August 2023 Meeting Minutes

Greater Pine Island Civic Association – Meeting Minutes, Aug. 1, 2023, Pine Island United Methodist Church

Board Members Present: Deborah Swisher-Hicks, President; Nadine Slimak, Vice President; Mike Sweeney, Treasurer; Helen Fox, Co-Secretary. (Excused: Scott Wilkinson, Connie D’Alessio, Shari Perkins, Sue Dahod)

32 attendees signed in. The livestreamed meeting was viewed more than 400 times on Facebook (estimated reach 1,010).

President Deb Swisher-Hicks opened the meeting shortly after 6:30 p.m.

Treasurer Mike Sweeney presented the August 2023 Treasurer’s report and Chiquita Lock funding update:

  • Money Market $16,763.94
    Checking $7,495.74
    CD Investment $76,656.20
  • Income $813.88
    Breakdown (June-Aug)
    • $105 cash/check memberships
    • $95.88 (three electronic memberships and a Chiquita Lock donation)
    • $500 (one Lifetime membership)
    • $113 (Mango Mania — 50/50 and book raffles)
  • Expenses total $2,575
    Breakdown (June-Aug)
    • $2,500 support for Chiquita Lock lawsuite (paid to law office of John Thomas)
    • $75 table at Mango Mania
  • GPICA Chiquita Lock Legal Defense fund:
    • Original GPICA pledge $2,500
    • Donations from members $2,725
    • Matching GPICA donation $2,725
    • Payment to date ($2500)
  • Current Total in Chiquita Lock Fund $5,450

Background: GPICA agreed to a funding match for all Chiquita Lock Fund donations made by GPICA members. Currently two donations have been submitted using our online payment system,, which deducts a fee for the use of its services. GPICA is supporting the full match and making up the payment difference.
(i.e GPICA received a $25 donation [service fee $1.03] and a $200 donation [$5.30 service fee] and is making up the $6.33 difference.)

  • The treasurer’s report/Chiquita Lock funding update was approved by the membership.

Main Program

  • Swisher-Hicks introduced District 1 Commissioner Kevin Ruane and his team:
    Mark Mora, Assistant County Manager; Mikki Rozdolski, Interim Director of Community Development; and Anthony Rodriguez, Zoning Manager.

Mr. Rodriguez provided a powerpoint presentation explaining the proposed amendments to Lee Plan Goal 23 and Policy 23.2.3 (building height and resiliency), and the Land Development Code chapters 33 and 34.

The purpose of the amendments, according to Rodriguez, is to clarify the language describing the requirements about building heights, making them the same across Lee County, and moving them all into one code section rather than under several different community-specific sections.

A question-and-answer session followed Mr. Rodriguez’s presentation. One attendee pointed out by a questioner that this “simplification” of language would remove the special protections for Pine Island that residents have strongly favored since the adoption of the original Pine Island Plan. The resident urged the county to retain those special protections when considering the amendments at the BOCC meeting on Sept. 5.

Attendees were encouraged to email County Commissioners on this issue.

The complete discussion, a summary of the proposed changes and the GPICA’s letter to Commissioners stating the Board’s objections can be viewed below.

  • At the close of the question period, several residents asked when the GPICA is going to reconsider the issue of incorporation. Swisher-Hicks agreed to bring the issue to the GPICA board next week.

Swisher-Hicks closed the meeting with several announcements.

The next GPICA General Membership meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Sept. 5 at the Pine Island Methodist Church.

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8 p.m.

—Minutes respectfully submitted by Co-Secretary Helen Fox

A note about this recording: Due to technical difficulties, there were issues with the sound at the beginning of the meeting. We stopped the recording and then started it again as the main speaker took the stage. Missing below is his introduction by Swisher-Hicks. If you’d like to view the recording of the opening of the meeting, click here.


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