Could it be residents on the South end of Fort Myers Beach didn’t appreciate being called “poison” by committee chair Steve Johnson? Eight people have applied for 3 open seats on the town’s Marine and Environmental Resources Task Force Committee.
It’s rare that there are so many applications for a town committee, however, some beach residents feel this committee has just gone too far on things such as turtle glass and amber lights. It has impacted their lives and property rights on the beach. MERTF is an advisory committee to the town council.
In addition to his poison comment several months ago, Johnson has berated the Town Council several times over decisions they’ve made regarding lights and the astro-turf at Bayside Park. He’s also used his committee report to call out councilman John King on several occasions. King returned the verbal sparring with Johnson during council meetings.
The 3 members who’s terms expire have applied for another 2 year term. Those members are Greg Fossum, Mary Rose Spalletta and Wendy DeGaetano.
The other 5 applications come from: Estero Boulevard resident Dave Nusbaum, Bay Beach Lane resident David Patton, Bradenton resident William Althoff, Lagoon Road resident Ed Schoonover and Estero Boulevard resident Eddie Rood.
If chosen by the Town Council, Rood would certainly make an interesting MERTF committee member. For years, the MERTF committee has been fighting to prevent Rood, and Kurt Kroemer, from building a dune walkover behind his property on Estero Boulevard. Johnson has taken particular interest in trying to block the walkover.
Rood’s application says “I have great interest in and concern for the environment and the protection of wildlife.” He says living near the Critical Wildlife area gives him a unique perspective and understanding of the needs of the local environment and the wildlife on the beach.
The Town Council will fill the 3 open seats at its October 2nd meeting by voting on their top choices. If you want to jump into the MERTF scrum you have until 5PM today to submit your application.