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Show of support fails to sway City Council

Second Amendment issue discussed again

February 4, 2014
Lehigh Acres Citizen

About two dozen citizens showed up at the City Council meeting Monday night to ask the panel to reconsider its rejection of resolution 61-13 last week to reaffirm their support of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Many in the group were wearing blue T-shirts with the Second Amendment printed on the front and business supporters on the back. Sixteen people paraded to the microphone during the 45-minute citizens input to make their plea on the subject. Only three people spoke asking council to pass the resolution last week.

Much later in the meeting, after all other resolutions and ordinance discussions had concluded, Councilmember Rick Williams made a motion that council reconsider their vote. After some discussion, Williams amended the language of the original resolution to delete four paragraphs that other members thought were reasons behind the rejection. Still, the motion failed by a 5-3 vote with Williams' vote the only change from last week's 6-2 vote.

Citizens who spoke indicated their concern over council's lack of support for the resolution because citizens had lost trust in Washington, D.C. They argued that the city has the power to pass the resolution based on home rule within its own borders.

Citizens argued passage would show the city's solidarity with other communities that have passed similar resolutions and that it is the right thing to do for a common sense resolution. They claimed the measure should not be perceived as divisive, but would be a unifying action in the community.

One speaker suggested that council needed to be as empathetic to the wishes of "these people" as they were during last week's model home resolution debates and vote. Many of the speakers took time to thank councilmen Richard Leon, who sponsored resolution 61-13, and John Carioscia for voting "for" affirming the Second Amendment resolution.

The group had flooded council members with emails since last week's meeting and took their case to social media trying to rally support, resulting in a signature petition effort and the large showing in council chambers Monday night.

A second denial of the resolution is not expected to stop the group's persistence. After the 5-3 vote and council adjourned the meeting one person leaving the room was overheard saying, "Well, we'll be back again next week and do it all over."


Other items before council included introductions to three new ordinances that will have public hearings at the Feb. 24 council meeting.

One ordinance will amend the city's code on hiring procedures to clarify and increase efficiency in filling positions on a timely basis.

A second seeks to amend the code to allow fees and rates charged at Coral Oaks Golf Course to be set by the City Manager instead of by council, the result of a discussion initiated at last week's council meeting when an increase in those fees was approved.

The third ordinance introduction seeks to amend application procedures and requirements to obtain a certificate to operate taxicabs within Cape Coral. It would transfer approval of the application from council to the City Manager's office.



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