Pro-sewer candidates win Marco City Council election

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The flow of Marco voters to polls was a slow trickle Tuesday afternoon after heavy early voting.

The flow of Marco voters to polls was a slow trickle Tuesday afternoon after heavy early voting. Watch »

The first cork popped at 8:15 p.m. at the party for the four pro-sewer City Council candidates on Marco Island.

Supporter Pat Neale came out to the crowd at the Shoppes of Olde Marco and shouted, "We are done and we have won!" once over 90 percent of the vote totals in Collier County were counted.

Those results, which turned out to be the final numbers, ended a surprisingly early night and gave a landslide victory and record turnout for the four candidates -- incumbent Bill Trotter, Jerry Gibson, Frank Recker and Wayne Waldack -- who have vowed to continue the seven-year program that will replace all remaining island septic tanks with sewers.

All four pro-sewer candidates cleared 14.7 percent of the vote with the anti-sewer candidates all hovering around 10 percent. The results make the council balance 5-2 in favor of sewers.

Recker, a lawyer and a dentist, led the way with 5,341 votes, followed by Trotter with 5,164, Gibson with 5,055 and Waldack with 4,998. The closest anti-sewer candidate, Joe Batte, had 3,606 votes.

"I think the people of Marco Island have spoken that we need to bring this whole island back together and bring a positive future for Marco," Trotter said.

The total number of votes cast in the election were 34,000, according to the Collier County Supervisor of Elections, for 12,361 registered voters. The elections office did not immediately release the number of individual voters on Marco, but each voter was allowed to select four council candidates. At its maximum, turnout could have approached 69 percent of island voters, numbers only rivaled in the city's history by its incorporation vote and first council election 10 years ago.

By contrast, the leading vote getter in the 2006 election, Councilman Ted Forcht, won with 2,976 votes. This year's lowest-ranking candidate, Andrew Guidry, had 3,215 votes.

"It was beyond any reasonable expectation I had," Recker said. "I had a gut feeling the silent majority had to be shaken awake."

The results show a resounding victory for the city's more than $100 million sewer program and defeat for those who had campaigned nearly non-stop since 2006 to stop it.

At the election party for the anti-sewer candidates -- Batte, Guidry, Roger Hall and Butch Neylon -- the gathering at Konrad's Restaurant was defined by strained smiles and dotted with tension. The four candidates ran a campaign promising change, looking for a mandate from voters who they said had not been consulted on some of the island's largest construction projects.

"I'm happy because the citizens of Marco Island have been heard," Guidry said. "They want a resort community and they will get it. The developers have won."

Hall, sipping on a martini with his wife, Linda, echoed Guidry's sentiments.

"We had a message that we wanted to protect and preserve the retirement resident community ambiance that the Mackle brothers envisioned," Hall said. "We feel that we offered that option to the voters. They made their choice. This will become now a destination resort."

Hall is vowing to remove himself from the political spotlight following the results. Hall had been a regular fixture at council meetings but said he and his wife are eager to take a trip on their boat to the Bahamas.

But Neylon promised to stay active politically.

"I'll get louder," he said.

Jubilation filled the air as soon as 7:30 p.m. at the pro-sewer party when early voting numbers came in and showed the four candidates with a huge lead in a campaign marked by divisiveness more than anything else.

Tom Owens, 85, a 21-year full time resident on the island, attended the pro-sewer party and called this election his "fifth war" -- the first two were World War II and the Korean War and the other two were Marco's cityhood and fight for its own police department.

Four current councilmembers -- outgoing councilors Mike Minozzi and Glenn Tucker and sitting councilors Rob Popoff and Forcht -- came out to support Gibson, Recker, Trotter and Waldack.

"It's so much easier to leave the city now with these four people coming in," Minozzi said to the cheering crowd.

Forcht made a surprise appearance at the party considering he is one of two anti-sewer councilors already on the board.

"I don't think disagreeing with somebody on one issue makes you a mortal enemy," Forcht said. "These are just my friends as much as the other people are my friends."

Waldack and Gibson also said they're hopeful the divisiveness on the island will end after the election's results.

"Healing is next," Gibson said. "Healing the image, healing the island and making sure people are heard."

© 2008 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 77

extra234 (Inactive) writes:

Hooray! Say goodbye to the "Old Guard"!

Marco Island is changing for the BETTER!

happy6 writes:

congratulations to the winners...sorry for the island...we will become something many of us did not come here for...but it's the Ameican way...vote and live the consequences...keep sanding those lamp posts jose'....keep digging the holes and paving the streets..over and over...BUT...let's still do the audit and bring billy moss back to testify.

happyonmarco writes:

Hear Hear!!!! Now listen, listen.....

MarcoAvenger writes:

Someone please explain to Hall that the Mackle brothers never intended for this to be a retirment community. Do they just make this stuff up? Hall now that you have lost please take the time to read the Last Paradise. It is a great book. You will also learn that the island was developed for middle class people. Maybe if you guys spent more time understanding Marco instead of driving around in your trucks with signs in the back you would have a clue as to what is going on here.

patton1 writes:

van: you just can not help yourself can you? you are a big loser. So you think it is Jose who grinds the light poles? What if it is Tom? You were fooled by Foster, Hall, Neylon, Sanchez and Davies. We were not. We won, you lost. Time to clean up the Island and make sure this never happens again.

Ed Foster: Sorry old man. The voting machines were rigged, voters were bribed and as a result, the smart people won.

trotwaldreckgibs writes:

Congrats to the real men of Marco!
Good to see that Forcht was on the 'real' side after all.
losers go home(far from Marco)

leeleelola writes:

MARCOAVENGER GEE IT EVENS SOUNDS RAT LIKE.PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE EXACTLY WHY MARCO ISLAND HAS CHANGED SO MUCH.I CAME HER AS A YOUNG ADULT FROM NAPLES. I LOVED THE BEACHES THE GREAT PATHS THAT WERE JUST OFF COLLIER.PEOPLE WERE GENUINE AND FUN LOVING.WE HAD CAMP FIRES ON THE BEACH, WE DID NOT NEED FANCY BEACHES WE LOVED THE GULF. BUT MOSTLY WE LOVED OUR PARADISE. YOU WOULD NOT KNOW THIS,OR LIVED HER THEN.THE FEW OF US WHO ARE LEFT ARE NOT HAPPY WITH WHAT PEOPLE LIKE YOU HAVE DONE TO OUR HOME LAND MARCO ISLAND.YES IT IS PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO COME DOWN HERE MOSTLY FROM THE NORTH OR WEST OR EAST AND TELL US HOW TO RUN OUR ISLAND.NOW YES PEOPLE LIKE YOU HAVE RUINED THE PARADISE. OLD TIMERS IT IS TIME FOR US TO TELL IT LIKE IT IS. SPEAK OUT NOW

trotwaldreckgibs writes:

Nice campaign losers!
You think driving a few truck around the island would get you elected?!?
I'll be laughing about this one for a year or two. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
The people have spoken, now go away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ejburger writes:

Point of clarification:

The Mackle brothers NEVER wanted Marco Island to be a retirement community. Marco Island is a residential/resort community which is precisely what the Mackle’s envisioned and planned for. They donated land for schools and parks (we have over 2200 school age children on the Island). This is not, nor was it ever intended to be a Sun City.

The citizens of Marco Island are just plain tired of all of the misinformation, lies, selfish agendas and disrespectful behavior. The facts won over the rhetoric. Our council did listen to the public even under heavy fire from a small vocal minority. Our city councilors were brave and stood steadfast while under constant attack! These election results prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that our city council has bravely served us well!

God Bless Marco Island!

Enough said, let's move forward!

leeleelola writes:

TO TROTWALDRECKGIBS-- YOU PEOPLE ARE ACTING LIKE LITTLE BOYS INSTEAD OF OUR FUTURE LEADERS YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. GROW UP AND INSTEAD OF LAUGHING AND MAKING RUDE COMMENTS (IWILL BE LAUGHING FOR A YEAR OR TWO) WE ALL KNOW REAL MEN DRIVE PICK-UP TRUCKS.

27_Year_Resident writes:

How to lose a political campaign:

1.) Drive around with a bunch of signs in trucks.

2.) Support one candidate that has lived here for three months and lies repeatedly.

3.) Support another candidate who has lived here for two years part-time and started a failed recall effort against well respected councilors.

4.) Support a Dr. with a less than exemplary reputation and a checkered past.

5.) Support an arrogant condo commando.

6.) Attack good honest city councilors at every chance whenever you disagree with them.

7.) Threaten good honest family men and their families when they disagree with you

8.) Do damage to sitting councilors boats, cars and homes if they disagree with you.

9.) Threaten and bully anyone who disagrees with you.

10.) Repeat

This outstanding political team consisted of a couple snowbirds, failed investors and a few die-hard city haters.

Funny, despite all of the evil efforts, the only casualty was Bill Moss and he got a better job. You failed! Has it hit you yet???? You failed!

Leroy writes:

Can't wait until they drive around in their trucks to take down all those s----- yellow signs they littered the island with...good riddance.

jhirsch writes:

Congratulations Pro Sewer Voters. You just voted in at least 5 more years of Construction, Disruption and Lower Housing Values. As I am and I’m sure some of you are, getting up in years, we may never see the end of it. You’ll never know what the four guys you voted against could have done for this island. What a shame – What a mistake! Yes the Silent Uninformed Majority has spoken! So Congratulations again!

Hawke1 writes:

Looks like Gibson has his work cut out for him. The majority of his supporters do not appear to be "positive" about winning. Seems being hateful is too much fun. Leroy, 27year, trotw, patton and avenger I guess you didn't hear Totter when he said we must work to bring this island back together again. Which group is being the most hateful in the posts above? Winning is the easy part, now you must live what you promoted and that looks like it will take a real change of personality.

multi_million_heir writes:

please see my post on naples site. i dont have time to rewrite it.

patton1 writes:

hawke1: I guess you still did not understand what happened last night. I have little hope that you ever will. A vast majority of Marco Islanders REJECTED the hate slate. It is over. Your side lost. Get over it. Try to live around positive people who love this Island and who want to make it better. Progress can not be stopped. Politics of hate, doom and gloom never works. Learn to have trust in your fellow citizens.
I woke up to a brilliant Marco Island day, feeling great and can not wait to get to work. A beautiful Marco Island day without a bunch of signs littering both sides of the road; without the ugly sight of pick-up trucks carrying ugly signs greeting visitors at the bottom of the bridge. What a relief!

Soloman writes:

It's a great day for Marco Island!The negativity has been stopped once and for all.

jchamberland writes:

Congatulations to the new Councilors elect, Gibson, Recker, Trotter and Waldack. Also, congratulatins to Councilors Minozzi, Popoff and Tucker for all they have endured. They DID listen to the people and were brave enough to do the right thing. It was a long difficult campaign and a strategy of truth and facts paid-off.

Also congratulations to the four opponents for participating in their community. The political process is a challenging one but the voters have spoken and it's time to heal and move forward.

CelebrateMarco writes:

With a new positive council taking office and having to face a judge about Sunshine violations I sure wouldn't want to be Kiester right now. Do I smell a recall?

Can't count the number of times Kiester wanted to stop progress because his buddy's were going be voted into office. A little too sure of himself I'd say. Good for the councilors that stuck to their guns and stayed the course; that took real leadership!

captbrien writes:

CONGRATS!! NO MORE TRUCK RODEO.. NOW WE CAN TAKE THAT CARES CRAP AND FLUSH IT RIGHT DOWN THE TOILET:) RESORT COMMUNITY AND DESTINATION ISLAND...LET'S MAKE 2008 GREAT STARTING WITH OUR NEW COUNCIL ELECTS. THE PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY LIVE HERE ARE THE ONES WHO REALLY CARE AND WE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!

Flowerpower writes:

Hip Hip Hooray!!!! Just took my kids to school and read the paper....yea! Now us parents can take our children to the council meetings.

lutherdog writes:

Too Bad Boss Moss jumped ship so early. We really could have used his expertise to heal the island. Yea to "Tonka" Joel. Bring on the orange cones! Maybe now we can at least get a "bark park."

Montel writes:

Still waiting for words of wisdom from the self proclaimed guru of everything. Where is our septic king Ed Foster. Oh, right, he moved off of the island. If this doesn't shut him up nothing will. How many times must a group of people lose before they realize they are just an obnoxious vocal minority?

PetePan writes:

Hawke1, It is the negative attitudes such as those you have just displayed that will continue to divide this island. Get over it, the election is over and your candidates lost. The voters have loudly spoken. congratulations to all that made this happen.

Leroy writes:

Byrone, the people have had it with you. Take your bbyrone46 and Hawke1 and any other alias' and stay the hell out of our way. Better yet, move to Sun City. Your friends Putnam (strike3), and Davies (lowus, votemarco, barfieldfly and all of his alias') are smart, follow their lead and bury your head in the sand. Better yet, go pound sand!

marcoobserver writes:

It is interesting that those that proclaim that they want to heal the island are still full of hate in victory.

Leroy writes:

No hate marcoobserver (another Davies alias), just relief and a lot of love for this island and it's many dedicated involved citizens.

This city has had to put up with so much BS and hate from a few loud mouths that we are just relieved. The truth does pay while for some, it hurts.

MarcoAvenger writes:

leeleelola

I am actually a second generation Floridian. However, I did take the time to educate myself and I also have the ability to think for myself. Your post just makes you look ignorant.

Have a good day.

heebeed writes:

The sign on the bridge should now read: "Welcome to Marcomiami". Get ready everyone, for cement cement cement, building up up and up and no more green. Marco could have had character, now it is on it's way to become the next Miami. Progress you say. Whatever.

Semper_Fidelis writes:

BIG QUESTION:

What's going to happen with all of the leftover 2 x 4's that they used for the signs?

They could donate the wood to the YMCA, the Charter School or the Historical Society.

Semper_Fidelis writes:

heebeed, complete nonsense, stop it! Trotter is one of the staunchest supporters in controlling density. Act like an adult and take your whooping with some dignity. Stop all of these lies!

lauralbi1 writes:

The PEOPLE have voted and we all have won. We voted for change and we got it and a positive one at that. I do not like the Headline of this article, because we were always going to have sewers, no matter who won. Anyone who voted for the losing side needs to look at the words and actions of FDEP and SFWMD. FDEP has been doing testing off of our waters for months now and has all that they needed to mandate sewers, if they had needed to. It was never about whether we were going to have sewers or not. That is irrespective of what Mr. Neylon or Mr. Foster say in response as they have been wrong on EVERY issue they have pushed. They have lost every complaint and Court battle. So, please, let's all work together to make our Island an even better place to live and contribute to the Political process with our new Council.
Ed Issler

fairandbalanced writes:

Congratulations Marco Islanders! And GREAT synopsis, 27 year resident! Our Councilors have been listening to the residents all along, despite what the mean-spirited vocal minority represented. It's a glorious morning, waking up and knowing that the Island has NOT been hijacked by a group of carpetbaggers, and will be lead by positive individuals who have already shown proven their positive contributions to our community.

lauralbi1 writes:

Congratulations Marco Island: The results are a mandate. But more importantly, we had a RECORD SETTING turnout. We all need to realize that almost 80% of Marco Island registered voters voted in this election. That is something we can all be proud of. That is a State of Florida record for turnout. The results speak for themselves.
Please, let's keep this involvement going and have as many of us as possible get involved in the process !!!

Eagleeye writes:

I've owned on Marco Island since 1986, when I was 26, and I've always been worried that the curmudgeonly naysayers would ruin the island for those of us who plan to be here for another 20, 30, or 40 years. Hall & Co. should give up, pack up, and leave.

Sailor writes:

Neylon wants to get louder? Shut up already! Didn't you get the message? How dense can you be?

shenry4 writes:

kudos to sailor's comment. I applaude the winners for a fine campaign. I am going to refer to the anti-sewer groups previous statements "let the island vote" you retired peole that have nothing better to do with your time but disrupt council meetings,mail and e-mail out negative and disruptive letters and comments have now LOST!!!!! The rest of us that actually have productive work and family lives have no time to participate in such ANTICS, however.....WE DO VOTE, NOW HEAR OUR VOTE, AND GO AWAY. it is a free country if you don't like it here......MOVE!!!!!

Neutral writes:

The only short term winners in this election are condo owners and hotels. Sewer charges are based on gallons of water used. Anyone with a lawn to irrigate is paying far more per unit of discharge than their fair share. Sewering the remainder of island will only amplify this inequity.

The soon to be sewered should not sweat the $20k. This should be more than offset by an increase in your property value once you are no longer stuck in e sewer limbo. The opposite is true for currently sewered properties. They lose. Simple supply and demand. There will be nothing special about sewered properties anymore.

Now that the island will be 100% sewered my hope is that single family homeowners will unite. Given the dire financial condition of the City, the coming month's and years will be a frenzy of attempts to break or get around the cap and the water utilities will be a tool to fleece us. Single family homeowners must unite to reverse our sharecropper status and prevent further unfair treatment.

Sailor writes:

Neutral sounds a lot like the garbage that Hall has been spewwing. The statements are 100% incorrect. How many times do you need to be told, it takes five homes waste to create enough reuse for one home, thus, the more homes on sewer the more reuse water!

As to the financial situation of the city, another myth from Hall; the city is in excellent financial shape. Enough of your misinformation.

You said "let the voters speak.!" Well they spoke loud and clear why aren't you listening?

Neutral writes:

Sailor either you can't read and/or own a condo. I wrote nothing about reuse water. That is another issue altogether. The point is that single family homes pay sewer charges for irrigation water that does not go in the sewers. This results in a disproportionate share of the cost falling on them. I am sure you know this and are most likely a beneficiary of this travisty. Reuse water only adds insult to injury, another benefit for the portion of the population not pulling their weight.
It obviously bothers you that I advocate a polical alignment of single family homeowners to offset the influence of the condo association and the hotels. Frankly, I'm impressed with how successful their lobby has been. This election if nothing else will remove a point of division for those who own a majority of the land on this island, the single family homeowners.

As to the financial health of the city. The frantic attempts to bust or circumnavigate the cap speak for themselves.

Sailor writes:

Neutral, you obviously aren't listening to the voters because you don't like what you're hearing. That's the thing about these people like you; you attack our council because you don't like they way they vote. Well, the fact is that over 60% of the voters on this island like the way our city council votes.

The real leaders in our community are the councilors that had enough courage to vote for the STRP all along. They did so and got abused at every meeting by the same childish speakers, you included Roger Hall. As you know, the single family home owner has a decrease in rates due to the reuse water the city sells to the condos. You are so full of misinformation it must be seeping out of your septic system!

Seems to me that Tucker, Trotter, Popoff and Minozzi have been vindicated. Good job councilors!!

MarcoAvenger writes:

Neutral - How many people staying in the Hotels do you think voted yesterday? I do not really see how the Hotels can influence the vote.

Geezer writes:

Well said Sailor. I agree that our city council has taken a lot of punishment for doing the right thing. Forcht, Kiester and Diculllo did what ever made the angry mob happy while the other councilors votes showed real leadership.

Neutral writes:

There you go again Sailor. I said nothing about the council. I am not talking about the STRP and I am not Roger Hall. You are obvously trying to put words in my mouth as a distraction from the specific point I am making about sewer rates.

Your refusal to grasp my point is a sign of low intellect or evasion. Either way your not worthy of further debate.

To those of you who live in single family homes. When you get your sewer bill notice that the amount you are charged for SEWER service (not water charges) is a function of how many gallons of water you use even though 60% of that water goes on your lawn while condo owners who flush their toilets as often you do pay much less per flush because they don't have lawns to water. The solution is to meter the outgoing sewage or adjust rates to offset the difference.

Soloman writes:

Hey Neuter, give it a break; the campaign is over.

GIBSON, RECKER, TROTTER & WALDACK are victorious but the entire city won.

Neutral writes:

Avenger: No argument on that. I'm not suggesting the hotel guests had anything to do with anything. The condo association did but that is their purpose to look out for their members interests. I assure you the hotels and condos have strong lobbys and are active on the structure of utility rates. I am advocating a similar lobby for the single family home owners on the island.

phlentyn_gordderch writes:

Very telling that there have been no congratulatory messages or statements from the anti-sewer candidates or their supporters to the new councilors. I guess expecting any class from classless individuals was too much to expect.

MarcoAvenger writes:

Neutral

I have owned a house and I presently own a condo. As far as I know we are not on reuse water. I do know that our condo association does budget a great deal for water. I also did not see the great decrease in my water bill when I moved into the condo. I guess it has to do with the base charge. There probably does need to be a way to distribute the reuse water so everyone can benefit.

Neutral writes:

Avenger: Thank you for keeping it civil. I am not refering to water usage charges. I realize that reuse water is a complicated issue and that there is no way it can be extended to every house. I own a house that is already on sewer and I am charged for sewer usage based on the amount of water I use even though most of it does not go in the sewer. We pay for the water on the way in we should only have to pay on the way out for what actually goes in the sewer.

Hawke1 writes:

Neutral, don't waste your time. You are arguing with one fellow here. He uses several names but it's the same guy.

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