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Cape Coral City Council stipend on the November ballot? It's a possibility.

City of Cape Coral stipend
Posted at 8:46 PM, Apr 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-10 20:58:44-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — A controversial topic was brought up at Cape Coral's Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting. The topic: the stipend for council members.

At previous meeting, residents voiced their opposition and said the community should decide if council should get paid more, telling them it should be put to a vote.

Back in December 2023, the council approved a stipend that will pay council members $40,000 more a year, and $60,000 more a year for Mayor John Gunter. Many residents have voiced their disapproval of the decision since.

On the COW agenda, a referendum stated it would go on the November ballot, if approved.

Council members discussed how the referendum would be worded if it goes on the ballot. That's when several council members started backing away from pushing the issue to the voters.

"I think if this had come out of nowhere six months ago, eight months ago, it would have been good," said councilwoman Jessica Cosden of District 7. "But T think now with the climate, it's not the time to be talking about it at all. I have my listening ears on. Right now, I don't think it's a good idea."

Mayor Gunter said he did not believe voters would pass the referendum because of the current climate among residents.

The City Attorney told Council time is running out to finalize the language to put it on the November ballot.

The discussion was tabled until the next meeting on April 24.

Marco Island recently puts its stipend in the hands of voters, which did not pass.