again from all of us for what you've done in the south Cape," said Rana Erbrick, the newly-appointed chair of the agency. Marty McClaine has been nominated vice chairman. "Thank you for all you've done," emphasized Erbrick.
The city says they'll keep him on as a consultant until his contract is up in February.
"If you request me to, I'd be glad to attend your CRA board meetings," said Jacobson.
But not everyone favors this makeover. In recent weeks, city council got an earful. Some said it's a bad idea for council to put itself in charge.
"It'd be a real shame not to have staff that would help us bring more business to the city," said Carlos Acosta during Monday's city council meeting.
But at this point, they're cautiously optimistic about the new plan.
"If we're going to have a CRA, let's have a good one, let's have a strong representative," said a concerned citizen from the podium on Wednesday.
The city took over the CRA saying it would save taxpayers money. But it'll do the opposite, for now. As part of his contract, they will pay a nearly $27,000 severance to the agency's now-former director.
And just a day after the election, some politicians are hoping Cape Coral, along with the rest of America, can just move on.
"Just like the presidential election, we need to move forward and make the best of it," said Kevin McGrail, a city councilman.
Again, a lot of changes for the agency. Some Jacobson said he saw coming. The next CRA meeting will be on December 11.