This is something only the citizens of Perdido can ultimately decide. Municipal incorporation does offer the Perdido community a chance for a local unified voice, but it is not something that happens overnight. This is perhaps best expressed by Marsha Segal-George, the first Town Manager of Fort Myers Beach, with uncanny similarities to our own community. As she wrote in the article Government Lite, shortly after the town was incorporated in 1996:
Before Estero Island became a town, its residents had a tremendous problem finding our communal identity. The island was split in its vision of itself. Citizens were not sure if what they had was a tourist destination or a family neighborhood, whether it was withering or growing. If Government Lite can work here, in an area that has had trouble defining its identity for so long, it can be reproduced almost anywhere.
The new identity will likely be met with a healthy dose of skepticism that can be overcome only by a real effort on the part of the participants to listen and learn from each other. Besides helping the community to work toward defining its identity constructively, the real crowning achievement has been the revived spirit of enthusiasm, trust, and support being shown by most residents toward each other and their elected leaders.
In a place with a long history of deep-set differences of opinion and perspective, after a long and bitter fight over whether or not to incorporate, and with the subsequently elected council split between those who voted in favor of incorporation and those who voted against, the expressions of optimism and goodwill that have all been documented in local newspapers are the most remarkable signs of success.
Read the full article here: Government Lite