Guest Commentary: An open letter to Bill McMullan

Regarding Don Q: Don Q is a fictional character of old and one who is considered as a farcical character. The Don Q that I wrote about is a conglomeration that is representative of some of the actions we see here on Marco.

I find that some people have found it acceptable behavior to attack city staff, volunteers and past council members who have acted legally and responsibly. Because of basic disagreements with a few discontented citizens they are considered fodder for hateful remarks.

I spoke about lawsuit after lawsuit and never winning a case. You have filed numerous allegations and multiple appeals regarding election law violations and lost all. You recently also filed three allegations regarding Ethics Commission violations. I understand the state has declared these to be false allegations.

Why don’t you let your readers know of all these lost causes. You are trying to deflect blame on the CARES, POP and recall organizations which also filed lawsuit after lawsuit against the STRP and three former City Council members and lost all cases and the numerous appeals lost all the way to the State Court of Appeals.

My understanding is that the CARES, POP and recall actions cost the taxpayers of Marco Island over $500,000 to defend. That is more wasted money than we can or could afford. If you did not support CARES, POP and recall efforts why did you support their candidates?

My questions are ...

Didn’t you support those organizations in your on-going e-mail campaigns?

Didn’t you support them in your statements at City Council meetings?

Didn’t you support them in your letters to the editor?

Didn’t you support them in your guest commentaries?

You should have had great compassion for what the innocent and their families went through. Now you claim that you are the one being abused and people are being uncivil to you. Do you consider your countless statements, e-mails campaigns, letters and guest commentaries with personal attacks against people as being civil. If you want civility, you need to give civility. It is not just that the world must act civil to you; you must also act civil to the world. You should remember what the brutal attacks were like.

Words you quote: “A civil discourse requires an honest representation of the facts, presented in a non-personal manner.” A good quote; it just seems that you only give lip service to this quote. To put it words similar to yours “you can’t jus keep making this stuff up.” Go back to your e-mails and look at the abuse that you put on others. Just because people don’t agree with you does not mean they are guilty of anything, they simply don’t agree with you.

Hall and Neylon never attended an electric utility committee meeting before resigning and you resigned after your first meeting. Thank you gentlemen for your dedication and your service to you community. The Electric Utility Study Committee was instructed to do one thing and one thing alone: Obtain factual information (pro or con) based on substantiated fact, not opinion.

Based on the factual information discovered and delivered to City Council, City Council would: Keep LCEC as our electric utility; negotiate with LCEC to reduce rates or create a fee structure to the City of Marco Island to reduce costs; purchase the utility, which would require a public referendum.

Negotiating with LCEC is no different than negotiating with any other company. It would serve to get a better deal for Marco Island users. Why you compared this to buying the Marriott is only a smoke screen. The Marriott is not an essential utility that we pay for.

LCEC has claimed numerous times that Marco Island residents are not subsidizing others in the LCEC system. LCEC has stated that the questions asked by the Electric Utility Study Ad-Hoc Committee to LCEC would only back up the LCEC claim. Then why would LCEC respond over 17 times to 24 questions that “LCEC would decline a request to provide said information even if for a fee” to factual information that should substantiate LCEC’s claim?

Then you again use your changing subject logic that seems to says it is OK for Marco Island citizens to subsidize others in LCEC’s service area by bringing up the school tax issue which is unrelated to the subject at hand. By confusing issues you fail to support getting LCEC to justify their charges to the citizens of Marco. We should all be on board to help the reduce costs to citizens of Marco Island. And the school tax is no different but for a different time.

You bring up the subject of underground electric lines. Most Marco Islanders did and probably still do favor underground electric lines. But everyone should realize that the ability to put lines underground would be limited by the cost. I might like a dinner at one of many exceptional restaurants here on Marco Island but I refuse to pay $75 for dinner at McDonald’s.

Marco Island has not done what others have done (laid off employees) because Marco Island is not like others; we have a budget cap like no other. Therefore Marco Island has never spent like other government agencies. Marco Island’s Property Tax Rate is 53 percent lower than 2001-2002. Marco Island’s city work force has always been lean because it has never been overstaffed like the others.

You keep putting the City of Marco Island in a negative light by your “drunken sailors and Titanic” comments. You also fail to recognize that the architects of our being among the lowest taxed (if not the lowest) communities in the State of Florida are some of the same people you attack. Give credit to all past members of City Council, a past City Manager (Bill Moss) and the past finance director as well as all other directors, police chief and fire/rescue chief for running lean departments and all city staff for working efficiently. You also fail to note that Marco Island offers more essential services in our property tax rate than our neighboring communities and Marco Island’s Property Tax Rate is still about 5 percent less than our neighbors and up to 50 percent lower than some other communities.

Do you ever mention that basic water rates on Marco Island since the purchase of the FWS Utility (2003) have only risen by the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) 16.23 percent compounded annually as promised? Electric utility rates have increased 42-47 percent percent in 4 years. And while keeping water rates in check, Marco Island has been able to secure several years of water on hand so that we can survive an extended drought.

When the Utility was purchased everyone knew the entire FWS utility was severely neglected. While improving the infrastructure of the utility rates have remained consistent. Water rates on barrier islands like Marco are high because Marco Island is an island surrounded by salt water, therefore Marco Island has been dependent on creating a large part of our drinking water from salt water (seawater) or brackish water through reverse osmosis (RO). Marco Island has also been successful in creating off island water sources and pumping that water to Island is still expensive. Marco Island is no Titanic and the kind of negatively slanted information you spew out is more hurtful to this Island Paradise than you can possibly imagine.

You state, “evil thrives when good people remain silent.” Try speaking out in a constructive manner rather than in a disparaging manner so that Marco Island can benefit from reality.

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

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Comments » 4

happy6 writes:

wayne, you must be kdding us? are you s----- or just a moron?

Fossil writes:

Wayne, you are attempting to rewrite history. No wonder you misunderstand the issues we have been fighting all these years. It was the City that sued not CARES. Check it out. It was the City and it's inability to understand who they were working for that cost us so much money in legal fees. You may not actually be a drunk sailor, but you sure to think like one.

JohninMarco writes:

What I like best about your letters are that you have 50 words of your facts and 250 words of personal attacks. Keep up the good work so when the next election comes the people will remember you.

happy6 writes:

wayne's still and always will be a moron.

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