October ECCL Monthly Meeting

The October 8, 2021 meeting of the ECCL was held virtually on Zoom. The featured speakers speakers were:

  • Jon McLain, Vice-Mayor of the Village of Estero
  • Barry Freedman, Greater Estero Virtual Information Center
  • Antonio Carangelo, ECCL Safety Council
  • Brian Hurwitz, ECCL Health Council’s AED Committee
  • Dr. Alise Bartley, FGCU Community Counseling Center
  • John Guerra, FGCU Academy

You can watch the video or read the summary below.

Friday, October 8, 2021

By Karen Katz, Communications Committee Member.

After opening remarks, ECCL President Jim Gilmartin introduced the featured speakers.

Jon McLain

Jon McLain is Vice-Mayor of the Village of Estero. A resident of Estero for seven years, he resides in Belle Lago.  Jon discussed the planned Estero Veterans Day Event on Saturday, November 13, 2021, at Estero Community Park from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. Activities planned for all ages, including games, face-painting, jump house, and slide. There will be a car show and musical entertainment from a choir, singer and drum & bugle corps. County Commissioner Ray Sandelli will be the speaker. Water will be provided, and food trucks will be available. You are advised to bring a chair for your comfort.

Barry Freedman

Barry Freedman CFP is the retired founder, and chairman of Freedman Financial Associates Inc., established in 1968.  Barry discussed the development of the Greater Estero Virtual Information Center (GEVIC) and its impact on economic development in the greater Estero area.  The proposed website will feature many interest categories, from restaurants to historic sites, tours to sporting events. It will be a “one-stop-shop” that will benefit visitors, business investment, and residents. Research shows 90% of travel planning occurs online, and Estero needs to have a presence. $200,000 will be needed to develop the site. It is anticipated that this will be funded by businesses interested in becoming Charter Members, Founders, and Sponsors, each with varying levels of benefits and support from the Village of Estero.

If you are interested in this effort, would like more details, or would like to be involved, don’t hesitate to contact Visitesterofl@mail.com.

Antonio Carangelo, Jr.

Antonio Carangelo Jr. is an Information technology entrepreneur, innovator, and consultant.  He is currently the chairperson for the Public Safety Connectivity and Mobility committee for pedestrian and bike paths, advocating for bike and pedestrian safety in conjunction with the Village of Estero Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan implementation. Over 73 miles of improvements are scheduled for 17 corridors in the next ten years. With the growing interest in lightweight electric vehicles, such as e-bikes, more attention is now required on rules for their use on these paths. How pedestrian and bike routes are constructed to co-exist with roadways providing safe passageways and trails, is the Public Safety Connectivity committee’s focus.

Lighting and visibility are also components. If interested in this area, contact acarangelo@msn.com

Brian Hurwitz

Brian Hurwitz is a resident of Grandezza in Estero.  He is a retired Professor of Psychology and Education and Chair of the Department of Special Education at New Jersey City University. Brian discussed how the ECCL Health Council’s Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Committee is working on getting more AEDs in our community and enhancing their location to reduce the incidence of deaths from cardiac arrest. Survival doubles with AED use immediately after a cardiac arrest. The problem is locating the device. Some gated communities are unavailable late in the evening because they may be in locked areas. A survey has been developed to see how some gated communities deal with this issue. Information derived from the survey will be analyzed, and mapping of locations will be addressed. Based on the findings, it is hoped that the initiative will be extended across Lee County with BoCC support.

Are you interested in knowing more? Contact brianhurwitz1234@yahoo.com.

Dr. Alise G. Bartley

Dr. Alise G. Bartley has been a marriage and family therapist and mental health counselor for over 25 years. Presently a Clinical Assistant Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University and Clinic Director at the Community Counseling Center at FGCU, Dr. Bartley, discussed the mental health services available at the center. Counseling is available both in-person and tel-counseling. Fees are income-based, with a minimum fee of $5/hr. to the standard $25/hr.  Appointments are available at – https://www.fgcu.edu/mariebcollege/counseling/communitycounseling/ free parking is available.

 John Guerra

John Guerra is the Director of the FGCU Academy, a lifelong learning program geared toward adult seniors and retirees. Formerly the Renaissance Academy, this program offers many live and online programs, lectures, courses, and trips. Sites are located in Lee, Collier, and Charlotte counties. A membership offers reduced prices and special events but is not required to participate.  To get a program guide, go to www.fgcu.edu/academy.  To register for programs, go to www.fgcuacademy.asapconnected.com.  or call 434-4828 or email  jguerra@fgcu.edu

ECCL Reports

President Gilmartin noted the ECCL connection with the Calusa Waterkeepers in their quest for clean water.  The ECCL and Calusa Waterkeeper also needs your help promoting the Right to Clean Water and the Florida Wetlands Protection amendment petitions to the state constitution before time runs out. Nearly 900,000 signatures need to be collected by November 30 to qualify the amendments for the ballot. We have sent the details. Would you please act and encourage your neighbors, family, and friends to act? Click here for access to the petitions.


The ECCL is a partner of Growing Climate Solutions: Path to Positive Southwest Florida. We’ve begun conversations to promote actions to reduce our carbon footprint in the Village of Estero. Our goal is to encourage and empower residents, businesses, and other civic institutions to support and engage in climate solutions that advance a healthy, prosperous, and resilient community.

Mark Novitski, COO, reminded us of the banquet honoring the 25 Most Influential Individuals in Estero, held on October 28 at Grandezza.  More information is available on the ECCL website www.esterotoday.com

Allan Bowditch, CCO, noted that the new book “Forging a Better Path” is available on the ECCL website. He relayed some of the positive comments coming from readers. One copy has been reserved for each member community of ECCL and may be picked up at the next ECCL Monthly Meeting. The book can be purchased by going to https://shop.esterotoday.com. or go to the ECCL’s website http://esterotoday.com, then click on “hot topics” and click on the book “Forging a Better Path”

John Quin, CFO, noted that ECCL donations are managed by the SW Florida Community Foundation, a 501c3, and provides tax relief for donations. However, the ECCL is actively pursuing 501c3 status that will be self-managed and allow tax-deductible contributions. The change is expected to be available in the next month or two.