POLLS: City Council chairman, vice chairman elections Monday

Following election, sewer charges in Old Marco to be reviewed

File photo
Frank Recker, October 2007, said fostering better political compromise between the Marco Island's opposing groups, bringing more residents into an active role with city government, were his priorities. Recker is the current vice chairman and may be re-elected Monday, March 16, 2009.

Photo by LESLIE WILLIAMS HALE, Eagle staff

File photo Frank Recker, October 2007, said fostering better political compromise between the Marco Island's opposing groups, bringing more residents into an active role with city government, were his priorities. Recker is the current vice chairman and may be re-elected Monday, March 16, 2009.

File photo:
Bill Trotter, was the only incumbent councilor running in 2007. He said he wants to continue the progress accomplished during his previous four years on the council, particularly in better defining the goals of the city’s departments. Trotter is current Chairman and may be re-elected Chair Monday, March 16, 2009.

Photo by LESLIE WILLIAMS HALE, Eagle staff

File photo: Bill Trotter, was the only incumbent councilor running in 2007. He said he wants to continue the progress accomplished during his previous four years on the council, particularly in better defining the goals of the city’s departments. Trotter is current Chairman and may be re-elected Chair Monday, March 16, 2009.

Who do you think would make the best Marco City Council Vice Chairman?

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Who do you think would make the best Marco City Council Chairman?

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— No ballots will be cast or counted, but an election will be held Monday. The next City Council meeting marks the one year anniversary since the election of four new City Councilors, and as such, will lead to the election of the Council’s new chairman and vice chairman.

ELECTIONS

Current Chairman Bill Trotter will begin the chair, vice-chair elections by calling for nominations and seconds. While Trotter said he wouldn’t nominate himself, he “wouldn’t turn down the opportunity to serve another year as chairman.”

Trotter said the time investment necessary of chairman is significantly more than that needed by other councilors. “Between signing things, working on the agenda, it’s a commitment,” he added.

That’s why Frank Recker, the current vice chairman, has said he likely wouldn’t go for the chairman’s seat.

Instead, Recker said he believed Councilman Jerry Gibson, elected last year as a pro-sewer candidate, might be up for the job.

“It’s open to anyone,” Trotter said.

Once elected by their peers on the seven-member Council, the chair and vice will serve one year.

Monday’s regular City Council meeting, which begins at 5:30 p.m., is one of the lightest Council agendas in several months.

“Maybe we’ll actually get done early. Of course we’re starting early too with visits to the charter review committee at 2 p.m. and the Council workshop at 3 p.m.,” Trotter said.

Also on the agenda 5:30 p.m., Monday, is a report on the North Marco Utilities sewer service area, an contract for Marco Lake Drive sidewalk improvements and a request for code enforcement fine reduction.

North Marco Utilities and concern of double-billing for sewers.

Nancy Spender of Old Marco Lane questioned city officials at the March 2 council meeting about why property owners on her street were receiving sewer bills from North Marco Utility Company and from the City of Marco Island’s utility.

Spender had said she never did business with North Marco Utility Company in the past and believed receiving more than $12,000 in sewer assessments from the city, in addition to a $1,305 impact fee from the private firm, NMU, appeared to be “double taxation.”

Spender said she hadn’t received a letter NMU operator and Island attorney Craig Woodward said was sent to explain the sewer district and charges April 21, 2008. Spender said she obtained a copy of the letter in January 2009.

In the letter Woodward wrote: “All condominiums north of and including Pier 81, all commercial properties in Old Marco, are served by North Marco Utility Company, Inc. and have been for more than 40 years.”

Woodward said in an interview Tuesday that residential homes were added to the NMU service area because otherwise one side of the street would have to have duplicate sewer lines because the NMU’s service area and the city’s was separated on each side of Old Marco Lane.

“It would be a duplication, inefficient,” Woodward said.

“North Marco Utilities already had lift stations and other infrastructure in place in the area, and this availability of infrastructure reduced the cost for the system to the residents on Old Marco Lane. This ultimately resulted in a savings of $5,972 in STRP assessments for each property owner on Old Marco Lane because of this infrastructure already in place,” City Manager Steve Thompson wrote in a March 6 weekly report to Council on the issue.

The savings was calculated based on what other city sewer customers pay in the rest of the Old Marco sewer district, which was more than $19,000.

In addition to the $1,305 impact fee due to NMU, Spender said about $50 per month was back charged from NMU since May 2008 in a bill she received Feb. 12, 2009.

“It’s a lot of money for the people on this street in an economy like this where a lot of people are out of jobs,” Spender said in an interview Tuesday.

Craig Woodward said customers of North Marco Utilities, of which Woodward is the only employee, have been pleased with the company’s service in the past and he hopes to keep it that way.

“I think this has come down to a communication problem ... If people need time paying the past due, I’ve told them a payment plan would be fine in these economic times as long as they keep up with the monthly bills as they come in.”

He said there are eight property owners who currently have these monthly sewer and impact fees due.

Public Works Director Rony Joel will be reviewing the history of how Old Marco Lane residents became customers of NMU and the city.

Spender said she hopes to learn why former City Manager Bill Moss leased these residential properties to the utility company for $10 when the “city could potentially make millions off the new sewer customers.”

MARCO LAKE DRIVE SIDEWALK

City Council will consider an award of contract to Bonness, Inc., the low bidder, for the construction of Marco Lake Drive’s sidewalk. The project cost is not to exceed $157,270. Of that amount, $75,000 comes from a community development block grant.

SEAWALL CODE FINE REDUCTION

Code Enforcement Board imposed recorded a lien in June 2008 on 1260 Martinique Court after the property owner failed to obtain a permit to replace the failed seawall.

The property was then foreclosed upon by Countrywide in September 2008. Countrywide requested a reduction in the fine, which is now more than $80,000 based on a $250 per day charge.

The request and Code Enforcement Board recommendation is to reduce the fine to the amount accrued during Country Wide’s ownership, which would be about $46,000, as long as it is paid in full within 30 days and the seawall replaced within three months of obtaining a permit to replace the seawall.

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Comments » 14

August8 writes:

"Recker", you should go for it, you have proven to be a stand-up guy and could accomplish good things!!
Your ballsy position on difficult issues that the City has encountered have earned you that consideration. For many, your support of the Marco Officer and the Police Chief when they were under fire for the arrest of three renegades at the Marco Night Club.
You are the best choice and perhaps a good candidate fot the 1st Mayor of Marco??

Think about it!!!!

sailingalong writes:

Sorry Frank. You ran for office. You were elected. You owe it to the voters to give them your best effort. That would be Council Chair.

After the way Gibson botched the chairmanship of the LCEC committee, it would be a great disservice to the 8,000 people that voted for you to allow him to take this post. If you didn't want to give Marco Island your full commitment you shouldn't have run for office. This isn't a game! The future of Marco Island is at stake. The voters of Marco Island voted to put their trust in you. You owe them!

happy6 writes:

mr. recker...don't chicken out...trotter is a joke...gibson is beyond a joke...you seem to have a semblance of sanity and reason...and God help us if walduck somehow is chairman, he's still reading "see spot run" and the bartenders bible.

Fossil writes:

Personaly, I think the member that best reflects the intelligence, independent thinking and rational thought of the Council as a whole should be selected. Only one member best imbodies those limited qualities. Councilman Waldack for Marco Island Premier. Councilman Waldack reminds me of a loving faithful bulldog. Grunting occassionaly, long tongue hanging out, waiting for his master to call upon him. Perhaps bartender Gibson would be a good choice. Alcolyte Gibson certainly thinks he is bright enough for the job and he still hasn't gotten his dog park. Do not ignore incumbent Trotter. He is very comfortable misdirecting those who question the Council. He always knows in advance how a vote is going to go. Trotter, like the RCA mascot, has proven he too, is forever loyal to his master. After all, as high priest, he presided over some of the biggest spending sprees our city has ever experienced. When King John left the Council, he picked up the mantle and continued the good fight to complete the STRP. If increased assessments and higher fees are in our future, Trotter is the man. He loves dipping into our pockets, is a master at finding new revenue souces and is the only member capable of controlling the coming forensic audit. Choir boy Popoff's cognitive skills are limited and he changes his mind too often to be trusted. Experience has shown that he cannot be depended upon and sometimes shows the hint of a conscience (may be his mother's influence). As for Keister and Forcht, one is befuddled and the other only wants to be loved. As long as you don't choose troublemaker Recker, it doesn't really matter who becomes Premier. Ultimately it will be King John who decides, because only he knows what's good for us. The position is important as it controls the agenda and City priorities. If somehow Recker is chosen, look out! It could signify real change.

lauralbi1 writes:

Fossill: Tell us all how it feels to be a voice of so few and to continue to express views that do not resonate with the majority of your fellow voters and citizens. I certainly hope is does not stop you from enjoying each and every day on the beautiful Island. I think you and Sayre Uhler should get together and spend you entire days writing blogs to see who can be more verbose and meaningless. It would be a close contest as to who would win.
Ed Issler

playballonK writes:

I like IKE!..scuse me, Recker!

August8 writes:

"Oh No", not lauralbi1 and Fossil going at it again, wasteing all the ink in their computers to bore the rest of us?????????????????????????

lauralbi1 writes:

August8: Please re-read the blog by Fossill and then tell us all who is wasting ink and computer time. But is is obvious that Fossill has all kinds of time to waste.

happy6 writes:

ED...YOU ARE A WASTE...NOT JUST INK...

Semper_Fidelis writes:

The meetings have not been run well. Forget politics all together and look at who will run the meetings effciently. My vote goes to either Popoff, Forcht or Gibson. They will not tolerate BS from the dias or the public. Popoff & Forcht have been there the longest, Gibson is still wet behind the ears and didn't run the LCEL takeover meetings well at all. These meetings are a joke and need to be run with a heavy gavel. Give the people and the council a chance for input and move these meetings along!

Fossil writes:

August8: There is no ink on or in my computer. Never was. Are you referring to a typewriter? Do as Issler says, read my post again and again. Inprint what I write on your brain. Issler and I are working together to expose you to two points of view. If you are bored it's because our conversations will do that, to those who keep their heads in the sand.

happy6 writes:

hey semper...what about poor wayne? the member of village idiots...issler, lazarus and walduck.

August8 writes:

"No Fossil",!!!!!!

Chill- out please, you do good things, say good things, have sound in-put,!!! But?? instead of writing a novel and having lengthy debates with others here, I recommend expressing short cogent thoughts that "could" get the attention of those that read much of this non-sense and just perhaps, something could come out of it??

We all know your a good Marco Citizen!!!

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