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This article was one week before the election and ten days before Popoff, Forcht and Kiester were sworn in. There is NO question where the candidates stood on the STRP, Hall is just starting a dirty campaign and needs a scapegoat to attack. Exerts taken from a NDN March 13, 2006 article.
By Billy Bruce (Contact)Monday, March 13, 2006
The field consists of Joe Batte, Heyward Boyce, Ted Forcht, Chuck Kiester, Rob Popoff, Joe Simons and Steve Stefanides. Boyce served a four-year term on the council, but was defeated in his re-election bid in 2004. Stefanides lost his first bid for a council seat in 2004. The rest are newcomers to the city's political field.
The candidates are as split on the issue as the current council. The sewer program lives or dies when county elections officials announce the results Tuesday night.
Forcht, Batte and Kiester are against the sewer program because they don't believe city waterways are at crisis pollution levels that would warrant such a program. They believe the current council hasn't done its homework on the benefits of sewers over septic systems.
Simons, Popoff, Stefanides and Boyce, however, favor getting rid of septic tanks. They believe that environmental agencies such as the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the South Florida Water Management District, The Conservancy of Southwest Florida and others are right when they warn that septic systems don't operate properly and pollute waterways when located in low-lying coastal areas like Marco.
"Saying that septic tanks treat wastewater as well as sanitary sewers is just flat wrong," Simons said. "I know. I've built sewers."
The pro-sewer candidates aren't sure whether the city is trying to do too much too fast, and wonder if there may be a more fair, equitable way to charge residents for the connections.
Boyce favors slowing down the seven-year program.
The Collier road construction project has drawn the ire of residents who live in condominiums along the busy four-lane road, as well as business owners whose shop-fronts align the boulevard.
The city plans to finish the project by December 2007, but all seven candidates oppose the city's continued use of the former Glon property — site of the future Veterans Community Park — as a staging area for project contractors.
Popoff, Simons and Stefanides have backed off making such promises, promises they say they can't keep, because they know they can't possibly please all the people all the time. They say they'll be good listeners but will make decisions based on what they believe is right for Marco after they've studied the issues and heard the varying viewpoints.
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