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Lois Welsh receives District 5 appointment

October 22, 2019
Lehigh Acres Citizen

Cape Coral City Council District 5 applicant Lois Welsh got ringing endorsements through letters of recommendation, from supporters speaking directly to Council and from Council members themselves Monday night.

As a result, Welsh was the one who took the oath of office to fill the seat left vacant when David Stokes resigned last month.

Welsh will fill the remaining year of the term when the seat once again is up for grabs next November.

Article Photos

CHUCK BALLARO

Lois Welsh takes the oath of office from City Clerk Kimberly Bruns at the end of Monday’s City Council meeting. Holding the Bible was her husband, Bob.

"I'm a little stunned because it was unexpected. I didn't know which way it was going to go, but I'm excited and I look forward to the challenges ahead," Welsh said.

Welsh, owner and chief financial officer at Arthur Printing, has lived in Cape Coral for 34 years and has been affiliated with numerous community organizations in her time here.

Welsh considered a run in 1999 but decided it wasn't her time and didn't consider running when the seat opened in 2017 when Rana Erbrick resigned to run for mayor.

Welsh said even this attempt to fill the seat was unplanned.

"I was at a capital campaign event for the Cape Coral Animal Shelter and people were talking about District 5 and who could run. I thought why not," Welsh said. "It's a time in my life where I prayed about what I should involve myself in that would be rewarding and benefit my community and family."

Former Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce president Mike Quaintance was among those who wrote letters of recommendation and she received glowing support from former Cape Coral Construction Industry Association president Heather Mazurkiewicz and School Board member Mary Fischer during public input Monday night.

All 11 applicants for the position were given three minutes to make a presentation to the Council (reduced from five because there were so many applicants) about their platforms, experiences and what made them the best candidate.

Councilmember John Carioscia asked all the applicants if they would support subsidizing the Cape Coral Charter Schools, with other council members asking a variety of questions about other topics.

Welsh's appointment wasn't a slam dunk as Councilmembers Carioscia and John Gunter supported Dan Puleio, who served the final few weeks of Erbrick's term before Stokes won election for the two years remaining, bringing up his experience on other city boards. Councilmember Rick Williams was impressed by candidate Alex Baker.

However, Welsh's resume won out.

"She has a tremendous financial background and she worked at General Electric, and that will be an asset come budget time," Mayor Joe Coviello said. "She had many letters of recommendation and other support."

Welsh got four votes to Puleio's two and Baker's one, just enough for approval. She was almost immediately sworn in and took her seat on the dais at the end of the meeting.

Welsh will sit in on her first meeting Monday at a Committee of the Whole, or non-voting workshop meeting.

Welsh said she is unsure whether she will run next year. But while she is serving, she would like to begin to diversify the tax base with science-based industries.

"Right now, I am here to serve my 13 months and we'll see how my life and my service on Council unfolds," Welsh said. "Right now, the taxes are mainly on the residents. We need a more diversified base and to educate people and what industries provide employment in STEM."

 
 

 

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