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Cape Coral sees shift in leadership with newcomers to city council

Four seats were up for grabs on Cape Coral City Council in the 2020 general election, and three new members joined the council with one councilwoman winning re-election, paving the way for the future of the city.

We spoke to the winners, who say they’re ready to get to work

Robert Welsh won the race for District 5.

“The first thing I wanna do when I takeoff this is just learn more about how the city works,” Welsh said. “I want to be involved with a lot of the department heads. I want to meet with the city manager. I want to figure out what we can do to keep your profile in for the future”

Councilwoman Jessica Cosden won re-election for her seat. She won in a landslide for District 7.

“I’m happy that I won, but I’m happy that I won by such a big margin. I feel like it’s a good message from the voters,” Cosden said.

Dan Sheppard won his bid for District 2 by a healthy margin.

“I’m very passionate about doing good things for this city and my community,” Sheppard said.

Tom Hayden narrowly edged out his opponent in the race for District 3.

“It was an incredibly nerve-racking day, but I’m really excited because, you know, this election gave me the opportunity to come out and talk with voters and residents about their issues and concerns for the city,” Hayden said.

Issues the council will be taking up that will shape the city moving forward include Chiquita Lock, the Seven Islands development and water quality of canals.

Victoria Keller-Massello is looking for direction.

“My biggest concern is always the waterways,” Keller-Massello said. “We live on the water on the canal in the southeast Cape, and we’re boaters, and a huge concern is how do we keep the waters clean.”

We also spoke to Councilman John Carioscia of District 2 who is set to retire.

“I’m going to miss the people,” Carioscia told WINK News on the phone. “It was an honor and a privilege of serving the residents for nine years.”

Carioscia agrees the new council will have some important decisions to make.

“This pandemic didn’t only put a lot of people out of work, but it impacted sales tax; it impacted gasoline tax; people haven’t been driving around or going many places countywide and statewide,” Carioscia said. “And everything trickles down to the local level.”

“They are going to have to take a hard look at the Chiquita Lock, which is one that escaped me during my nine years,” Carioscia said.

“We also have seven islands and the Bimini Basin, and we also have to look for a new police chief,” Carioscia said.

Lynn Miracle told us he wants to see traffic and speeding become a priority.

“The biggest thing down here it seems like it’s a speed on the roads, and the traffic fatalities, and not only with drivers for pedestrians, school kids,” Miracle said.

Carioscia said his advice to new council members in Cape Coral is to make decisions based on what they think is right.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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