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FMB organization tries to bridge gap between town officials and people

Posted at 10:35 PM, Dec 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-07 06:13:13-05

FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. — In the heart of Fort Myers Beach at the DiamondHead Resort, neighbors are discussing persistent issues ranging from street flooding to the absence of crucial crosswalk signs.

The driving force behind the efforts is a non-profit organization called Let's Go FMB, founded by residents like Scott Safford, who owns a business on Fort Myers Beach.

"When we formed the group, we went right to town council at one of their meetings and introduced ourselves, our goals, and objectives," he said. "We were fortunate enough to get one of the town councilors to be our liaison."

Let's Go FMB has become a bridge between the community and local officials, hosting monthly meetings that have gained rapid traction, with over 300 participants in the first gathering.

These meetings serve as a platform for residents to voice their concerns directly to town officials, including town manager Andrew Hyatt.

"We don't want a great divide. We want them to feel like when they come to us, they've got a response from us," emphasized Hyatt.

One resident, expressed gratitude for the platform, stating, "Thank you for the crosswalk question because my dog and I almost get hit every morning."

In addition to addressing immediate concerns, Let's Go FMB addressed expediting permits, a lingering issue after the extra employees from the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM) have left.

"We're bringing in more permit technicians and we're bringing three inspectors for more in-house to be quicker with our inspections," Hyatt explained.

Residents say they are noticing the positive impact of these initiatives, appreciating quicker responses and the ability to address issues directly with those in a position to find solutions.

"It's not just trying to throw it on the town, it's trying to come at the town with some solutions and ideas for them," said Becki Weber, president of Let's Go FMB.

As Let's Go FMB wraps up its final meeting for the year, there is a shared sentiment among city staff and residents alike: the hope to see Fort Myers Beach thriving again as soon as possible.