What’s next for Cape Coral after Joe Coviello

Southwest Florida’s largest city is moving forward to decide who will lead. The Cape Coral City Council has 30 days to appoint a new mayor. If the seat is unfilled for longer, there will be a special election.

There are a few options on the table, one of which would be accepting mayoral applications from the community.

There are qualifications that person would have to meet: They would have to have lived in Cape Coral full-time for an entire calendar year and be registered to vote there.

“Their appointment would be coming and showing up at public input and talking about the appointments, or themselves as a community member applying for the position,” said Cape Coral Councilman Tom Hayden. “So, you know, there are many ways that they would have that type of input.”

Even current councilmembers could apply for mayor. In the event a councilmember is appointed, there will need to be a special election to fill that member’s seat. If 30 days pass and no one is appointed as the city’s new mayor, that also would lead to a special election.

Councilwoman Jennifer Nelson says she hopes the city can avoid a special election.

“I really feel confident that we’ll be able to find someone among us to take that spot,” Nelson said. “If that doesn’t happen, we can certainly ask for appointment out in the community, and then of course the last resort will be a special election, but I really don’t think we need to go that route. I know Joe wouldn’t have wanted to do that. He was all about saving taxpayer dollars and that would’ve been a very costly thing for our residents.”

The councilmembers will discuss those options in further detail at 4:30 Wednesday afternoon.

Writer:Joey Pellegrino
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