HIGHLIGHTS OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Just as I was an active citizen long before I was elected to City Council, I have become even more widely involved in our city and county. Below are some of the highlights:
Cape Coral Youth Council: I founded and currently supervise the innovative, new Cape Coral Youth Council, an official advisory board to City Council that includes 14 outstanding high school juniors and seniors. The Youth Council is a vehicle for our youth to proactively participate in city government, providing valuable insights and information to the city from their unique perspective.
Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO): Assumed role of Chairman of the Board of the Lee County Metropolitan Planning Organization for 2017. Also completed the Lee County MPO Advisory Council Institute to learn how to effectively fund and manage county-wide transportation systems.
Reduced property millage tax rates: As our property values began to rise again, this Council was able to reduce the property tax millage rate for the past three years, which I supported.
Overhauled employee pay structure: Council and staff completed a thorough compensation study in order to overhaul city employees’ pay structure. After years of givebacks, Council was able to sync employee pay with comparable statewide standards to stem rapid losses of our most capable staff and public safety personnel.
Road paving: Secured extra city funding for road paving, resulting in adding miles of newly paved roads in the long-neglected Northwest and other areas of Cape Coral.
Street lights at school bus stops: I led the restart of the street light program that added new street lights primarily at dark school bus stops for the safety of our children. Council has allocated $100,000 for both of the last two years to this important safety project.
Veterans: Created an emergency voucher program to help homeless veterans and their families have a temporary place to live until help organizations could make appropriate housing arrangements. I also supported the initiative to make Cape Coral a “Purple Heart City.”
Cape Coral Police bicycle patrols: Working with the Cape Coral Police Department and the Florida Department of Transportation, I led the effort to restart the Cape Coral Police bicycle patrol unit to focus on enforcement and education by securing grant money from FDOT.
Long overdue capital improvements: With the recovering economy, Council began to strategically replace outdated and broken vehicles and equipment after years of serious neglect from previous City Councils.
Mayor Pro Tem: Twice elected Mayor Pro Tem by fellow Council Members to serve two consecutive years in this role that also includes responsibilities as the City Council’s office manager. I led restructuring of Council’s unprotected entry area to enhance safety and security. We also rearranged City Council’s public hearing chamber for improved line of sight with the public and one another to enhance deliberations.
Created manatee zone in canals: Working with city staff and residents, I was instrumental in getting a city ordinance passed that created manatee zones in the north spreader canal system and its tributaries to create safer boating areas, reduce manatee deaths and injuries, and improve the environment by reducing soil erosion on canal banks.
2014 Ally Award: Received the Ally Award from Equality Florida by approving and implementing the city’s new domestic partnership registry in 2014.
Finalist for The News-Press’ “2016 People of the Year” award: Member of the 2015 City Council that was named a finalist for The News-Press’ “Public Official of the Year” award in recognition of our renewed ability to work in harmony to accomplish progress for the City of Cape Coral.
Rick Williams … still working for you!