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"...the budget vote passed by 5-1, with Councilor Amadeo Petricca, who had been a member of the council’s budget sub-committee that dug through the numbers, dissenting to protest inclusion of funds for operation of a “quick response vehicle” and three firefighter/EMTs to staff it."
Lets review priorities....
Last year it was the purchase of a fire boat at $400K to take advantage of a crisis of a botched boat fire response near the Caxambas boat launch.
Now the priority is a used quick response vehicle supported with a slide presentation showing three separate days with more than 3 concurrent responders....and this was added to the budget after the review process....but in the final analysis, the only dissenting vote was Mr. Petricca, as councilor.
Are you again being duped into comparisons to Naples and other cities in Florida? Let us start with the definition of resident. Does it include the visitors, the short term renters, etc. all potential users of rescue services? Does Naples's higher percentage of commercial activity vs residential impact the comparisons? Bear in mind, Naples has addressed its higher commercial basis and visitor impact by relying less on ad valorem taxes and more on fee revenue. Marco Island does NOT have the fee revenue structure that Naples has to support a larger rescue operation? If we are to assess the size of rescue operations, it is small but not because of size of resident population but because of the impact of visitors...which impacts the cost of providing rescue services that is supported solely by property value. Is apportionment by property value on Marco Island to be compared with Naples?
This underscores my dismissal of Mr. Honig's presentation...a chart which shows Marco Island under-served in numbers of residents per ambulance.
I contend, Naples gets a larger portion of its tax revenue from services and fees, Marco Island DOES NOT. I strongly recommend the county provide more ambulances to this city (and remember, you pay $175/call for EMS/Collier ambulance) NOT Marco Island Fire/Rescue.
Is the weekly/monthly renter and its property owner (includes condo and single family homes) getting a great deal? Consider the higher revenue to use a home as a hotel yet the cost of services is the same regardless of the number of "residents" in the home. Is it fair to say the retiree or family living full time in their own home or condo subsidizing others if the the rescue services are to expand?
I believe the level of service provided by the Fire/Rescue Department is more than adequate to service the retirees or families who reside on this island...However, I believe the transient "resident" may not be adequately paying to support a larger fire/rescue department that Mr. Murphy is constantly seeking to maintain a certain level of service.
But then again, I often hear that Marco Island is a great place to retire or raise a family....and let me add its guests and investors!
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