Happy to report another fabulous island weather week which was even better for The SanibelSusan Team thanks to a wonderful new gulf-front home sale, plus four new terrific well-priced listings that also happen to be in superb condition. We love to be busy. It also was nice to get some pats on the back from my colleagues at our annual Sanibel & Captiva Islands Association of REALTORS® Annual Meeting last night. Now I just hope those same folks get hoppin’ and help get our listings sold. Everyone is fired up for a good winter selling season, though expectations are that our market probably won’t really get moving again until after the elections and the holidays. I’m more optimistic and think we will see a flurry of activity before Thanksgiving.
Below are some new events from the week, followed by the activity from our Multiple Listing Service since last Friday.
Sanibel Library Earns Highest Ranking
The City website this week cited that the Sanibel Public Library has been named one of America’s Star Libraries 2010 by “Library Journal”. The “Library Journal” index rated 7,407 public libraries, and identified 258 star libraries. This index is a national rating system designed to recognize and promote America’s public libraries to help improve the pool of nationally collected library statistics, and to encourage library self-evaluation. Ratings were based on 2008 rankings for visits, circulation, program attendance, and public internet terminal use. Sanibel Public Library received 3 stars and is the only library in Florida to be recognized, with the highest 3-star rating on the list. This ranking is the result of a supportive public, an encouraging citizen-elected board, a dedicated staff, and the Library Foundation whose members are strong library allies. The list of America’s Star Libraries can be found here.
Sanibel City Manager Recognized Again
Judie Zimomra received kudos this week when “Florida Weekly” recognized her as one of the 2010 Power Women of Lee County. To quote the article, “It takes a lot to ruffle Sanibel City Manager Judie Zimomra. She is one of those women who takes everything in stride. Whether it comes to tangling with the aftermath of a destructive hurricane, ensuring Sanibel’s environmental integrity or tussling with a down economy, Ms. Zimomra rolls up her sleeves and gets to work. The fact that she is a woman working in a position still dominated by men is of no consequence to Ms. Zimomra. At first Ms. Zimomra said she had to work her way through the “locker room environment” in the career field. But things have changed. “Now you’re judged more on performance,” she says. Even so Ms. Zimomra, 53, had to prove herself to the Sanibel community before becoming the island’s go-to leader. She laughs when she recalls a conversation she had with recently departed island patriarch Sam Bailey. When she was hired, he looked at her and said “Sanibel didn’t need a female city manager.” Fast-forward years later and the two became close friends after working together to get funds for the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village. The museum is one of many goals for Sanibel that Ms. Zimomra spends her time working to make happen. Getting the job done has included putting Sanibel back together after Hurricane Charley ravaged the island in 2004. She and other island leaders worked to get Sanibel up and running again. Sanibel was later recognized with an award for having the best response in the state. Now Ms. Zimomra is working with city council and other leaders to mitigate the effects of the economic downturn. She is banking on increasing reserves, lowering debt and downsizing through attrition to keep Sanibel strong during the rough economic times. But perhaps her greatest joy and biggest challenge is being Sanibel’s watchdog. She works with city council, residents and environmental organizations to make sure Sanibel remains a peaceful sanctuary for residents. “I like being able to protect and maintain the character of Sanibel,” Ms. Zimomra says. And when she is not on Sanibel, Ms. Zimomra can be found working as an adjunct professor at Edison College. She teaches courses in the school’s Baccalaureate degree program for public administration. “I love it you’re teaching the next generation of public administrators,” she says.”
Sanibel Farmers Market
Returns to City Hall grounds beginning Sunday, November 7 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. It will operate each Sunday through the end of April. Some of returning vendors include Worden Farms organic growers, Gallego’s Farms, Papernatta Pasta, The Big Cheese, Ralph’s Seafood, Paradise Soaps, Venus Veggies, Lees Bees, The French Bread Oven, and The Sanibel Beet. Some new vendors will join the group too. See you there!
Lowest Interest Rates in Decades
The Associated Press reported today that 30-year mortgage rates have hit 4.19%, the lowest level on record (dating back to 1971), though the last time rates were this low was the early 1950’s. Nearly 60 percent of industry panelists for the Mortgage Rate Trend Index believe these rates will remain relatively unchanged over the short term. AP reports that the low rates haven’t help the struggling housing market, which recorded its worst summer in more than a decade; but they have led to a surge in refinancing. Rates could fall even further in the coming week depending on the outcome of a bond purchase program expected to be approved at the next the Federal Reserve meeting November 2-3.
For those in town this weekend, don’t forget the F.I.S.H. 10K Race tomorrow morning (a few roads will be closed early) and Family Fun Day at the J.N. “Ding Darling” National Wildlife Refuge which kicks off the 21st Annual ‘Ding’ Darling Days on Sunday. The weather is expected to remain glorious all weekend so our photographer, Jim Anderson, JMA Photography, will be up shooting aerials for us tomorrow. Keep your eye out for his new coffee table book of island photos expected to be out before Christmas.