Punta Gorda city leaders were supposed to talk about what would happen to Fishermen’s Village after the owner announced he put it up for sale on Wednesday, but the meeting was canceled.
Those attending were confused and frustrated when police officers greeted them at the door of the public meeting discovering it was canceled.
“I was surprised,” Punta Gorda resident Kay Abbs said.
Everyone who went was simply turned away.
“The police were at the front entrances, telling people to move on that the meeting had been canceled,” Abbs said.
Members of the Punta Gorda city council were taken aback and felt slighted.
“We arrived to have our city council meeting this morning. Due to unforeseen circumstances. We were not able to hold that meeting,” the Punta Gorda assistant city manager Melissa Reichert, said.
Those ‘unforeseen circumstances’ had to do with the city’s lease to use the Military Heritage Museum.
“Our city hall is undergoing renovations right now,” Reichert said.
For more than a year, the city’s hosted its council meets without a problem at that location. But Wednesday was different following property owner Jon Larmore’s recent announcement about planning to sell the place. However, that same reason is why the people attending the meeting were there in the first place. To figure out the fate of the museum and Larmore’s other property, Fishermen’s Village.
“We don’t know what is going to happen,” Punta Gorda resident Gary Skillicorn said.
Skillicorn and roughly 30 others tried attending the meeting. They were ready to hear what’s next for the two popular spots. But, they’ll have to wait until the rescheduled meeting set for April 27 at the Charlotte Harbor Events Center.
While Fishermen’s Village won’t be on the agenda, it is technically possible it could get discussed.
“There is always opportunity for public comment at the beginning of our meetings, residents are given three minutes, and they can talk on any topic that they like,” Reichert said.
WINK News reached out to Larmore but couldn’t speak with him. If WINK News does get in touch with him, we will ask if he personally had anything to do with the meeting getting canceled, if he’s in dispute with Punta Gorda, and whether he’ll allow council to meet there in the future.