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NO TO PUBLIC VOTE: Fort Myers City Council term limits vote fails

The council voted against letting the general public vote on proposed changes to the term limits for the city council in the upcoming election.
Posted at 2:14 PM, Jun 05, 2024

FORT MYERS, Fla. — On Monday, in the Fort Myers City Chambers, the council voted against a general public vote on the proposed changes to the city council's term limits in the upcoming election. The 3-3 vote failed.

"I was just amazed because so many times we sit here up on this and we talk about we need to listen to the people, we need to hear what the people say about this," says Fort Myers Mayor, Kevin Anderson. "We had an opportunity to put this to the people and hear what the people wanted to say. And we took it from them."

Last year, a group of Fort Myers residents made recommendations on the city charter. The group proposed to limit any person from serving on the city council for more than three consecutive, full four-year terms beginning on November 5, 2024

Council member Liston Bochette III asked if the proposed ordinance could be "brought back" to the council. "How do you vote against something and then ask to bring it back?," the mayor asks.

It could, but there is only one council meeting before the due date for ballot language to the supervisors of elections on July 8.

Mayor Anderson says the next meeting, June 17, is the only chance to revote and possibly get the proposal on the ballot.

"All elected officials should realize that, regardless of our titles or the seats that we occupy, we are public servants," says Mayor Anderson.

He says there should be a degree of interaction with the public for input. If the council does not revote during the next meeting, "we very well could miss the deadline," says Mayor Anderson.

If you want to participate in the conversation, come to the council meeting on June 17 and speak during the public hearing