City of Palms Post- August 2017
Downtown and Midtown

USF Joins the City's Redevelopment Team

The University of South Florida’s School of Architecture and Community Design will help the City design a redevelopment strategy for the City’s core.  The project will examine current development regulations in Downtown Fort Myers and the Gardner’s Park neighborhood, and investigate how the Midtown area can accommodate and promote future growth.

The USF team will review the City’s Downtown and Midtown Comprehensive Plans, as well as the Gardner’s Park Vision Plan and portions of the Land Development Code, including local residents and other stakeholders in the process.  The team will also engage local residents and stakeholders as it crafts a redevelopment plan for the Midtown area.

Council Chambers

City Election Candidates Announced

Thirteen people have announced their intentions to run for seats on Fort Myers City Council.  The certified candidates are:


Nicole Dillon
Randall P. Henderson, Jr. (incumbent)
Curtis J. Sheard

Ward 1:

Teresa Watkins Brown (incumbent)
Willie Green

Ward 3:

Mildred Barnes
Minnie Henry Jackson
Crystal Lyons-Johnson
Terolyn P. Watson (incumbent)

Ward 5:

Fred Burson
Stephen Hooper
Lydia Lowell-Sherman
Joel Allen Moroney

A primary election will be held on Tuesday, September 12 for Mayor and Wards 3 and 5. If no candidate receives 50 percent of the vote plus one in the primary, the top two candidates will face a runoff on Tuesday, Nov. 7.  Any candidate receiving 50 percent of the vote plus one in the primary will win the seat outright.  Because there are only two candidates in Ward 1, that election will be held on Nov. 7. 

To find your polling location, voting hours and early voting information, please visit the Lee County Supervisor of Elections website.

Chief John Caufield Swearing-In

Welcome to the FMFD, Chief Caufield!

John Caufield was sworn in as the Chief of the Fort Myers Fire Department on Monday, July 17.  Chief Caufield was selected after a nationwide search.  Caufield has worked in fire service for 27 years, including five years as Fire Chief with the City of Rochester, N.Y.  
More recently, Caufield served five years as Mid-Atlantic Director of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a global nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards.  

Caufield holds Bachelor of Science degrees in both Fire Science and Organizational Management, and has earned a Master of Public Administration degree. 

South Street Meeting

Workshop Informs Community, Answers Questions

150 people joined the City on August 1 for an informational workshop to discuss the upcoming environmental site assessment of 3348 South St. in Fort Myers.  

The testing will assess an area where the City deposited lime sludge, a by-product from its drinking water plant, in the 1960s, before the neighborhood was established.  In 2007, the sludge was determined to contain an environmental contaminant, arsenic.  Since that time, the City and Florida Department of Environmental Protection have been monitoring the groundwater. 

The work plan can be viewed online at the project website or at the following locations through August 15, 2017:

Fort Myers City Hall (first floor reception desk), 2200 Second St.
Dr. Ann Murphy Knight S.T.A.R.S. Complex, 2980 Edison Ave.

Citizens may also submit questions or comments about the work plan at, or by calling the city at (239) 321-7630.  

Volleyball Complex Opening

New Volleyball Complex Brings the Beach to Midtown

Volleyball enthusiasts descended on Midtown to celebrate the grand opening of the City’s new Midtown Beach Sports Complex in July.  The 15,000 square foot facility is located on Grand Ave., next to the Fort Myers Skatium.  The complex features 3 courts, built on 1,200 tons of premium sand that was generously donated to the City by Stewart Materials.

In addition to league volleyball, future plans for the Midtown Beach Sports Complex include beach soccer, yoga, and fitness boot camps.  The EVP Beach Volleyball Tour has already hosted junior tournaments at the facility, and plans to teach junior and adult volleyball clinics in the fall.

Storm Drain

Nothing But Rain In Our Drain

A reminder with stormy season upon us:  Please help keep catch basins near your home clear.  Rainy season always washes yard waste and other debris into our streets and swales, where it can sometimes collect on or near our storm drains and grates.  When these areas get clogged with debris, water can begin to pool up and cause localized flooding as a result. Keeping debris out of our storm drains also helps keep the Caloosahatchee cleaner and healthier. It’s a win-win!

As always, if you see flooding on your street, call the Public Works Department at (239) 321-8100.

Fence Around Luminary Hotel Site

Changes Coming Soon to Downtown

We’re starting to see progress on Downtown’s newest addition, the Luminary Hotel & Co.  Mainsail Lodging & Development has put a construction fence around the perimeter of the project.  Over the next few weeks, preliminary site work will start.  A formal groundbreaking will take place in September.  At that time, Mainsail will share final plans and drawings of the hotel.

Entrepreneur School

Entrepreneur School at the Enterprise Center

The SWFL Enterprise Center has been expanding its programming—and one of its more popular programs is the Center’s Entrepreneur School. This six-week course teaches local entrepreneurs about budgeting, capital, time management, marketing, human resources, business growth and more.  

To learn more about the SWFL Enterprise Center or programs like the Entrepreneur School, visit or call (239) 321-7085.

Home Rule Heroes: Banks, Henderson, Watkins Brown

Home Rule Heroes

The Florida League of Cities recently recognized Councilman Forrest Banks, Mayor Randy Henderson, and Councilwoman Teresa Watkins Brown with 2017 Home Rule Hero Awards. The three earned this prestigious award for their efforts to advance the League’s legislative agenda and help protect the Home Rule powers of Florida’s cities.

Home Rule is the ability for a city to establish its own form of government and enact ordinances, codes, plans and resolutions without prior state approval. Recipients are local government officials who consistently responded to the League’s request to reach out to members of the legislature and help give a local perspective to an issue.  

Road Work Detour on Michigan Ave.

Construction Season - Watch for Detours!

The City is installing new sanitary sewer main between the South and Central Wastewater Treatment Plants. Over the next year, crews will be busy installing the pipes along Raleigh Street to Indian Street, to Palm Avenue, and south to just past Lime Street. This connection will allow more wastewater to flow to the Central plant where the City produces reclaimed water.  Be prepared for road closures and detours along these roadways. Michigan Ave. is currently closed at Raleigh St.  Other detours will be announced.  For up-to-date information, visit the Public Works project website:

The McGregor Blvd. drainage and stormwater improvements are also well underway-- for detours and updates, visit

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