September ECCL Monthly Meeting

The September 24, 2021 meeting of the ECCL was held virtually on Zoom. The featured speakers speakers were Lee County School Board Member Chris Patricca, Junior Achievement SWFL President Angela Fisher, and Estero Life Magazine Editor Gary Israel. You can watch the video or read the summary below.

Guest Speakers

Chris Patricca,
Lee County School Board

Guest Speakers

Angela Fisher,
Junior Achievement SWFL

Guest Speakers

IsraelGary Israel
Estero Life Magazine

Summary of the ECCL Zoom meeting

Friday, September 24, 2021

By Karen Katz, Communications Committee Member.

After opening remarks, ECCL Secretary Mark Novitski introduced the featured speakers.

Chris Patricca, a member of the Lee County School Board, discussed the survey regarding the top ten “wants” to hire a new permanent superintendent of schools. The ECCL publicized the survey and will also be involved in an upcoming Zoom Forum regarding this aspect.

Regarding the new PK- 8 school being built on Three Oaks, Ms. Patricca outlined the issues being considered by the school board. These included traffic, parking, landscaping, signage, architectural style, and shared use of sports facilities. These issues will be discussed with the Estero Village Council. Traffics concerns will be addressed with a new traffic signal, crosswalks, turn lane, and stacked parental waiting lanes.

The school is planned for 1600 students and will include common areas such as a media center, cafeteria, and gymnasium. A committee will be formed to name the school, and the ECCL will have a seat on that committee. Responding to a question from a listener, Ms. Patricca said that the COVID pandemic has influenced such issues as staffing, distance learning, technology, and student demographics but is under review by the review board.

Angela Fisher is the President and CEO of Junior Achievement (JA) of SW Florida. She commended the ECCL for its cooperation and partnership with JA in developing work readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship programs for Lee County students, with over 80 volunteers. Last year 18,831 students were reached through in-school, after-school, and summer programs, and JA is aiming for 25,00 in the upcoming year.  Virtual programs in the (grades) 2- 5- 8 & graduate programs have taken the place of in-person sessions. JA does help to “Inspire” and benefit students based on their reactions. It is hoped the JA team can implement an “interactive career expo” when it is safe.

For further information or to volunteer for ECCL 2-5-8 Graduate Junior Achievement program, contact:  Mike Wasson,,   +19737690839
 or Junior Achievement website:

Allan Bowditch, ECCL Chief Communications Officer, discussed the development of the new book, “Forging a Better Path,” which highlights the various issues that shaped the growth and development of Estero in the last 20 years into the beautiful place we know it to be. The book also outlines Estero’s likely future development and the role the ECCL can play in ensuring our quality of life is not adversely affected. Twenty-seven interviews with influential individuals helped shape the information contained in the book. The ECCL is grateful to everyone who assisted in this endeavor and for the invaluable collaborative support provided in the past from county commissioners, consultants, and organizations involved in the environment and water quality.

History of ECCL

To order the book:

“Forging a Better Path: The Role of the ECCL, In Helping to Make Estero the Best Place to Visit, Live, Work and Play: Now and in the future.” By Allan J. Bowditch, ECCL Chief Communications Officer, can be purchased by going to or go to the ECCL’s website then click on “hot topics” and click on the book “Forging a Better Path” and follow the instructions to order the book. This full-color book is 8.5″ x 11″, 55 pages, and is available in paperback or linen hardback with a dust jacket.  

Gary Israel, the publisher of Estero Life magazine, reviewed the changes in the magazine since it was first published in 2010. When he purchased it in 2016, his goal was to reach all the Estero households and make them feel like part of a “real community.” Due to postage rates and other changes, the magazine is now mailed by subscription: $19.95 per year, covering postage.

Estero Life Magazine:

Publisher’s Contact Info:
Phone: (239) 287-4246
To subscribe:

Gary also mentioned that there are several ‘bulk drop’ locations in Estero. Copies can be picked up at the Community Center at the Estero Park, near the offices/restrooms at Miromar Outlets, the Lee County Public Library, the Estero Chamber of Commerce, and the lobby of the Lake Michigan Credit Union in Estero (next to Chick-fil-et).