EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this article described, in error, Goss’s departure as a resignation.

Chauncey Goss will relinquish his seat as Councilman at the end of his term in March. He will not seek reelection. Goss, who was first elected to Council in 2015, will take a seat on the South Florida Water Management District Board, at the invitation of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Knowledge of Goss’s impending departure prompted good wishes from public and Council alike at City Council’s meeting Feb. 5.

Planning Commissioner Karen Storjohann was first to thank Goss “for your service to the City. It is a loss, having you leave, for your expertise and for your presence as a reminder of how we got here,” she said. “I am very happy to see you moving on to the [Water Management District] Board. They need a balance.”

Councilwoman Holly Smith expressed excitement “for having our voices heard [and seeing] how that board will now represent the state of Florida,” she said. “We will miss you on Council,” she added.

Vice-Mayor Mick Denham thanked Goss “for accepting this responsibility. For so long the Water Management District has catered to only one set of special interests,” Denham said. “Adversity has not been shared. You will be part of a new dawn.”

Goss served as Council’s liaison to the Historical Preservation Committee, the Historical Museum and Village, the Recreation Financial Assistance Committee, the Sanibel Captiva Chamber Governmental Affairs Committee, and the Employee Dependent Scholarship Committee.

Goss’s Council seat will go to Planning Commissioner Richard Johnson. Smith will retain her Council seat for a full four-year term. Because both Johnson and Smith qualified for office unopposed, the municipal election scheduled for March 5 has been canceled. Smith and Johnson will be sworn in during City Council’s March 19 meeting.

Planning Commission Appointment

Council appointed Michael Hulihan to the planning commission seat vacated by Richard Johnson. A West Point graduate, Hulihan is a Retired Army Corps of Engineer Officer, with 20 years of active duty service. He has also worked as a municipal engineer. Chuck Ketteman is now the commission’s new chair, and Roger Grogman is vice-chair.

Restaurant Outdoor Seating Pilot Program

Council approved a pilot program for “bonus conditional outdoor seating” at Island restaurants. The recommendation, initiated by Community Services Director Keith Williams, allows restaurants “to transfer approved indoor seats to an approved outdoor location.” City Manager Judie Zimomra stipulated that the program would not entail “an increase in seats. Restaurants are just moving the seats from inside to outside, as a one-to-one swap,” she said.

Council’s endorsement of the pilot program was unanimous. “There was no outside dining 12 years ago,” Vice-Mayor Denham said. “This is an obvious improvement to what we are trying to do.”

Agnew Remains as City Attorney

Council unanimously approved a resolution appointing the law firm of Boy Agnew Potanovic, PLLC, to represent the City of Sanibel. Attorney John Agnew will continue to serve as lead counsel for the City.

Council adjourned early, at 11:04 a.m., to attend the Army Corps of Engineers’ public meeting in Lehigh Acres. The purpose of the meeting was to invite input for the 2022 Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual.