Atterholt Makes Case For Second 4-Year Term on Council

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(By Jim Atterholt) Throughout my first term in office, I have tried to listen to differing viewpoints, bring people together and solve problems. The challenges for our island after Hurricane Ian are immense but so are the opportunities. If given the privilege to serve a second term, my governing philosophy will continue to be one of limited government through common sense, professionalism, civility and servant leadership.

Before moving to Fort Myers Beach permanently, I was blessed to be able to serve the State of Indiana in various roles including congressional aide, state legislator, insurance commissioner, chair of the utility regulatory commission and chief of staff to the governor. Prior to my service on the Fort Myers Beach Town Council, I volunteered as a member of the Local Planning Agency (LPA) and served as a board member for my condominium association. A few years back, I started my own small consulting business focusing on regulatory compliance. I am a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and have been married for 36 years to my college sweetheart, Brenda, who still works full time as a nurse. We are blessed to have three grown sons, Jack, Joe and Jimmy, a bartender/musician, a cyber security analyst and a scientist, respectfully. We were members of Chapel by the Sea church prior to Ian.

These various life experiences helped me respond when Hurricane Ian devastated Fort Myers Beach on Wednesday, September 28, 2022–sparing no one. With $112 billion in overall damages, Ian is the third costliest hurricane to date to make landfall in the United States. Brenda and I were on the island during the storm and saw the destruction first-hand. We also had a front row seat to witness the countless acts of kindness, generosity, prayer and neighbor helping neighbor.

My focus after the storm has been to partner with the mayor and my colleagues on the council to put in place and support a new town governance team in response to the many challenges we now face post Ian. I have also been helping our residents and businesses who have had problems with insurance, permitting, power, internet and other infrastructure issues. In my capacity as Vice Mayor, here are some specific issues that have received my attention:

*Leading the fight to get emergency post office trailers opened after the storm so people on our island would no longer have to drive an hour to the airport to get their mail.

*Creating an informational video series after the storm called “Key Questions for Key Staffers” to help our residents get better information from their government post Ian.

*Serving on the Ad Hoc Committee which, along with many very engaged parents, negotiated an inter-local agreement between the Town and the Lee County School District that helped to save our Beach School from closing.

Advocating for residents and businesses who have been poorly served by their insurance companies post Ian–drawing the attention of both the media and state regulators to the neglect and corruption of certain insurance companies.  Helping to bring an Insurance Village to Fort Myers Beach where consumers could meet directly with their insurance company under the scrutiny of state regulators.

*Encouraging and assisting essential businesses like Publix, CVS, 7-Eleven and Santini Plaza to reopen.

There is a strong desire to build back quickly and see both our residents and businesses thrive again.  There is also a need to preserve the vibe of Fort Myers Beach and not add to the traffic congestion.  These two approaches need not be conflicting; the challenge going forward will be working together to find the proper balance.

My pledge is to once again run a positive campaign which will involve walking the neighborhoods to hear from voters, putting up yard signs, sending out mail pieces and running advertisements.  If you would like to contribute financially to the campaign, you may send a check made payable to “Atterholt for FMB Council” to 4198 Bay Beach Lane, Unit #162, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931.  If folks would like for me to give them a call or if they want to share their thoughts or concerns about the campaign–they can reach me via e-mail at: atterholtjames7390@comcast.net

My vision for Fort Myers Beach remains a very optimistic one and my campaign will be a reflection of that vision.  Over the upcoming months, I will be making the case, respectfully, for your vote on November 5th, 2024—thank you for your consideration.

Jim Atterholt
AtterholtJ@fmbgov.com

17 COMMENTS

  1. What I love about Jim is his philosophy that he is here to serve. And in serving the question he asks is how can I help instead of answering with NO that can’t be done! He looks for a way to get it done! That is what serving the people should be all about!

  2. I remember Jim coming by and introducing himself with his wife Brenda on first campaign – he is the rare politician who I’m proud to know and have voted for . Jim has been a HUGE asset and improvement from any other of the Council I’ve observed in my 7yrs – in fact his performance would qualify him as an MVP candidate – I certainly hope he becomes the Mayor –
    Long overdue

  3. As a Hoosier transplant to FMB I count myself as blessed to have had Jim Atterholt serve in both Indiana and here on FMB. I agree with the above description of his servant heart and tireless effort to always leave things better than he found them. Watching meetings one can see his thoughtful, careful consideration. He doesn’t always say much but what he says is valuable. I will happily vote once again for him to be on our council, FMB is lucky to have his leadership.

  4. Been on the Beach since ‘99.

    We don’t record, then make the history of the Beach available very well.

    During the mid-nineties Anita Cereceda — mostly, then continuously — along with ~100 others saved the Beach from Lee County. Without them, we’d look like Vanderbilt Beach . . . . take that drive sometime.

    We kept the vibe, but then Ian. “The Beach” was brutally ripped away from us at almost precisely the time that the people who kept that vibe for us aged-out.

    I came to know Jim Atterholt as a result of Ian. I’ve never met a public servant with a better understanding of fundamental political theory.

    The Beach has diverse, competing, growing interests. In my view Atterholt holds the Beach’s entire franchise of those interests in his head better than anybody I’ve met who is willing to serve. We’re lucky to have him.

    Vote for Jim Atterholt

  5. Jim Atterholt has consistently failed to fulfill his duties effectively, displaying a lack of responsiveness and transparency. Despite numerous attempts to contact him, including over a dozen direct outreach efforts, there has been no reply, not just from Atterholt but from all council members. This lack of communication is particularly concerning regarding a Freedom of Information request (FOIA) I submitted over a year and a half ago, which remains unanswered. This situation raises serious questions about whose interests are being served by our town council, as it appears they are prioritizing developers over the residents. The ongoing trespassing issues and disregard for my property rights only add to the corruption that Atterholt and the other Town council demonstrates that they are not acting in the public’s best interest, but rather self-serving a select few, while misleading the community, hopefully this community will seek better representation and more competent and honest individuals that represent all all the people in our community.

    • Looks like David is the only one commenting who has an understanding of reality. Time to replace Barney Frank and Mr. Magoo – also Town Staff management.

  6. Jim, you exemplify what a leader of a community should be. Your skills and character have shone through even more since the devastation of Hurricane Ian. You have the vote and the support of so many grateful residents, this one enthusiastically included.

  7. It’s not often you can get someone with the government experience and savvy that Jim brings to our island. Being a native Hoosier as well I can speak for his previous dedication and the position he helped put and keep Indiana in the black. Businessman, entrepreneur, professional and family man to the fullest. We need more thinkers like Jim now and in the future.

  8. Jim is such a wonderful person who truly cares about this island and the people who live here. He gives up so much of his time and knowledge to help everyone. We love Jim and will always be grateful every day that he is part of our town council and member of our community. Thank you Jim for all you do. Todd and Star

  9. I am so thankful for your service to FMB. You have responded to every email I have written to you and I have watched every video you’ve created. You have helped our island in so many ways. I will happily support your re-election! Thank you and Brenda!

  10. Jim is an answer to the prayers you have prayed over this community. His servitude for the people of Fort Myers Beach comes from his heart. His credentials proves he is the leader needed for either position….mayor or vice mayor. From what I have witnessed of him and his wife, they are a humble, hardworking and caring couple.

  11. My experience with Jim. An outright NO is not his style. He works tirelessly to find a solution often something creative. He work towards finding middle ground that opposing sides can both live with. He finds a way to cut through the BS and unravel red tape. I feel this public servant definitely not only deserves a second term but we need four more years of his working to help solve our issues.

  12. Mr. Atterholt is a true servant leader and a true asset to our island and everyone on it. Four more years!
    John Vaughan

    • Hear, hear!
      Jim has worked tirelessly to encourage the restoration of so many aspects of FMB, and has kept its citizens informed every step of the way. He’s absolutely earned another term.

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