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NFM Civic Association: New ideas, new programs and more discussed at Civic
May 17, 2018

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Another interesting North Fort Myers Civic Association meeting.

The Association discussed "Adopting a Road." The stretch between Littleton Road to the foot of the Edison Bridge, on Old 41 might, as a result of the adoption, bear our new slogan - North Fort Myers, a Destination, not a Direction. I'll keep you informed.

Campaign season is descending upon us. With our Florida primary in August and the general election in November, candidates are itching to meet voters. Before going on I want to put in a plug for Tommy Doyle, our Supervisor of Elections. He is urging you all to 1) register to vote and 2) register to vote by mail. Remember when we used to call it an absentee ballot? Well, it's more often being referred to as "vote by mail." Even if you live full time in Lee County you can vote by mail. And this year, in addition to the usual statewide candidates and initiatives there will be many proposed Constitutional Amendments. The ballot will be six pages long. I'm not making this up! Getting the ballot, at home, a month before the election, will give you time to review everything. You can discuss with friends, family or any group, to get input - and not stand in lines that will likely be quite long due to the length of the ballot. And that's why the Lee County Supervisor of Elections recommends that you sign up for and Vote by Mail.

Staying with the campaign theme, the NFM Civic Association/NFM Chamber of Commerce will host a candidate meet-and-greet event before the primaries - July 24, and then again for those candidates that make it through the primaries-Sept. 25. The time will be 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Recreation Center where the NFM Civic Association holds its monthly meetings. The format is still being finalized but will include meeting candidates and likely some questioning in a modified debate format. But this will be refined and I'll keep you all advised as the time for each event draws near.

Fundraising was discussed at our May meeting. Why does the Civic Association need money? Well, if it holds an event to energize and bring the community together it needs insurance. Insurance isn't free as we all well know. Talked about that in a prior column. Even for the monthly meeting in the Rec Center it's required. And, we may want to award scholarships, pay for landscaping an area, support activities of other civic groups; activities that may require some seed money. Community engagement, whether walking over to get ice cream from a local shop or donating air conditioners to needy families, is what makes a community. The unexpected happens when we take the first step. Folks volunteer in classrooms, buildings get painted, and retail stores thrive. Well, you get the idea. When we take pride in where we live, we have a community.

Our hard-working Civic Association Chair, Doug Dailey, researched to find an event that would not only bring out the community but would raise money for the Association. Unusual. Something we don't usually think about. Here it is. What do you think of a North Fort Myers Wiffle Ball Bash? Sound silly or even a little crazy? Well, Doug didn't invent the wheel. It has been done before. In fact, several times before. And we may net $5,000 or even $10,000. There'd be sponsorships, player fees, home run derby, vendors and concession sales. I know I'm in! More to come on this event.

Don't forget the NFM Chamber of Commerce Seminar with Snacks" on May 17 at the Chamber's Shell Factory office, 2787 N. Tamiami Trail. Rachel Busch, with Lee County Economic Development, will speak - with visual aids - about NFM business revitalization. It's a great presentation!

The Lee County Arts Center, still in its infant stages, may have found a temporary home. Hancock Bridge Square. Not as crazy as you might think. The owners will be moving forward to repurpose the buildings. Not tomorrow. Yes, it will take some time, but the LCAC could be an early tenant even in its "as is" state. Will let you know how that comes along.

Finally (whew!), we've changed the meeting time for the Civic Association. Same day, second Tuesday of each month, but at 6:30 p.m. (a half hour earlier than before) until 8:30 p.m. This will 1) let the County staff clean up and lock up when their 9 p.m. shift ends and 2) by a show of hands, will attract more attendees.

So, see you June 12, at 6:30 p.m., 2000 Recreation Way N., North Fort Myers.

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