Fort Myers City Police Chief Election Question (November 2011)
This measure was defeated
- YES 1,417 (39.04%)
- NO 2,213 (60.96%)
This measure sought to allow the city Police Chief to be elected by residents rather than appointed by city officials. Residents petitioned to get this measure on to the ballot as they felt that the police chief was not held accountable to the people for decisions and actions. Those who signed the petition noted that it had been long enough and they should have the power to choose their chief of police. Petitioners had collected the needed 2,545 valid signatures to get this measure on to the ballot. It was noted that if this measure had been approved, it would have made Fort Myers the first city of its kind to have an elected police chief, only seven cities in the state have the ability to elect their police chief but the largest city only has 6,600 residents. Opponents stated that there would be needless additional costs to have a police chief elected and that the chief currently has more accountability as the City Council can fire him at any time but an elected chief would have to finish the term of office before being out of office.
- News-Press, "Guest opinion: The voters of Fort Myers, not City Hall bureaucrats, should select their chief," November 4, 2011