Marco City Council elects new Marco chairman, Rob Popoff

Encumbant Frank Recker kept vice chairman, council selections mirror readers’ picks



— Candidates who win the popular votes don’t always win the election, but on Marco Island, the popular candidates seem to have won.

Councilman Rob Popoff was unanimously elected chairman of the council by his peers at the Monday evening meeting. The election mirrored the results of the poll, which granted, is not scientific. None the less, on line readers voted most for Popoff, as the man they believed would make the best chairman.

Popoff received 100 percent of the council votes Monday and 41 percent of the online votes, which began Friday.

“It’s a real honor to have seven of my fellow councilors put faith in me,” he said.

One of his greatest priorities is to listen to the public, he added.

“We’re going to open up the lines of communication so people really feel they’re being heard. We’re going to work on that,” Popoff said in an interview after the election.

He plans to look into the possibility of adding public comment earlier in meetings, so people don’t have to wait until the end. He also said he will consider an extension of the four-minute time limit placed on each public speaker. However, keeping meeting length reasonable is also a consideration, Popoff said.

Meetings are being set up between Popoff, City Manager Steve Thompson and City Attorney Alan Gabriel.

“I want to find out the best qualities about some of the good chairs we’ve had,” Popoff said of the intent of that meeting.

Another plan, which Popoff said “may seem minor” but is important to him, is to acknowledge Islanders who contribute in unique ways to Marco Island by giving them the honor to lead the Pledge of Allegiance at Council meetings.

“It may be students, people like Fay Biles, who attend every meeting, or someone who has served in the military,” Popoff said.

Above all else, “honor, dignity and decorum in the council chambers” are the new Chairman’s priorities, he said.

Former Chairman Bill Trotter echoed the sentiments of the other councilors when he said the group works as a “great team and everyone supports each other.”

Popoff said he hopes to emulate Trotter’s “unflappable” steady voice even during discussion of heated topics.

Vice Chairman Frank Recker was re-elected for another year, unanimously by his peers. Readers at also seemed to support the re-election. Councilman Chuck Kiester was also a popular choice for vice chair in the online poll.

“I’m honored that (councilors) were pleased with my performance this last year,” Recker said of his re-election as vice chair.

He added that the “camaraderie on the dais” is great.

“I think with the chemistry we have, we’ll have an even better year next year. As we should, we have a lot of serious business to deal with,” Recker said.

While the septic tank replacement system was among the most controversial issues, which seems to have been relatively accepted now after several years of community disagreement, other issues such as a city operated electric utility and city finances are among the “business” issues yet to be completely settled.

Recker received 22 percent of the online votes for both the chairman’s seat and the vice chair’s seat. Here are the remainder of the online poll results to the question “Who do you think would make the best Marco City Council Chairman?”

Keep the (2008) Chairman Bill Trotter 5 percent; 2008 Vice Chairman Frank Recker 22 percent; Councilman Rob Popoff 41 percent; Councilman Wayne Waldack 4 percent; Councilman Ted Forcht 13 percent; Councilman Chuck Kiester 10 percent and Councilman Jerry Gibson 2 percent. There were 89 total votes in the poll for chairman.

There were 45 votes cast for vice chairman in the non-scientific online poll. The results were: 2008 Chairman Bill Trotter 8 percent; Keep the current Vice Chairman Frank Recker 22 percent; Councilman Rob Popoff 24 percent; Councilman Wayne Waldack 2 percent; Councilman Ted Forcht 15 percent; Councilman Chuck Kiester 24 percent and Councilman Jerry Gibson 2 percent.

© 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 18

August8 writes:

"Let's See"

Seems like a good choice, Recker would have been very good also. A yonger person is a switch so perhaps he can get this city moving in a sound direction with a little less bitterness and the rest!!
Good luck to him on his post!!!!!!!!!!!!

happy6 writes:

walduck and 6%....hooray for the long mr and mrs trotter...good ridance.

TAO writes:

Congratulations Rob, you deserve this and I am certain you will do a great job. By the unanimous decision to elect you chairman the council has proven that they are an independent council and will not be influenced by the usual power brokers. I believe this is a new day for Marco politics; with your compassion and sincere desire to do well along with the current council being self-directed Marcoites ahould be pleasantly surprised. Congrats again!

liberator100 writes:

Shadow: You are the biggest loser of all. Get a life!

Fossil writes:

Now if he will only take a position and stick to it. My advice to Mr. Popoff is to always listen to your mother and stay away from King John.

Semper_Fidelis writes:

Fossil, what in the world are you talking about? Rob has always been strong in his convictions, he try's to please both sides-and that is his only fault. He has been a lighting rod for three years for being the swing vote on the STRP and not wavering, even under a lot of pressure. I think you will be surprised at how efficiently he will run the meetings. I served on the MICMS board with him when he was chair of that board and he ran the meetings professionally.

I know his Mother and agree with you on that note; he should listen to her, she is a fine lady.

happy6 writes:

liberator...apparently the truth hurts. walduck?you must be kidding. and trotter w/spouse? come on.

playballonK writes:

online ballot was stuffed by 2 guys w/ 12 or 13 aliases, very scientific Eagle.

Fossil writes:

Councilman Popoff owes his seat to false campaign promises. Many of us who voted for him did so because he stated one position and then changed it. Many voters confronted him directly and asked him why he lied to them. He responded with some unbelievable spin. We will not forget. From what he has said at past meetings, I expect him to run the meetings with a very heavy hand. I wonder how long it will be before he becomes the first Chair to order the attending police officer to remove a citizen from chambers.

27_Year_Resident writes:

Fossil, seriously, I doubt that you voted for Popoff! For once the council appears to be united and the public seems to be somewhat at ease, I know I am. The city has involved its citizens in a forensic audit, a charter review and other transparent endeavors’ to do government in the open.

Fossil, I am sure you are a nice person but your blogs are always negative and condescending. You are anti-government which is your prerogative but you may get further and be taken more serious if you stop being so darn downbeat. Whatever your opinion of Rob is irrelative because he is very well known and popular in the community and obviously among his fellow councilors. I think he will do a great job. Congratulations again Rob!!

Fossil writes:

Anti-government? Hardly. I beleive in open transparent, honest representative government. I believe that elected officials should be attentative to their constituents and open in all their dealings with fellow elected officials. I believe that elected officials should be held responsible for their votes. I am not negative, I just comment on those who cannot make the mark.

BillSarris writes:

Fossil, it's clear you don't make the mark. You just sit behind your computer and anonymously state your unconstructive opinions. Fossil, how about a post congratulating the new chairman of the Marco Island city council, give it a try, it may make you feel warm all over!

Best of luck to you Rob, you deserve this honor and at least have the courage to serve our community even in the midst of so much adversity. You know something Fossil, I don’t agree with every councilor up there, I have been disappointed by many elected officials over the years but I respect them for their service and the guts it must take to put up with so much misinformation, rumors and negativity.

sailingalong writes:

Many of us hope and believe that Rob will provide the leadership necessary in order to take the city back from Thompson and put it in the hands of the citizens. Mrs. Trotter certainly wasn't up to the task. Good luck Rob. We are counting on you.

liberator100 writes:

shadow: what are you talking about?
fossil: If Rob needs to have some liars like you removed from the meetings; he certainly would not need the police. He will personally remove you. Get a life!

Fossil writes:

liberator100: What lie are you referring to? Mr. Popoff made several statements during his campaign that can be verified by the public record. If the event you refer to ever occurs, your "hero" and all he owns belongs to me. I look forward to it.

BillSarris writes:

Fossil, I disagree with your statement that Rob lied. Even if you feel he lied, is this the first polictican in history who hasn't kept campaign promises? Rob has proven to be a true leader and an honest councilman with good intentions while you complain about everything. Fossil, have you ever done anything constructive for Marco Island? Please tell us of your contributions to this community. Instead you will just continue with misinformation and lies.What happened to a compliment fossil, are you incapable of a positive remark?

Fossil writes:

BillSarris: You make your bed, you sleep in it. Your assessment that we shouldn't expect politicians to keep campaign promises, validates the lie. Unlike you, I do not compliment people who advance themselves via dishonesty, deceit or guile. Honest Councilman is not how I would describe Mr. Popoff. His statements during the campaign, are a matter of record. As for his intentions, they would be better acheived if he based them on what he knows and not what the good ole boys tell him. But then he is a politician and we should expect him to be influenced by those who plot in the back rooms, right?

Leroy writes:

Fossil, aka, Byrone Erickson, you are such a liar. Rob was pro-sewer his whole campaign and you just can't stand that he is so well liked in this community! People like you can't stand that he won and you lost...get a life. You don't even live on Marco so why do you care. You left with the rest of the Aholes and this community is happy you're gone.

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