Four members elected, four members leave: GICIA talks Cape Haze, new projects at meeting

April 17, 2015
By Marcy Shortuse

SUBMITTED BY THE GICIA – The GICIA held its 44th Annual Membership Meeting on Thursday, April 2. Reports were give by President Stevenson and Treasurer Allen as well as the Chairs of the Bike Path, Land Conservancy and Communications Committee.

Bob Elliott, Chair of Communications, introduced the GICIA’s 3.5 minute video “Keeping it Grande,” which was played for the audience of approximately 80 residents.

President Bayne Stevenson touched on the successes of the GICIA and the challenges that we will face as a community as Boca Grande continues to increase in popularity as a “day trip” destination.

Bayne also touched on GICIA’s support of Friends of Cape Haze in their current legal efforts against Charlotte County.

Treasurer Allen reported record contributions and controlled expenses were responsible for GICIA’s strong financial position at the end of 2014.

Retiring Vice President and Bike Path Committee Chair Mary O’Bannon provided a brief history of the GICIA Bike Path, from the time it was donated by the Hugh and Bayard Sharp Families to the Community dedication of the path on February 23, 1985. Mary reminded everyone that the first annual Bike Path Parade was held on that day 30 years ago. She summarized the master landscape plan and its completion in 2010 and thanked the Boca Grande Woman’s Club for assisting GICIA in continuing the Bike Path Safety Details, which are performed by off duty deputies.

Land Conservancy Chair Lance Isham announced that this summer the GICIA will embark on several restoration projects. In fact, three single family lots, which were donated by Mr. Edmund Pratt, will be completely restored with native vegetation that is indicative of a tropical hardwood hammock. This will provide critical habitat to native wildlife.

At this year’s annual membership meeting the GICIA had Percy Angelo as a special guest speaker. Angelo spoke on behalf of Friends of Cape Haze regarding their legal challenge of the Charlotte County Comprehensive Plan. This topic by far drew the most interest and questions from the audience.

During the business portion of the meeting the membership elected four new directors to the GICIA Board. They are Jean Armour (Mrs. T. Stanton Armour), Sarah Farish, Andrew Krusen and Henry Pankratz.

“Each of these new directors brings with them a deep love of Boca Grande and a sincere desire to serve the community,” Nichols said.

The meeting also brought to a close the directorship of Mary O’Bannon, Larry Blau, Martha Diebold and Rusty Hager.

“Each of these individuals played an important role on the board and will be sincerely missed,” Nichols said.

Board members were also reminded that there are still GICIA bike horns available and free to all members, available at the GICIA office in the Boca Grande Community Center.

We continue to encourage everyone to be safe and courteous on the GICIA Bike Path and to always politely warn when passing slower traffic,” Nichols said.