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Board of Fire Commissioners has vacant seat

March 11, 2020
By NATHAN MAYBERG ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The Fort Myers Beach Board of Fire Commissioners has an open seat to fill following the resignation of Bob Raymond.

Raymond has been recovering from a stroke, Board of Commissioners Chair Larry Wood said.

Rather than wait until November for an election to fill the seat, Wood said the commission is looking to the public for a replacement now since the commission will be taking up plans to build a new fire station and will potentially be taking on a new labor contract for the majority of the Fort Myers Beach Fire District employees this year. At the board's last meeting, a new contract was ratified for the battalion chiefs and assistant chiefs.

Wood said the commission would prefer to have the fifth seat filled now since it is possible to have a 2-2 tie under the current board.

Those looking to apply to be on the commission are being asked to send a letter of interest and resume by April 9 with the attention to the Office of the Fire Chief- Fire Commissioner Selection, and can be submitted via email to, by mail or in person to 100 Voorhis Street, Fort Myers Beach, Florida 33931.

According to Chief Matthew Love, the letters and resumes will be forwarded to the Board of Commissioners for review. The Board of Commissioners will hold interviews with the final candidates, Wood said.

Whoever is selected by the board will have to run again for election in November for the remainder of Raymond's term, which runs through 2022. Wood said Raymond "has always looked out for what's best for the people of our community and the taxpayers. We hope he recovers quickly."

Wood said the new labor contract with the battalion chiefs and assistant chiefs was the first in 11 years. The new labor deal provides compensation increases for the four battalion chiefs while also instituting a new staff management policy and overtime distribution policy, Love said.

Meanwhile, Love said no plans for the new fire station property at 2545 and 2555 Estero Boulevard, next to Town Hall, have been formulated as the closing on the fire district's $3.99 million purchase of the two parcels is not yet official. Love has stated that a portion of the properties could be used for commercial purposes as the fire district will not need the entire acreage for a new fire station.

The fire department has been looking to replace Station 31, located at 3043 Estero Boulevard at the intersection of Donora Boulevard. The station was not equipped to handle a new ladder truck, according to the department.



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