Fort Myers Beach Public Safety Discusses Sidewalk Hazards and Campaign Coordination

In a recent meeting, the Fort Myers Beach Public Safety Committee discussed a range of issues from sidewalk hazards to the coordination of public safety campaigns. The meeting saw the committee address concerns over pedestrian safety in light of inadequate lighting and dilapidated buildings in tourist areas. The committee also grappled with the definition of their role in the community, expressing a desire for a joint meeting with the Town Council to gain clarity on their responsibilities.

A focus of the discussion was the sidewalk project, which involved committee members inspecting and documenting sidewalk hazards. Members divided areas among themselves, volunteering for multiple sections, and discussed methods for documenting issues, including the use of specific applications and photography. The committee sought clarity on who was responsible for repairing damages, especially those connecting to private properties, and resolved to compile their findings for coordination with appropriate departments for repairs. Most of Estero Boulevard is under Lee County’s maintenance jurisdiction.

The committee also expressed interest in the newly hired Public Information Officer (PIO), Nicole Beren, and her plans for public safety messaging. The intention was to collaborate and coordinate with her to ensure efficient dissemination of public safety information. The committee agreed to invite Nicole to the next meeting to discuss her strategy and to avoid overlapping efforts.

Members raised concerns about pedestrian safety due to insufficient lighting on the north end of the beach and the lack of education on crosswalk usage for new visitors. The danger of vehicles passing in the center lane was also noted. The committee discussed the problem of unsafe buildings in tourist areas like Times Square and the need to communicate these issues to the public for tourist safety.

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The feeling of redundancy in the committee’s efforts was a recurring sentiment, with members voicing frustration over potentially overlapping responsibilities with groups like “Let’s go FMB” and the Town Council’s initiatives. The committee deliberated on the need for clear guidance from the Town Council regarding their role and the specific issues they should be focusing on. They suggested a joint meeting with the Town Council to clarify the committee’s objectives and receive direction on their future endeavors.

The committee discussed the effectiveness and value of their work, questioning whether they were making an impact and suggesting that they should tackle larger projects that have a more substantial effect on public safety. To facilitate this clarification of roles, a motion was put forward and unanimously passed to request a joint session with the Town Council. The chair would attend the upcoming Town Council meeting to make this request.

The committee’s discussion was imbued with a sense of urgency to streamline their efforts, avoid duplication, and focus on impactful public safety initiatives. The consensus was that more meaningful collaboration with the Town Council and clear guidance on their mandate would enable them to work more effectively towards enhancing safety on Fort Myers Beach.

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The dialogue also touched upon the need for improved lighting due to the increased number of visitors and unsafe conditions in areas like Time Square and San Carlos, where buildings need to be demolished. The committee discussed whether certain passionate issues fall under the committee’s remit and underscored the importance of understanding their exact responsibilities and what town council expects from them.

The committee expressed a desire to participate in campaigns and events, citing previous initiatives such as providing bike lights and bells. They looked forward to collaborating with the PIO on a marketing campaign to educate golf cart rental companies and renters on proper usage and to discuss other ways to enhance communication with residents and visitors.

Further issues raised included problems with dogs not being on leashes on the beach and vehicles driving on sidewalks and parking on sand lots. The committee agreed to confirm the town’s ordinance on dogs on leashes and to discuss the enforcement of such rules with the local beach patrol.

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Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Mayor:
Dan Allers
Public Safety Committee Officials:
Daniel Blanchette, James Bougoulas, Ron Benak, Keran Farrell, Heidi Jungwirth, James Knickle, Dawn Thomas, Jason Freeman (Staff Liaison)

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