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NFM Civic Association: Elections, an art walk, a new pool and more
September 5, 2018

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Well, the primary election is behind us and now, on to the general election. While Nov. 6 seems a long way off, the vote by mail (formerly absentee) ballots go out 45 days before that, Sept. 22. So - I know it's hard to believe - we are less than three weeks away from casting a ballot. That is, if you registered to vote by mail.

I recommend it.

The ballot will be long with a variety of offices up for grabs as well as several Constitutional Amendments, and you never know about the weather or long lines. Our Lee County Supervisor of Elections encourages it. For you voters, getting the ballot at home gives you time to read it, including the complex amendments, get information from friends, family, political parties, Google or wherever, and make an informed decision.

I expect that will be better than throwing a dart into a chart or guessing.

For the Supervisor of Elections, fewer poll workers are required and lines are shorter. It is a win-win and recommended. And, if you decide at the last minute you really want to vote at the polls you can exchange your mail ballot at your polling place and pick up a regular ballot, go into the booth, and vote!

Tip: You may want to fill out your mail ballot, make a copy for your reference, and take the copy into the booth. That's not cheating! It is encouraged. So, you keep open all options when you register to vote by mail.

Any questions call the Supervisor of Elections at 239-533-8683.

Next meeting of your North Fort Myers Civic Association is Sept. 10. The Civic Association will consider what can be done to extend LeeTrans' service out to Tara Woods. There are a host of retirees who do not drive and transit service would be invaluable. Of course the Civic association has no power to make it happen but can reach out to those that can. It is certainly a discussion that needs to be had.

Sidestepping to the Lee County Arts Center (LCAC), two things. The LCAC will hold its second Art Walk Oct. 13. Again at Hancock Bridge Square. The owner has kindly given permission. And the Arts Center is still looking for a home in that shopping center, possibly at the Quilt Lovers space, as it is relocating across the street. I'll tell you a little more about the Art Walk and progress renting a space for the Arts Center in my column end of September. If you missed the first event you definitely have to come Oct. 13. If you came out in July and spent some time (and money) I know you'll be back!

Second thing. The LCAC is now a 501(c) (3) tax exempt organization. The IRS moved the application along quickly, given its workload, and was very helpful clearing up an overlooked issue. I've been filing for tax exemptions over 40 years and can say this IRS analyst was professional, supportive, and easy to work with. We filed end of February and it usually takes a minimum of six months. The LCAC's exemption was granted slightly under that wire. And now, any donations will be tax deductible.

The NFM Civic Association will be filing its application shortly. So, one down, one to go.

All good news.

The North Fort Myers Community Pool is no longer. The pool was closed for repair and renovations in March, but the County decided a new one was in order. Now it is gone! But not forgotten. If you're about to shed a tear or two, do it quickly since a new pool will be built in the (hopefully) not too, distant future.

And it may be part of a twofer, including a new boat ramp.

The county is in negotiations for 1.8 acres adjacent to the southbound span of the Edison Bridge on U.S. Business 41 if you're interested in checking it out. Please remember I said "negotiations." So, time will tell if we get a new boat ramp.

But the pool, that's going forward, a done deal!

Talking about new things, we're still waiting for the new library. Sure, some walls are up but construction seems to move in fits and starts, hardly at gangbusters' speed.

Our County Commissioners announced they had so much money collected for its construction we'd get a small (tiny) tax reduction on our county taxes; $20, maybe $30 on your next tax bill.

So they've got the money.

Let's get a roof up and finish the project.

Please.

That's it for now. Next meeting, and I hope to see you all there, is Sept. 10 -yeah, I know I said that up above - at 6:30. 2000 N. Recreation Park Way, North Fort Myers (the North Fort Myers Recreation Center).

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