If you attended the April 10 town meeting where local residents were introduced to the proposed new community named Boardwalk at Gateway, you know things got heated at times.

One of the potential remedies that was suggested was to make sure that local leaders knew that Gateway residents strongly opposed the new project. The specific suggestion was made by as many as a dozen people at the meeting to contact Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass to voice your opinion.

The Gateway Sun can report that Lee County staff have advised Commissioner Pendergrass not to publicly or privately get involved in the matter concerning Boardwalk at Gateway. The reason is that should a formal application be filed by the developer to build Boardwalk, Commissioner Pendergrass would be in a position where he had to officially consider the matter. If Mr. Pendergrass was to make any statements on the topic prior to the public proceedings taking place in the proper forum he may have to abstain from voting if/when the time came.

So for these and other reasons, Commissioner Pendergrass cannot respond to any complaints or inquiries he gets on this topic, or any rezoning topic for that matter, until it reaches a point in the process where the matter is being considered by the entire Board of County Commissioners.

We are very far away from that point. And this is me speaking and not the Commissioner’s office, but I have personal doubts Boardwalk at Gateway (as it was presented) will even get to that point at all.

In one of the first articles on this topic I wrote that there may indeed come a time to put pressure on the Lee County Commissioners and, quoting myself, that I would definitely let you know “when and if that time arises”. But in my opinion we are not yet at that point. And quite frankly we may never get there.

The good news is that there’s no doubt in my mind that Commissioner Pendergrass is aware of the sentiment of the Gateway community regarding Boardwalk. Mission accomplished on that front, folks.

So let’s allow the process to unfold (if it even goes any further) and go from there.

Once again however, Commissioner Pendergrass is abiding by Lee County’s rules. And those rules mandate his silence on this topic at this time.

Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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