CAPE CORAL, Fla.- Cape Coral is getting new fuel monitors, while a councilman is calling the fuel mystery saga, a circus that takes away from real problems of the city.
"This is politics, sort of small-town politics. We have wasted a lot of time on this circus in just the past two days," said Marty McClain, who's been on council for 2 years. "I doubt very seriously that city employees stole fuel in any significant amounts. This has been a drama that we could do without."
Still, the city is spending up to 50-thousand dollars to buy 16 new and improved fuel monitors. It's buying them from the same company that supplied the current monitors, SCI, which stands for "Smart Consumer Interface."
"The new monitors have alerts if someone tries to tamper with them. They are providing better controls," said SCI president Tal Ezra.
"We need the better controls. Gas is cash," said Bill Towler, consultant to Cape city manager Gary King. "The new boxes even take pictures, if someone opens the box to tamper with it."
However, councilman McClain believes, it's a lot of talk about very little.
"I don't think we can prove that anyone stole anything. Nobody's been charged," he told WINK. "I believe some gas may have evaporated in maintenance vehicles or mowers. Any siphoning I think would have been very minor over the last few years. I trust our employees are not just driving up to the pumps and taking our fuel. I believe the residents feel the same way."
Towler agreed, it's a matter for law enforcement to sort out.
"I don't know if anyone stole fuel. But it's just that they had opportunity," he said.
Also on Friday, the Lee Co. Sheriff's office took custody of a fuel monitor that may have been tampered with. They did so at the request of the Cape city manager.