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Cape Coral city council tells councilman to step up or step down, says he’ll remain

Cape Coral city council addressed the behavior of Councilman Rick Williams earlier in July during its regular meeting Monday. Council members spoke on the record about the impact some of Williams’ recent action have had on the council.

Councilman Williams abruptly left a Cape Coral City Council meeting during a discussion about mandating masks earlier in July. Williams was also in trouble for sending a threatening message to a businessman, as well as being seen with a mask over his entire face during another meeting in July.

Williams responded afterward and said he abruptly left the meeting earlier in the month because he was out of town, calling in on his cell phone, when his cell phone died.

And he’s already apologized for the threatening email to a businessman, but city council still had some words for him during the day’s meeting.

“If you want to embarrass yourself, I’m OK with that,” Councilman John Gunther said. “But, when you embarrass me — and that’s what Mr. Williams did. He embarrassed me … personally because of his actions. And I think he embarrassed this council.”

“It seems like your heart isn’t in it anymore, council member, and it seems like you really need to consider resigning,” Councilwoman Jessica Cosden said.

Williams spoke on his own behalf during the meeting and expressed his wish to continue in his seat on the city council.

“I’ve had seven good years up here,” Williams said. “I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job. I’m not going to resign. I have more that I want to do. I want to continue on.”

The council and city attorney explained Florida Statutes prevent Williams from being removed.

The Cape Coral mayor had a clear message for Williams moving forward.

“It’s time to either step up or step down,” Mayor Joe Coviello said.

Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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