What Did the Monday Planning Session Cost Taxpayers?


On Monday the Fort Myers Beach Town Council held a 2 hour and 15 minute meeting to start the process of developing a new strategic plan. The meeting was facilitated by Angela Crist from the Florida Institute of Government. Here’s what the town paid for her services.

Based on the scope and expected deliverables, the estimated cost to cover Crist’s work to complete the proposed scope of work is $3,416.00. According to the contract with Crist, the price is inclusive of all pre-work, day of facilitation which was Monday, report creation, printing, copying, travel and ADA remediation.

On Monday the Town Council spent time discussing what their vision of Fort Myers Beach is and what they would like it to be. They also broke into work groups to come up with the beginnings of a vision statement.

We reached out to Crist before Monday’s meeting to ask her a few questions.

BTR: What is the Florida Institute of Government?
Crist: Established in 1981, is dedicated to its mission of enhancing the capacity of Florida’s governments and communities through education and training, technical assistance and applied research, and public service. The Institute’s 30-year history of providing unbiased and balanced expertise has resulted in lasting relationships with local and state government, educators, communities, and professional associations in both the public and private sectors.

BTR: Why is it important for a community to have a Strategic Plan?
Crist: The Strategic Plan should be a living and breathing document serving as a community’s roadmap for directing efforts and resources toward a clearly defined vision.

BTR: How important is it for a municipality to have community input when they formulate a strategic plan?
Crist: Extremely, the USF Florida Institute of Government utilizes a participatory strategic planning model engaging all stakeholders including community members, employees, business and others as deemed appropriate.

BTR: As you can imagine, getting hammered by a cat 5 hurricane alters any strategic plan that might have been on the books. How do you see that factoring into what you’ll be presenting?
Crist: It is a major factor in recognizing the Town’s current survival status of rebuilding yet also providing a huge opportunity to create a reimagined vision for the future.

You can watch the Monday meeting, which we broadcast live HERE.


  1. I completely agree with Ms. Crist’s statement that there is, “a huge opportunity to create a reimagined vision for the future” for Fort Myers Beach. As an eleven year owner on FMB, I think we need to seize this completely unanticipated moment and welcome creative ideas for redevelopment. Creative concepts like the Arches Development at Moss Marine and others should be encouraged with a mindset focused on how we can solve problems and make it happen instead of just a “no we can’t” attitude. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform FMB into an even better place to live and we should embrace that and make it a reality.

  2. Anyone who has gone through one of these Strategic Planning meetings knows you need a “voice” or a facilitator to keep the plan design moving. Money well spent.

  3. I think it’s an excellent idea and money well spent. No matter how well educated each TC member is, no one was prepared to rebuild a town from the ground up. Following consulting plans and process changes can be difficult, but worth it in the long run. Good luck!


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