Allen fourth to announce City Council candidacy

Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of interviews with candidates who are announcing they will run for election to the Marco Island City Council in 2008.

Four Marco Island City Council seats will be available in next year’s election. Chairman Mike Minozzi and Councilor Glenn Tucker cannot run because of term limits. The seats of councilwoman Terri DiSciullo and vice chairman Bill Trotter are also up for election. Neither has announced whether they will run again.

The Eagle reported May 28 that Joe Batte was running for election. Roger Hall’s announcement appeared in the June 18 issue. An article announcing Francis “Butch” Neylon’s candidacy appeared in the June 29 issue.

Resident Kenneth Allen has also decided to run.

“Fellow citizens of Marco Island, I have frequently spoken out publicly about many of the questionable actions taken by our City Council, city manager and director of public works,” he said. “It is now time to stop talking and take action. Therefore I am announcing my candidacy for a position on the City Council.”

Allen, 62, I grew up in Weston, Conn. He and his wife Kathy were married in 1966. The couple has two sons.

After Allen graduated from college with a B.S. in psychology, he applied to the United States Air Force Officer Training School.

Ken Allen said the citizens have been denied the opportunity to play a role in the future of the island.

Photo by Ed Bania, Eagle staff // Buy this photo

Ken Allen said the citizens have been denied the opportunity to play a role in the future of the island.

During his 33-year Air Force career, he spent 20 years assigned to the 157th Air Refueling Group at Pease Air Force Base in New Hampshire. Later, he was promoted to full colonel and served as a division chief. He retired in 2000.

Since then, Allen has been working part-time, on a contract, as the chief of a team who inspects the aircraft maintenance programs of Air National Guard units throughout the United States.

The Allens first visited Marco Island in 1984. They purchased a home on the island in 2001 and became residents.

Allen said he has extensive experience in local government. He served for 16 years in New Hampshire, including being elected once to a board of “selectmen,” or councilmembers. He was re-elected to four more three-year terms. He was chairman of the board four times, chairman of the Zoning Board of Adjustment for 16 years and a member of several advisory committees.

“During my 16 years of service we practiced good government and with your support we can have it here too,” Allen said. “I know what good government is and I know what bad government is — Marco Island’s got it.”

He said the board of selectman in New Hampshire did not spend money they didn’t have and respected the voters and listened and addressed their concerns.

Referendums were held on every major financial proposal, according to Allen. The board only lost two referendums on issues they felt were in the best interests of the town. He added, unlike Marco Island, no one ever sued the local government.

Allen said the citizens of Marco Island do not have “good” government. The candidate says he wants to change that.

One change Allen wants to make, if elected, is to give citizens free and open access to city officials and councilors.

Allen claims the citizens of Marco Island have been denied the opportunity to play a role in the future of the island. He said major projects, other than the referendum to purchase the Glon property, now called Veterans Community Park, have been “rammed down” the throats of residents without a vote.

City officials are not interested in getting input from the citizens, according to Allen, and some have stated so publicly.

“In fact, the City Council can be seen on videotape discussing how to limit or cut off citizen input at council meetings,” he said.

“Good government is government of, by and for the people. A concept that is supported by the greatest document ever conceived by man — the Constitution of the United States of America.”

Allen said there are many examples of an “arrogance of power” by Marco Island City Manager Bill Moss and some of the councilmembers.

“The recent motion orchestrated by the city manager and passed by four members of the council is symptomatic of the arrogance of power practiced by this non-representative government,” he said. “The city attorney was directed to draft an ordinance to move the March 2008 election back to November 2008, thus self-extending the councilor’s terms of office by eight months.”

Allen said the fact that the council even considered the motion was like throwing a bucket of sand in the faces of the citizens and voters.

“These councilors were elected by the voters of Marco Island for four year terms, not four years and eight month terms,” he said.

The candidate added the councilors do not have the moral right to extend their terms without the approval of the voters.

“We live in the United States of America — not Venezuela,” he said.

Allen cited other examples that he claims were abuses of power and bad government.

After Marco Island voters approved the purchase of the Glon property for a park, Allen said Moss and Director of Public Works Rony Joel decided on their own to use the site for “a contaminated construction dump that has inconvenienced and tormented hundreds of Marco’s citizens for years.”

Allen recalled a statement made by Tucker during a city council meeting last year. The councilor said he had photographic evidence of citizens planting pieces of asbestos concrete pipe on the Glon property. Allen noted that Tucker never produced any pictures and didn’t admit his statement was a hoax until five months later. Allen said Moss supported Tucker’s claim during that time.

“Does it bother you that once the hoax was exposed, neither the councilman or the city manager apologized to the public for their transgressions and violation of the public’s trust?” Allen said.

Another example of the council’s arrogance of power and poor government, according to Allen, is the minutes of an executive session held where councilors decided to pursue Citizens Advocating Responsible Environmental Solutions (CARES), a Marco Island political action committee, for payment of legal expenses incurred by the city.

“Even more distressing during that same meeting was councilor Tucker’s discussion and advocacy of having private investigators prying into the backgrounds of those Marco citizens who disagree with the council’s actions,” Allen said.

The candidate also claims Moss discusses major projects and issues with a few “favored” councilmembers before council meetings. Allen added other “unfavored” councilors are left out of the loop and “blindsided” at the meetings because of not having the same information.

Allen referred to reports in the Marco Eagle as other examples of arrogance of power by Moss and some councilors.

An article in the May 25, 2007 issue of the Eagle revealed that councilors asked Sen. Burt Saunders, R-Naples, to try to exempt Marco Island from any property tax reform that the state Legislature may pass. Saunders agreed to help but later told the Eagle he decided not to file an amendment exempting the city from any tax package.

An article in Tuesday’s Eagle revealed that a city official placed an invitation to bid notice on the Lamplighter and Sheffield sewer districts wastewater collection system expansion in a Sunday newspaper. The districts, which are included in the city’s Septic Tank Replacement Program (STRP), are not scheduled for construction until 2008.

Councilors Terri DiSciullo, Chuck Kiester and Ted Forcht said in the article that Moss should not have placed the notice because the council hasn’t decided whether or not to move up the construction schedule of the districts to this year from next.

Allen said there are many more examples of “misfeasance” by the island’s government.

“If you aren’t bothered by any of the above and are not interested about integrity in government, then you probably don’t want to vote for me,” he said. “Given the opportunity, I pledge to you that I will work diligently with my fellow councilors to insure this type of behavior is stopped and that those guilty of ethical transgressions will be disciplined or if necessary, terminated.”

Allen said the city rules with an “iron hand,” claims home rule if challenged by state laws, and imposes fees for expensive projects and services on the citizens suddenly and without reason. He added that, if the residents don’t pay, they are threatened with financial penalties and investigations by private investigators and the city’s police department.

Allen claims the city government has overspent taxpayer’s money. He pointed to the city’s need to borrow $20 million from Bank of America, another $20 million from the state of Florida, and lobbying Saunders to exempt Marco Island from state property tax reform as proof.

On specific issues, Allen would stop the STRP if elected, even though his home is serviced by the existing sewer system. He said the $120 million STRP is unnecessary economically, invalid scientifically and has brought the city to the brink of bankruptcy. If elected, Allen would try to recover as much of the money as possible that has already been spent on the project.

The candidate said he would support another controversial issue, the Marco Island Waterways and Boating Safety Ordinance, if the courts validated the law. A boater challenged the ordinance by violating one of its regulations and was arrested by the Marco Island Police Department. The defendant’s attorney has filed motions in Collier County Circuit Court declaring the ordinance unconstitutional. A decision is expected later this year.

However, “if it fails to pass the test in court, I will not sponsor or support a new ordinance,” Allen said.

“Fellow citizens, with your support we can break the mold and finally bring democracy and good government of, by and for the people to Marco Island.”

•••

City Council candidates have Web sites

The first four candidates for City Council have Web sites for their campaigns.

Joe Batte’s site is www.votejoebatte.com.

Roger Hall’s site is www.voterogerhall.com.

Butch Neylon’s site is www.voteforbutch.com.

Kenneth Allen’s site is www.votekennethallen.com.

© 2007 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 28

bwalworth2#18551 writes:

Another unhappy new arrival who doesn't believe in representative democracy. Most of us who bought or build houses with septic tanks knew we would be required to pay for sewers. Those who were surprised didn't pay attention. To put off the inevitable means it will have to be paid for at a higher price by others at a time when it may be too late. Maybe passing the buck has become "The American Way".

EdFoster writes:

Obviously Seymour is a new resident if he knew about the STRP before he bought/built his house. And to say that Ken Allen "doesn't believe in representative democracy" is an insult not only to him but to all of us who know that that is PRECISELY what he believes in, devoted his life to in the military, and is why he is running for council. The Town Hall form of government practiced in New England is TRUE representative democracy. We sure don't have it on Marco!

Ed Foster

15yearsmarco writes:

That makes four candidates against the STRP now we need a couple candidates who will say they are for the STRP and then change their mind after they are elected.

barfieldfly writes:

Another awesome canidate!
Maybe I will stick around Marco for a while.
....sorry PATTON1(Tarik)

jwputnam writes:

An unbelievable dream sheet of candidates. I am thrilled beyond belief.

I know Ken Allen personally and he is an intelligent man....an honest man....a fair man. He will bring intellect to local politics.

I feel that the future looks good for Marco. These four candidates bring a level of experience in both government and private business that has heretofore been unheard of on Marco. All are very busy men and it is impressive that they would make this sacrafice in order to salvage Marco. Again, I am greatly encouraged.

John Putnam

exposed writes:

AND THEY'RE IN THE STRETCH!
HERE THEY COME, BATTE, HALL, NEYLON AND HERE COMES ALLEN ON THE OUTSIDE, THEY'RE ALL NECK AND NECK...AT THE WIRE THE WINNER IS.... the residents of Marco Island!
Ladies and gentleman we have the winning Superfecta ticket in our hands, lets get to the cashiers window and CASH IT IN!
No need for anymore horses in this race for they may only bump into and distract our winning foursome.
Wow maybe the winning ticket will get us back our 135 million bucks and a paradise to boot.

Oracle writes:

I am very encouraged that we now have four quality candidates running for the four available seats. This should silence all the Isslers and Beauforts that were clamoring under their various screen names that nobody would run for council if we held councilmen accountable for their actions.

Mr. Allen's background is exemplary but I am sure the rock throwers will start with their insults against Mr. Allen. They don't have any defensible issues so they have to resort to petty attacks against those that would change this sick government run by a bunch of petty despots that never amounted to anything. It is great to have men of accomplishment step forward. I predict a much better future for Marco. We will emerge from the dark ages.

barfieldfly writes:

Barfieldfly are you a gambling man? how'd ya do on the Preakness? I hit the Tri and the Exata.. so there.
Just to add my own analogy of these 4 excellent canidates.
I beleive the U.S. would never have been if the stars had not 'aligned' and gave us Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and Adams.
Sometimes the stars align is all I'm saying.

lowus writes:

Mr. Allen you round out to what amounts to be a dream team, Batte, Hall, Neylon and yourself.
Look forward to working with you and supporting you.
Lets gets our paradise back.

exposed writes:

tick..tick..tick, just waiting for the nasty, negative Patton1/Issler/conchsoup/joeynuts- comments any moment now.. they're a little late wouldn't you say?

jwputnam writes:

What ever happened to CM? I am so curious. Do they not have a slate? I am quite sure that they have lots of cake and ice cream left over from all of their scheduleds parties...oh and the band concert, or was it a rock concert? Can't remember. Did no one show or did they just cancel all of those promised events?

I don't count them out though. They will put the arm on the business community for lots of campaign cash, I assure you. The problem is that I don't know any one who would vote for a candidate that wants more of the same for Marco. Do any of you?

Should be interesting.

bbyrone46 writes:

Four hardworking intelligent citizens that care about our community. All stepping up to serve you and I. Imagine that? They each want to serve US! Fellow citizens of Marco Island, we are indeed fortunate. A retired Senior Federal Law Enforcement officer, A retired United States Air Force Colonel, a successful businessman and a successful contractor. Each of these men are proven LEADERS and have made solid commitments to return our City to an open and transparent government. They each promise to listen to us, to respect us and to acknowledge us. They say they can put this STRP mess right and not increase our taxes or burden us with high franchise fees. Granted, these are simply promises but two of these individuals Batte and Allen would never have succeeded in their long careers without exhibiting a high level of integrity. Mr. Hall would never have been as successful as he has been without being an honest broker and a straight shooter. Mr. Neylon and his firm would never have been successful unless he and his employees were proven reputable performers. What they all have in common is HONESTY. Their experience is vast and they are willing to share it and work for us. I'll take a chance on these four. If you want change, if you want true and honest representation and the return to an American style government, vote for Allen, Batte, Hall and Neylon. Byron Erickson

Oracle writes:

Well said Byrone. We all look forward to a brighter future for Marco Island and these are the men that can take us there.

ICU writes:

Looks like we're going to have some action.

Batte's been there before, came close first time out. Should have accepted campaign contributions. Noble gesture not to take any donations, but he didn't get elected. Looks like he learnt something from that experience, he's taking them now!! His videos look real, no faking there. It's just facts from Joe Batte, the former lawman, we'll see how things go for Bill and his boys after the books get looked at. Don't forget Arceri is in there somewhere.

Roger Hall seems to have been on the case forever. Sounds that way because he spent a bunch of his own money to try and heal Marco once before. Everybody's heard about Hall, he almost took out three suspect councilors in one quick move. Apparently he may still pull that one off, verdict is still out on appeal. What happens if the recall comes back in favor of Roger Hall, and the three nasties are adios sooner rather than later. Would be nice to clear the air, get rid of the smoke and mirrors, and leave the city manager standing there in his shorts.

Neylon sounds like he spent a lot of time in the library, studying the important stuff we found boring. That's probably why he got into the technical world and made some really dough, guess it's what happens in libraries, you learn things. Ever seen him at the podium telling them how it works, or in our case how it never worked, and why it will never work in the future. Wish they'd listened instead of, "Thank you, next speaker." He told them exactly how much crap you can put in a pipe, and how fast you can put it there, they didn't know, they never went to the library.

Kenneth Allen's spent a lot of time on committees. Ever read any of his letters to the editor? You get balance, you get the upside, and you get the downside. You get to see a veteran bring real perspective to a problem that's about to get solved. If you can take sixteen elected years of New Hampshire issues and stay as cool as Ken, then Marco is going to be gaining a real problem solver with credentials, and we all know how many problems there are.......

Stay tuned, don't leave, have faith...please vote!

7ate9 writes:

First Batte then Hall then Neylon and now Allen.
Man, that St. Anthony doesn't mess around.
What ever you guys need.

Pat Maguire

sailingalong writes:

Don't count Celebrate Marco out yet. The resorts and the chamber control the big money and campaigns are run on money.

Moss is smart enough to clean up his act going into the election and CM will prop up 4 viable candidates. There are millions of dollars to be lost if the next council follows the anti-development will of the voters. Craig Woodward and the good old boy network of influence peddling, Monte, Aceri, et al, aren't going to go away without a fight, they have too much at stake..

This will be big league dirty politics. Are you guys ready for it?

ed34145 writes:

Makes it sound like the Bush administration!

Susanna writes:

why don't we change the charter and elect a Mayor? I am fairly "new" resident, 4 years, but it always seemed odd to me that since we are a city and the city council approach has created a very divisive island, we might explore other forms of government. If someone could respond to this, I would greatly appreciate it. Pros/Cons are fine.

Chase100 writes:

I agree. Marco needs a Mayor. More political accountability. Although I've never met Mr. Allen, he sounds like a good addition to the to the Neylon, Batte, etc. team.

sailingalong writes:

A mayoral form of government may be a good option.
Moss effectively functions as a mayor without any accountability. That's why the POP's petition is so important.

The bottom line is that it is the quality of people that you have running the city that makes the difference. All forms of government are subject to abuse if the wrong people get the power.

We need a strong council that will represent the people instead of their own agendas. I have read the web sites of the candidates and I am encouraged that these people are qualified and accoumplished.

I think Roger Hall is right on track with his proposal that councilmen only serve two year terms. They all stand for election every two years. That way we can throw the bums out before they can do too much damage. Wouldn't it be great if Popoff would have to stand for reelection this time around? He would go down in flames! I voted for him and that was a big mistake. If we had elected Batte instead this would be an entirely different island.

jwputnam writes:

Sailingalong makes some very valid comments. The silence from the establishment is rather deafening at the moment.

If you are all as interested in seeing change as I believe that you are, I SUGGEST THAT YOU SEND COLD, HARD CASH TO YOUR FAVORITE CANDIDATES ASAP. I have already done so and I intend to continue. My wife and I will also carry signs, make phone calls, knock on doors and do whatever it takes.

We see this as the battle of our lives.

John and Ruth Putnam

Lolala writes:

Ken Allen sure sounds more qualified then any of our current sitting Council members. Reelected four times! People must have really liked him. Proof is in the pudding as they say. As a retired Air Force Colonel, he can be trusted. My son serves in the Air Force as a Light Colonel and from what he has told me, you do not make Colonel unless you have an outstanding record. His comments and opinion as regards our current government shows that he understands how governments should run. I believe Ken Allen is an outstanding candidate. A candidate that I can trust give my respect to and believe in. Ken Allen will have my support. Thank you Ken Allen for stepping up to serve my neighbors and I.

sailingalong writes:

Mega dittos on Lolala's posting. A full colonel is tough to come by and a sign of superior achievement. We are really lucky that he is willing to serve the citizens of Marco Island.

This guy is the real deal, he's got my vote.

EdFoster writes:

Am I wrong or are the only two sitting councilors who have served our country in the military Chuck Kiester and Ted Forcht? Interesting that they should be the ones who stand up for democracy.

Tucker, Minozzi, Trotter and Popoff ... shame on you!

Ed Foster

spongebob writes:

Ed Foster,
Your comments get more asinine each day. Remember,what goes around comes around.

Hawke1 writes:

spongebob: were you a draft dodger like Trotter, Tucker, Minozzi? As for Popoff, spoiled children rarely volunteer for military service. Nothing asinine about military service country.

processimprove writes:

One of the reasons the Lt. Gov. visited Marco, but not on the agenda, was to see the damage BM has done and continues to do until first quarter '08. And then no more BM.

ChuckKiester writes:

Just for the record. Councilor Tucker served onboard a nuclear submarine in the Navy.

Chuck Kiester

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