FORT MYERS, Fla. — Time flies. It’s already been 100 days since Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson took office. In this week’s final “A Minute with the Mayor,” he tells Fox 4’s Rachel Loyd what progress will look like in the city from now until the end of his term.
Rachel: So, Mayor Anderson, you have officially been in office for 100 days. When we started these interviews, you talked about three main things that you wanted to focus on for the first 100 days. Housing, homelessness and unity. So, first of all, when it comes to unity, If you are looking at the end of your term two years from now, what would progress look like in the realm of unity?
Mayor Anderson: All of these issues, first of all they’re connected. Progress in that arena of unity would look like more affordable housing, economic opportunity, and just a city that has grown closer together.
Rachel: Now, when it comes to housing, you already kind of threw out more affordable housing, and I know that there’s been a mixed development that’s gone up - or that’s scheduled to go up in east Fort Myers. What exactly what progress in housing look like for you in the next couple years?
Mayor Anderson: Well, right now we have about 50 percent compared to 67 percent in Leigh Acres and 74 percent in Cape Coral. What housing would look like in Fort Myers would be that that 50 percent ownership would grow closer to Lehigh. And it’s not just homeownership, Rachel. We also have to look at - when I leave office, hopefully, there’s people will see that there’s a pathway to decent, affordable housing, whether it’s through rental or ownership.
Rachel: And then the last thing, homelessness. This is a complex issue. We’ve talked about this week after week. Moving forward in the next two years, what does a possible solution, or at least progress look like for the city’s homelessness issue?
Mayor Anderson: I’m excited that on Monday’s agenda, we’ll be discussing this topic and some funding to move forward on a concept I presented to the county. When I leave office, what I hope people are going to see is we reclaimed our public space, at the same time addressing the needs of the homeless.
Rachel: And I know you want to hold off until Monday for the big reveal, but is there anything you can share as far as who you’re partnering with, to make this plan come into fruition? Is there any sort of thing that you can share? Even a little bit to give us some insight to your plan?
Mayor Anderson: Gentle pressure, relentlessly applied. (Laughs). Two partners are a nonprofit, who I’m not comfortable saying who at this point, and Lee County. I’m very excited, and I’m chomping at the bit to tell you to answer your question and tell you exactly what’s happening. But, I need to hold off until it goes before council.
Rachel also asked Mayor Anderson about the search for a new city manager. He said he and outgoing City Manager Saeed Kazemi didn’t see eye-to-eye on several things . He said he’s looking for a city manager who will put more emphasis on economic development.