Councilwoman shares vision for Fort Myers amid her bid for mayor

Thursday, Fort Myers Councilwoman Gaile Anthony announced she entered the race for mayor of the City of Fort Myers. Affordable housing, mental health and redevelopment are among her main focuses for the city and her bid for mayor.

We sat down with Councilwoman Anthony Friday to find out more about her vision for the city’s future.

“I love this city, and I just want it to keep the momentum that we have but do more,” Anthony said.

Anthony said she wants to do more with affordable housing in Fort Myers.

“I think we owe people that work hard and want to be living in our city and enjoying all of this, housing that they can afford,” Anthony said.

Anthony said she wants to see redevelopment along major corridors such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and in areas such as midtown

“Some already have some projects to propose,” Anthony said. “So that’s going to be key with me.”

Anthony served as councilwoman for five years through the city’s best and worst, including the Zombiecon shooting and a drive-by shooting that killed 5-year-old Andrew Faust Jr.

“If you go back and look at what I ran on, that is what I ran on,’ Anthony said. “I mean it was a mystery to me why we had 150 homicides and couldn’t solve any of them. It was poor leadership, poor city management in my opinion.”

But with the help of the audit report by Freeh Group International Solutions, an outside agency that conducted an investigation highlighting a slew of issues at FMPD, Anthony says faith in law enforcement is on the rise, and she hopes to continue to build on that trust.

“We’re a whole different place than we were five years ago,” Anthony said.

Anthony’s campaign for Fort Myers mayor comes after Mayor Randy Henderson announced he will seek the Congressional District 19 seat in Southwest Florida being vacated by Congressman Francis Rooney.

As the former chief administrative officer for Lee Memorial Hospital , Anthony says mental health is also a priority.

Regardless if she is elected, Anthony said she will find a way to serve.

“I love this city, and I’d be serving somewhere if I don’t become mayor, and I won’t be Ward 6,” Anthony said. “I’ll be serving somewhere else. I’ll work with the homeless. I’ll work with mental health.”

Reporter:Morgan Rynor
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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