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Council's Corner: Incorporate Lehigh created; committees in need of members

July 19, 2017

The corporation has been registered with the state, the feasibility study is being worked on and the committees have begun working on incorporating Lehigh Acres.

The officers of Incorporate Lehigh Inc. have been elected.

The elected officers are: Joan Cunningham, president; Damon Shelor, vice president; Bob Saul, treasurer; Diane Turrill, secretary; Mohamed Yasin, director; and Rick Anglickis, director.

The council is now inviting the citizens of Lehigh to participate and join this important effort by volunteering to be on a committee.

Attending the council meetings on the third Monday of each month will help keep you informed of the activity being accomplished in this great task.

Turning Lehigh into our own town is going to take hard work on the entire community. We have to be united in the changes we want to see. We must be vocal and active about the improvements and dedication to incorporation.

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Please pick the committee that you would like to be part of and let us know. The list of committees and a brief description of each:

- Feasibility Study and City Charter Committee: Shall investigate the federal, state and county income sources available to cities and create a five-year budget. Write the city charter.

- Boundary Study Committee: Investigate the geographical area to be included in our new city.

- Special Taxing Districts Committee: The existing taxing districts presently providing services to residents include the fire district, water control district and the lighting district. Each district collects taxes. Shall investigate the interaction between the special taxing districts and our new city.

- City Services Committee: Will determine which specific municipal services our new city will provide. These services would include law enforcement, zoning, code enforcement, permitting, animal control and various other services currently provided by the county government. Shall coordinate with Lee County to determine the services that are provided by them that could be taken over by our new city or contracted with the county government to continue services.

- LA-MSID Committee: Will consider the provisions of the new bill passed by recent legislation. Will consider the provision of the bill and how it may provide a pathway to cityhood.

- Fundraising: Consultants who may be engaged in preparing the budget and feasibility study, along with the charter and perhaps the boundary study, will require funds to be paid for services rendered. Will work with committees to determine expenses. Financing for public relations and political campaign also require funding.

- Community Outreach Committee: Might be considered the most important of all. Will have the responsibility to set up informative public meetings, speaker's bureau, incorporation website and incorporation Power Point presentations to be used in promoting incorporation.

- Governance Committee: Shall develop the organization and management structure of our new city. Shall determine the number of city council members and how they would be selected, including the term held in office. Will determine what type of mayor or city manager would be put in place and how they will be selected. Would also suggest compensation plans. Will determine which county department our new city may initially want to absorb.

- Political Campaign Committee: Will strategize, outline and implement a complete pollical campaign including media and other resources required to promote an affirmative vote for cityhood.

A website is currently being designed to provide information on everything taking place now and in the future.

The members of Incorporate Lehigh Inc. intend to be transparent in their efforts.

All documents, including the entire feasibility study, the budget, charter, minutes of the meetings, boundaries suggested, city services and a calendar of events, will be included on the website.

Cunningham encourages the citizens of Lehigh to join the committee of their choice by contacting her at 239-938-4900 to register.

The Lehigh Acres Community Council serves as the voice for unincorporated Lehigh Acres.

Meetings are held the third Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the meeting room at the LCSO East District substation, at 1301 Homestead Road N.

To contact the council, email



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