Cape mayor storms out of meeting, lobs insults

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CAPE CORAL, Fla. Mayor Marni Sawicki abruptly left a Committee of the Whole meeting Monday night amid a back-and-forth with a charter school governing board member.

On the way out, she called City Council member Richard Leon a “dumbass” and hurled another epithet at City Council member Rana Erbrick, Leon said.

“Her actions are uncalled for,” Leon said. “We are working for the people and they elect us to sit in the chairs to come up with solutions, not act like children and call council members names. She needs to determine if she wants to continue to represent the people until the end of her term, or resign.”

Sawicki said last month she won’t seek re-election in November.

The mayor didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment but shared her reaction early Tuesday morning on Twitter.

Leon said the tweet “shocked” him.

“It’s just amazing because is it bullying when you bring up the facts?” Leon said. “I mean, clearly she’s on video creating a storm, walking off, calling myself a name and council member Erbrick a name.”

Erbrick didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The Committee of the Whole meeting is designed to allow council members and the mayor to discuss multiple agenda items before putting them to a formal vote.

“Last night we started out with a good meeting,” Leon said. “We had a great conversation. We’re trying to create solutions for the issues that have been brought forward by the mayor. We’re looking at best practices for our charter schools.”

Sawicki, who has publicly feuded with former charter schools superintendent Nelson Stephenson, was grilling charter school governing board Vice Chairman Robert Zivkovic on why the board supported Stephenson when she walked out Monday.

The charter school governing board cut ties with Stephenson earlier this month, shortly after he decided not to sign a contract extension.

Watch the discussion that led up to Sawicki’s departure from Monday’s meeting:

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