City News

November News

Fort Myers Police Officer Receives Special Recognition
Recognized for her heroic efforts and consistent enthusiasm for her job, Fort Myers Police Department Officer Cassie McHale was recently named “Officer of the Year” by the South Fort Myers Rotary Club. The award presentation took place at the City Council meeting at the Lee County Alliance for the Arts on Oct. 17.

Nominated by Bayshore Fire & Rescue Chief Lawrence Nesbit, Officer McHale was honored for her part in rescuing the victim of a motor vehicle accident last February. The vehicle was submerged in a retention pond and as Chief Nesbit’s crew was performing the rescue operation, Officer McHale, off duty at the time, stopped her personal vehicle on I-75 to help. Without hesitation and eight months pregnant, she entered the water and assisted the firefighters in removing the driver who was then in cardiac arrest. 
Chief Nesbit writes, “Officer McHale assisted in removing the patient from the vehicle and bringing the patient to shore where CPR was established and advanced life support care was initiated. Officer McHale not only represented her profession with bravery and without concern to her personal safety, but also represented the Fort Myers Police Department with the highest level of service.”

Officer Nesbit went on to say that Officer McHale’s actions greatly contributed to giving the victim a fighting chance. Ultimately, the patient was resuscitated in the medic unit with a stable heart rate and stable blood pressure.

(pictured left to right: FMPD Chief Derrick Diggs, Officer Cassie McHale, Florida Gulf Coast University PD Chief Stephen Moore (District 9 Director, Florida Police Chiefs Association), Miami Shores PD Chief Kevin Lystad (1st VP Florida Police Chiefs Association)

Public Works & Council

City’s Public Works Department awarded APWA Accreditation

The Fort Myers Public Works Department staff was presented with an accreditation plaque by APWA (American Public Works Association) Past President Brian Usher, PWLF, Public Works Director of Largo, FL, on November 7, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers, 2200 Second Street, in Fort Myers, FL 33901. The presentation marked the significant accomplishment of the City’s Public Works department achieving accreditation.
The APWA Accreditation program recognizes public works agencies that go beyond the requirements of the management practices established nationally in the public works industry, as contained in the APWA Public Works Management Practices Manual. The Fort Myers Public Works Department began working on their Accreditation in September, 2014 and was awarded Accreditation on October 14, 2016.

Fire Station

New Fire Station 1 Now Open…Ribbon Cutting to take place November 30

Firefighters and staff from City of Fort Myers’ Station One now have a new place to call home. The 30,700-square-foot fire station, located at Jackson Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., meets the department’s expanding needs which have changed since the original 18,000 square foot station was built in the 1950s. The City’s Department of Public Works collaborated with the Fire Department to create a facility that accomplishes their mutual goals for public safety and community services. The space allows for the present day’s larger fire apparatus and the equipment needed to accommodate the department’s expanded operational responsibilities.

From the technology standpoint, the building is equipped with wireless access on every floor, allowing communication to flow. Training classrooms are outfitted with interactive SMART boards so that all information can be immediately uploaded and archived for historical records and future reference. The internal radio communication system has been upgraded to ensure that signals are effectively transmitted in the hurricane-proof building. In addition, there is now room for the Fire Prevention staff to work in the same building, improving efficiency and allowing for continuity and coordination of projects.
A special celebration featuring a ribbon cutting by local officials will take place on Nov. 30 at 10 a.m.

Curtains Up on FREE Movies in the Park

Our Recreation Division is pleased to present this season’s series of FREE Movies in the Park! Bring your lawn chairs or blankets, enjoy family activities up to one hour before “show time.” Onsite parking is free and concessions only $1. Please note that children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. For more information, call 239.321.7530.



November 26
Centennial Park
7:30 p.m.


December 17
Clemente Park
7:30 p.m.

Remember the Titans

February 11, 2017
Clemente Park
7:30 p.m.

The Secret Life of Pets

March 25, 2017
Centennial Park
8 p.m.

Finding Dory

April 28, 2017
Centennial Park
8 p.m.


Centennial Park

Want More from Your City’s Parks? Here’s a Chance to Have Your Say

The City of Fort Myers Parks and Recreation master plan committee will host two workshops to gather feedback for planning the City’s direction for its parks and recreation for the coming decade. Attendees will have the opportunity to listen and offer feedback on Dec. 6 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the STARS complex, and on Dec. 7 from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Fort Myers Library in downtown Fort Myers. Refreshments will be served.
“We are excited to share our preliminary plans, and get feedback from the citizens who enjoy our local parks,” said J.B. Schuetz, parks manager. “We are eager to hear if our residents want more bike paths, walking trails, neighborhood parks, or more regional green spaces. This is a chance for local residents to shape the way our parks evolve over the next several years.”

The workshops are designed in an open house format so attendees can drop in at their convenience during the allotted timeframe. For those who cannot attend either workshop, there is an online survey to offer their feedback. The STARS complex is located at 2980 Edison Avenue, Fort Myers. The Fort Myers Library is located at 2450 First Street. For more information, call 239-321-7590 or visit

Jefferson Park Playground Now Open

Let’s Play! Jefferson Park Playground Now Open

As of November 12, the City of Fort Myers now has a vibrant, new playground that provides a safe, healthy place for children to play. A ribbon cutting ceremony marked the day as the community, Jefferson Park neighbors, and City staff came together to see their efforts come to fruition. Jefferson Park is located at 1610 Jefferson Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33901.

Downtown Fort Myers

New Downtown Hotel Will Make History in Fort Myers

On Nov. 14, the City Council unanimously approved the lease and approval to proceed on a new downtown Fort Myers hotel and convention center. Joe Collier, president of Mainsail Lodging & Development, addressed the Mayor, City Council, city staff and the audience to let them know that plans are already underway and the team is ready to begin. Mayor Henderson commented that this was “history in the making.”

Mr. Collier shared that the Autograph Collection Hotel by Marriott will uniquely reflect Fort Myers’ “sense of place,” incorporating the City’s history and outlook for the future. The hotel will have an estimated 225 rooms, and will encompass the convention center, a riverfront amphitheater, and a 210 space parking garage framed by retail shops. Upscale dining and creative culinary options will be open to the public. Groundbreaking is expected to take place between April to July 2017.

Heart Walk 2016

Heart Walk 2016

The City of Fort Myers is participating in the Lee Heart Walk for the 4th year in a row! The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association's premiere event for raising funds to save lives from this country's No. 1 and No. 5 killers - heart disease and stroke. Designed to promote physical activity and heart-healthy living, the Heart Walk creates an environment that's fun and rewarding for the entire family, including pets! We are participating in the Heart Walk to help raise funds and to promote healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.  Please help us reach this lifesaving goal by joining our team and donating today. Together, we can make healthier, longer lives possible for everyone. Thanks in advance for your support!  Visit our webpage

Saturday, December 10, 2016
Centennial Park
2000 West First Street
Fort Myers, Florida 33901
8 a.m. Festivities begin 
9 a.m. Walk begins
The Walk Route will be 5K with a 1 Mile Route option

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

In order to help promote breast cancer prevention and early detection, the City of Fort Myers CDD staff supported Breast Cancer Awareness Month by wearing Pink on October 21, 2016.   October is designated Breast Cancer Awareness Month in order to raise awareness, help reduce the incidence of breast cancer, and honor breast cancer survivors. For further information or to make a donation to the American Cancer Society visit:

(Pictured left to right: Carolyn Gibson, Ricky DelFino, Daryl Dillow, Beth Stark, Miriam Viera, Patrick McCartin, Kim LeFebvre. Several other staff who participated were not able to make the picture.)

Permitting Statistics on the Rise

During the month of October 2016, the Building, Permitting, Inspections Division of the Community Development Department processed 867 permit applications and issued 735 permits totaling over $50 million in construction value and half a million in permit revenue.  Many new projects are expected to come on board throughout the next year including several residential condominiums and apartment buildings, an assisted living facility, a nine story mixed used commercial, retail, residential structure in downtown, the downtown hotel, and other ongoing residential developments.  The economy for the building industry is on the upswing.

Code Enforcement Board Chairman Retires

Jon Martina has retired from the Code Enforcement Board after faithfully serving for 21.5 years.  Jon was originally nominated to the Code Enforcement Board by Mayor Wilbur Smith on April 17th, 1995 and was re-appointed by Mayors Grady, Humphrey and Henderson. Jon was elected as board Chairman on 04/10/2003 and has served as such ever since. Jon has attended approximately 230 Code Board meetings or workshops, and has heard approximately 10,179 cases and agenda items.  His selfless dedication and commitment to this volunteer position has directly benefited thousands of property owners and businesses through the resulting code compliance.  Jon’s consistent professional demeanor and sense of fairness have truly made a long lasting positive difference in our City overall. Jon’s last date of service was November 10, 2016 and his extensive knowledge of proper Code Enforcement procedures will surely be missed.  We wish Chairman Jon Martina all the best and want him to know how much we appreciate his many years of public service to the local government and citizens of Fort Myers.

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