MARCO ISLAND — Marco Island Taxpayers’ Association is hosting a forum with Marco City Council’s four 2010 candidates at 7 p.m. Friday at Mackle Park on Andalusia Terrace.
“This is going to be great for the Island. It’s unique. Everybody will be in small circles and can get face-to-face with the candidates to ask any question they want to. They won’t be standing behind a podium,” said MITA President Fay Biles.
The candidates are: Joe Batte, vying for a seat for the third time, with a focus on fiscal oversight and bringing the community together to continue seeking county and outside participation in Island endeavors; incumbent Ted Forcht, known for keeping his promise to oppose the septic tank replacement program, voting “no” on most expenditures and who is now focused on density, among other issues; incumbent Chuck Kiester, also known for opposing the STRP and who is now focused on financial foresight and planning; Larry Magel, who serves on several city and county boards and supports in-depth financial analysis prior to making policy decisions.
Ballots will be mailed out to voters the first week in January and polls will not be open. Ballots must be received by the Supervisor of Elections no later than 7 p.m. on Jan. 26.
Voters will also vote whether to approve seven proposed changes to Marco’s City Charter.
In their December newsletter to members, MITA strongly encouraged voting “no” on three of the amendments. Biles suggests the spending cap should not be amended; the City Manager should be held to a more stringent rule than the proposal that he must notify council of budget deviations of $250,000. Also, Biles and the MITA board advised voters that City Council raises to include a cost of living adjustment every year, plus make up for a lack of COLA increases since city inception should not be approved at this time.