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Minute with the Mayor: Focusing on housing, homelessness and unity in Fort Myers

Posted at 2:10 PM, Jan 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-30 14:10:03-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson is approaching his first 100 days in office. In this week's "Minute with the Mayor" segment, Fox 4's Rachel Loyd sits down with Mayor Anderson as he shares his specific plans for the city for the next six months.

Rachel: You are now at your three-quarters mark through your first 100 days in office. In the beginning you talked about creating these three different task forces for housing, homelessness and unity. First, let’s talk about unity. Now a task for unity sounds good, but what do you actually set out to accomplish in the next six months?

Mayor Anderson: Recommendations that can be made to the city council that can help us address this issue, and make things better. All of these problems, we’re not going to solve. But can we minimize the impact they have on the city?

Rachel: Unity is such a broad topic. Now, when you talk about unity, are you talking about political unity? Unity across racial and ethnic lines? Unity across socioeconomic statuses?

Mayor Anderson: There’s a divide. How do we narrow that divide? Whether it be with politics or economic opportunities or housing or police-community relations - whoever it is, how do we narrow that gap?

Rachel: When it comes to housing, pretty much the same question, what do you hope to accomplish in the next six months? I know a lot of things that you’ve talked about are long-term, you know. Raising wages. That may not come in six months to acquire affordable housing. But, in the next six months, what does better housing in Fort Myers look like? What does the task force actually accomplish?

Mayor Anderson: In six months - that’s a limited amount of time. What I’m hoping more so than anything that this diverse group of people is going to be able to talk through things, and maybe bring up things that I don’t think of. What I’m saying is we have to look at how we operate. Are we operating in the most effective, efficient manner? Do we have ordinances and codes that are actually working against affordable housing?

Rachel: My last question, you have a homelessness task force that you’re putting together. This is an issue that cities across the world have tried to tackle forever -

Mayor Anderson: Thank you for recognizing that.

Rachel: For sure, for sure. I mean, it’s not easy. It’s a complicated issue. So many factors go into it. In the next six months, what are you hoping your homelessness task force will accomplish?

Mayor Anderson: One thing I hope is they will learn - they will all learn how much is really being done for homelessness in Lee County. Now, with that being said there is a lot being done, but there’s a lot more that needs to be done.