Tom’s speech to the Cape Coral Republican Club’s October meeting held on October 25, 2022.
Hi, I’m Tom Shadrach and I am running for Mayor of Cape Coral. I’m glad to see everyone here and taking a moment away from our Hurricane recovery efforts. I have heard from a lot of residents about the storm. There was a lot of concern about the lack of communication, why we did not have enough generators for our sewer life stations and why the delay in LCEC getting started and why they did not have more help right away.
Thank God our great Governor DeSantis stepped in to take charge to get things moving. If elected, I will deep dive into the lessons learned and make sure our emergency plans are improved and are ready before next season. My main emphasis for running for Mayor was getting property taxes lower and being more responsible with our spending. As a member of the Budet review Committee I have seen a lot of misspending. Property taxes have been raised for the last 3 of 5 years and the other two years they remained the same, so there has not been a tax dollar cut in 5 years. Our property tax dollars increased $7.4 Million this coming year and have risen $38.6 Million in 5 years. That’s a 48% increase in property tax dollars. Now I ask you, have you seen 48% increase in services or improvements in our city for the last 5 years. That is just property taxes, the city has also received tax growth in Electric, gasoline, sales tax, etc.
They have no problem spending it, again…what do you notice in improvements? I use the Parks GO bond as an example of city delays and overspending. Remember we were supposed to have 11 new parks complete in 3 years for $60 Million. 4 years later we have none, it is going to cost $100 Million, and we are still years away from getting our Community Parks completed. I went to the bid opening earlier today for Lake Kennedy, that park is supposed to be our Sports Complex for the city. It was budgeted at $5.6 Million in the bond issue. The average bid for this came in at $9 Million or a 60% increase in cost. I understand that the Yacht Club area may be delayed indefinitely while the council takes years to decide what to do with it. This is unacceptable to me. We should start rebuilding the pier, tennis courts, beach and pool this year!
My opponent is advertising that under his leadership he passed the largest tax cut in the history of Cape Coral. I already said how this is not true. Cutting the millage rate has to be compared to the assessed property values in the Cape. The assessed value went up 24% this year. Lowering the Millage rate to the Rolled-Back rate combined with the growth of property values kept tax dollars on average the same for current residents. That is the purpose of the Truth in Millage Law so property owners have the “truth” instead of misleading data from politicians.
Lastly, I want to mention our permitting problem in Cape Coral. Researching my opponent, I read that he promised to fix the permitting problem 5 years ago when he ran for City Council. As a home builder he knows what was needed. If you don’t already know, our permitting problem is worse than ever, and we are creating a huge cost liability for our city. We owe back the permit fees to contractors for being late on our permits and the big contractors who have experienced hundreds of thousand s of dollars in losses from this delay. They will eventually demand restitution from the city. I see it coming. Having spent years as a program manager for the Boeing company I have overseen large complex aerospace integration efforts. That is what we have here and I can certainly oversee this issue when I get in office. Sorry for the bad news, but we need change.
It’s time for Action and time to get things done with a sense of urgency.
Please consider voting for Tom Shadrach for Mayor of Cape Coral.
Now more than ever——— God Bless Everyone, God Bless Cape Coral, and God Bless the United States