UPDATE/BLOG: Marco City Council approves property tax rate increase

Reason for 22 percent increase as upsetting as the cost, some taxpayers say

Article Highlights

  • Tax rate set at 1.7 mils will get final review Sept. 21
  • Finished budget story, followed by blog of the meeting written live Tuesday
  • Electric refund decision delayed until October

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— What’s worse, higher taxes, or knowing increases aren’t needed this year, yet appear unavoidable?

That’s the question faced by Marco councilors. Tuesday night, Council voted to increase the tax rate by about 22 percent from last year.

Taxpayers present at the meeting said they wanted budget cuts.

“The cuts can be made. That’s not the issue here. It’s the impact on the future,” said Chairman Rob Popoff.

Councilors Ted Forcht, Chuck Kiester and Popoff opposed higher proposed rates, including the maximum millage rate of 1.85 mils, or $1.85 per $1,000 of taxable property value, set earlier this summer and recommended Tuesday by Councilman Wayne Waldack.

Council eventually approved the rate of 1.7 mils, or $1.70 per $1,000 of taxable property value, although Kiester opposed it.

Two dynamics were leading to councilors’ decisions to raise taxes – the city’s spending cap, which limits spending to no more than 3 percent plus COLA more than was spent by the city the year before, and state laws requiring super majority or unanimous approval for substantially higher tax rates in future years if losses were to be recouped.

“If we lower the millage rate too much we can pretty much forget catch up – forget the cap,” Councilman Bill Trotter said.

Popoff said 1.5904 mils could be considered with little or no problem, but feared the city may never recover from the losses.

“Even 1.7 (mils) would cripple us to some degree,” he said.

Resident Larry Magel, a member of the charter review committee, which is considering a provision to allow council to recover from the spending cap by declaring the current economy an emergency, urged council to forget the cap. His message came to no avail.

“It’s sad because we should be spending based on the situation on the ground today,” said resident Bob Olson.

Olson said Marco should use more county resources and was disappointed with a tax increase two years in a row.

Last year, council increased the tax rate 16 percent from 1.2 mils to 1.39 mils. Marco property owners are looking at about a 30 percent tax rate increase in two years.

Marco, like other Southwest Florida communities, experienced property value decreases the past two years – losing average taxable property values of more than 20 percent when compounded.

“The mechanics of the cap places City Council in the position of either raising taxes when times are tough and values are declining, or creating a spending gap from which we never recover,” City Manager Steve Thompson said.

A possible solution is to budget the use of reserves, he added.

Residents might appreciate the lower, approximate 1.59 millage rate. The city would not spend below the cap because they could budget about $2 million from reserves that wouldn’t have to be spent, Thompson said.

This would buy the city one year, but would not solve the problem of state limits on tax rate increases for the future.

“ ... You’ll never get up to the unanimous vote you need to catch up,” Thompson warned council.

“You don’t need 208 employees or whatever you’ve got here on a small barrier island,” said resident Janet O’Connell, a retired school teacher.

The city currently has 204 employees and in the proposed budget, two to four more employees have been considered for hire.

“I was optimistic when we started to cut 20 percent with the financial planning committee. In reality, you really didn’t cut anything,” said resident Ken Honecker, a member of the committee which met over the winter.

“Yeah you postponed, but I didn’t see true cuts ... I don’t see the energy to truly try and cut the resources and operate on less,” Olson agreed.

In August budget discussions, council agreed to cut $400,000 in general fund expenses and delay large capital projects, such as Veterans’ Community Park and the Smokehouse Bay Bridge.

Andrea Battaglia, a widow on fixed income, said her estimated tax bill increased $800 and with utility rate hikes projected from the city as high as 50 percent in the next five years, she said it was all too much.

“Where do you think the people will get the money from?” asked resident David Crichton.

“The population of the Island is not increasing, so the services don’t have to increase,” said Linda McCune, a member of the Marco Island Taxpayers’ Association.

MITA member Amadeo Petricca acknowledged the challenges council faced with the spending cap and the economic relief people need.

“I know you’re between a rock and a hard place,” he said.

“Our city government seems to have this mentality that we must grow. ... We can’t lose these millions of dollars cause we’ll lose more millions. Is there no time this government can be neutral?” asked resident Karen Glaub.

She said not everything needs to be upscale. “This economy has hurt all income levels,” Glaub said.

Council considered the rate of 1.59 mils, which didn’t need a super majority vote.

“Once you come down, you can’t go back up,” Thompson warned.

Council approved the rate of 1.7 mils plus .0955 mils to pay debt from buying the Glonn property, which is now Veterans’ Community Park.

“I think the next meeting (5:30 p.m. Sept. 21) is when the rubber hits the road with the final number,” Recker said.

“I hope I get real educated in the next two weeks,” added Popoff.

BLOG WRITTEN LIVE TUESDAY

Mike Minozzi led City Council and a large audience, which packed the room at the beginning of the meeting, through the Pledge of Allegiance. Topics for council consideration include the city budget, millage rate, events at the Esplanade with amplified music and further review of what to do with a surplus collection in electric franchise fees.

Chairman Rob Popoff presented Minozzi with a mounted "key to the city" for his service to the city, including working to get the Judge S.S. Jolley Bridge high on the county and state's priority list to get stimulus funding.

Community comment on items not on the agenda

Resident A.K. Battaglia questioned why the fishing pier, which is not to be part of the Jolley Bridge stimulus project, wasn't repaired sooner following damage from Hurricane Wilma about four years ago. She said some funding had been available earlier but not used.

Councilman Bill Trotter said he hopes to discuss the issue at 10 a.m. Friday as a member of the Metropolitan Planning Organization, which will meet in Collier County Commissioners chambers.

Bob Olson, a 20-year resident of the Island, came up with what he thinks will solve the short-term rental issue problems, including noise, trash, parking and over-occupancy code violations. He said a letter upon a first violation stating both thank you for visiting and a list of the rules and fines would be "proactive and positive without creating an extra layer of government."

Police and Fire Academy Awards

Nearly 20 Island children were given awards for their participation in the annual police and fire academy. Check back for photos.

Conservancy of Southwest Florida presentation

Jennifer Hecker of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida is urging City Council support more stringent stormwater runoff regulations. Currently stormwater is greatly degrading water quality, Hecker said.

Regulations presume if you capture the first inch of runoff you're catching 80 percent of the pollutants, she said. However, nitrogen and phosphorus pollutants are still high with these current practices, Hecker added.

The new Southwest Florida Basin rule would require capturing 1 1/2 inches instead of just the first inch, she said.

Hecker urged council support the "basin rule" until supporting the statewide stormwater rule, which is longer term and continues to be delayed, she said.

This is about making developers provide adequate infrastructure for their development, she said. That includes additional fees for infrastructure that would otherwise be paid by taxpaying residents.

Designated waterbody uses, which council will discuss later, is under the clean water act. The classifications currently include drinking water, shell fish harvesting, swimmable/fishable, agricultural and industrial. Drinking standards are, of course, higher than fishable/swimmable standards, Hecker said.

She added that she didn't understand the desire for a new designation that would be splashable, allowable for fishing, but not up to human standards. "We really question why anyone would support such a standard in Florida," Hecker said.

Public Works Director Rony Joel said the cost issue is a big issue. He added more study needed to be done to determine the potential costs of not adding more classifications.

Councilman Jerry Gibson said he was concerned with development along 951 but also about the costs Joel said the city could face without having full details.

"We're down stream from all this. (Developers) get the cost, we get the pollution if it isn't done right," Trotter said.

"That really alarms me that we can't swim in our canals," he added. Trotter wanted to study the issues further.

City Manager Steve Thompson said the city has very little to do with this, but rather state agencies are requesting cities take a stance on the statewide water issues.

Councilman Chuck Kiester and Councilman Ted Forcht wanted the issue to come back with more information in front of them to make a decision.

"The canals are basically clean," Forcht said, questioning if the Island had a water quality problem.

Trotter said it was a disjointed presentation and requested the issue be discussed at the next meeting later this September.

Smokehouse Bridge

Trotter recalls that the bridge should be discussed in the next meeting. Kiester and other councilors said they recalled putting the project off at least one year.

Popoff said it will be discussed on Sept. 21.

Veterans' Community Park restrooms

City staff is requesting council approve spending money to install bathrooms with hot water, particularly for the Farmers Market, at Veterans' Community Park, Thompson said. The total request is $30,000 for unisex bathrooms, said Parks and Recreation Director Bryan Milk.

Currently Port-o-Potties are rented for $90 per day, Milk said.

Bridge cameras

"Didn't we have money left from the $100,000 for bridge cameras?" Gibson asked.

"No that went back to the...somewhere" Police Chief Thom Carr responded.

Thompson said it would be looked into. The council approved $43,000 for police vehicle computer hardware to come from council contingency funds.

Esplanade

The city allows 28 events at the Esplanade and last August council approved 28 more special events for 56 total for the year, Thompson said introducing a topic for the evening which has been a controversial issue on the Island for the past year.

Forcht wanted to give 12 permits for amplified music and let the others be "unplugged" or acoustic, causing less noise and trouble, he said.

"I don't think anyone wants to take the music away from them," he said and then added that "the same old solutions to the same old problems" wouldn't work.

Popoff said he thought the complaints were decreasing.

Councilman Wayne Waldack said they could have 365 days of acoustic music, so that's not an issue. He said the Esplanade is good for business and residents, which brought applause from the audience.

"I don't even go there a lot," Waldack said, "...unlike some people," he added as Gibson rolled his head back and looked at the ceiling.

"I do go there a lot," Gibson then said.

He added that decibel readings are down and are under the city's noise ordinance limits.

"I'm stunned that 3 hours in one night in a week... can create this much controversy," Gibson said.

"I think both parties have been very reasonable. I don't see this as a hard decision," Popoff said.

He added that CJ's on the Bay has made improvements.

Year round residents don't have much to do without the Esplanade, residents and councilors agreed.

"It's a little unfair because the seasonal residents in the Esplanade condos aren't here," Popoff said, adding that a decision would be made tonight nonetheless.

"My guess is the majority of you here are here to speak in favor of music at the Esplanade," Popoff said.

The room's occupants answered back with loud clapping.

Trotter suggested allowing for six months until the people come back in December who are most affected living in the nearby condominiums during high season.

Vice Chairman Frank Recker compared the problem to him being annoyed when his dog makes licking noises-- it's not illegal and he can't get rid of his dog for it, but it is a nuisance at times.

Recker said he'd support the extra live music events with amplified sound, continuing to allow the Esplanade to have 56 events every year.

Bill Holmes, President of the Marco Island Condo Managers Association, said he loves having the music and doesn't feel it's too loud.

His wife Pat Holmes agreed.

"We used to go to Fifth Avenue (Naples) Now we don't have to," Pat Holmes said.

Council passed the year of events in a 5-2 vote. Kiester and Trotter opposed. Trotter explained his concern about the residents in the winter months that couldn't share their opinion this time of year.

Kiester shared a decision made prior to the meeting that he would only support "soft guitar, piano or similar type music." He said it was a hard decision because he was aware that Island businesses were struggling, but also wanted to support the residential community.

Gibson said he'd prefer it be permanent and not have to make the decision again.

Forcht's idea to allow 12 events wasn't popular with residents and councilors, who said they feared it would cause the Esplanade to hold those events in-season.

City's property tax rate

Thompson introduced the tax rate for first reading consideration by council. Waldack said he could not support the lowest possible millage rate because of the city's spending cap. $1.1 million loss is expected in ad valorem revenue last year and this year combined causing "sever financial hardships this year and in the future," he said.

The city set the maximum millage rate at 1.85 mils, or $1.85 per $1,000 of taxable property value, earlier this summer.

Waldack called it "financial suicide" without the possibility to recapture the money in the future because the city's spending cap limits city spending to no more than 3 percent plus COLA above the year before.

Waldack said he supported 1.85 mils plus .1 mil for debt service of the purchase of Veterans' Community Park property, formerly called the Glonn property.

His motion failed for lack of a second.

Trotter said he could support a 1.7 mils to give taxpayers the savings from the $400,000 cut at the last budget session in August.

He also could support the 1.75 rate formerly discussed. "If we lower the millage rate too much we can pretty much forget catch up-- forget the cap," Trotter said.

Popoff said 1.5904 mils could be considered with little or no problem, but "we'll create a revenue gap that we may never recover from."

"Even 1.7(mils) would cripple us to some degree," Popoff said.

Trotter said 1.7 mils or 1.75 mils are the viable options.

"If average taxable property value is $500,000 and the city is about 10 percent of the tax bill, the difference between 1.59 and 1.70 or 1.75 is only $50 to $75, year. It's not a lot of money, if you will, compared to the impact to the city," he said.

Trotter said the spending cap isn't the issue because once the lower millage rate is set, a simple majority vote is needed due to state roll back rules.

City Finance Director Patricia Bliss, City Attorney Alan Gabriel and Thompson said they have worked on how to mitigate the problems of the spending cap for several weeks. Thompson said you could budget using reserves "artificially."

"If we substantially spend less than the cap, you'll never get up to the unanimous vote you need to catch up.... You only have enough reserves for one year," Thompson also added as a warning.

Recker suggested 1.75 mils and Waldack seconded.

"I'm not a prophetess from the ancient Roman Empire... The word 'cuts' continues to be ignored by the majority of you," said resident Janet O'Connell, a retired school teacher,who said her predictions of financial distress she mentioned to council last year are coming true.

She added that council was ignoring the middle class. "The bulk of what we're talking about here is what you guys are doing. We want the millage rate to go down... You're going to force me to leave. You don't need 208 employees or whatever you've got here (204) on a small barrier island," O'Connell said.

"Maybe you just want this to be a tourist mecca," she added.

Popoff said it wasn't fair because all City Councilors also pay the bills and do care. "It's real easy for citizens to blame the council for the 10 percent of the tax bill they pay when the rest is the county bill.... I feel your pain. Trust me I do."

"I was optimistic when we started to cut 20 percent with the financial planning committee. In reality, you really didn't cut anything," said resident Ken Honecker, who served on the financial planning committee which met over the winter to look at a city government with 20 percent fewer resources.

Honecker suggested a millage rate closer to the roll back rate.

Resident David Creighton, who said he was a retired CEO of an international firm, said he was on a fixed budget and outlined the struggles of businesses, workers and retirees in the current economy. Creighton said he got his tax bill with a 33 percent increase.

He said council was fiscally irresponsible. "Where do you think the people will get the money from?" Creighton asked.

Bob Olson, a 20 year resident of the Island, said Marco should use more county resources and was disappointed with the increase last year, which went from 1.2 mils to 1.39 mils, plus this year increasing another proposed 25.75 percent with a 1.75 mil rate.

"Yeah you postponed, but I didn't see true cuts... I don't see the energy to truly try and cut the resources and operate on less," Olson said.

Battaglia agreed. "If you maintain the millage rate, you're not losing money, it's maintaining the same. I'm a widow on fixed income," she said.

Her increase was just short of $800 based on the estimated bill she received. Battaglia said with utility increases coming up 13 percent to 50 percent, it's too much.

"You really have to make some deep cuts. I think the cap can be worked out. Under these emergency situations with this economy maybe you can put a hold on these things," Battaglia said.

Popoff asked Bliss to give an example of a $1 million house paying 1.75 mils.

"I got it done. It's too much," Kiester said.

"You talk about the Marco Island tax bill only being 10 percent of the bill.... But it's a lot," said Linda McCune. Her tax bill went up about $600, she said, with most of it coming from Marco's increases.

"For years we were collecting more money than the spending cap... I'm sure the finance department could be creative with their numbers and not worry about the spending cap... The population of the Island is not increasing, so the services don't have to increase," McCune said.

"We have a 3 percent cap... If we're in a recession, what's wrong with going up 2.5 percent. You don't have to tax the maximum amount," resident Bill McMullan said.

"I know you're between a rock and a hard place," said resident Amadeo Petricca, a member of the Marco Island Taxpayers' Association board.

"Cuts, cuts, cuts are needed because people are hurting," he said, adding that the spending cap does cause a problem.

Resident Karen Glaub said she was disappointed. "Our city government seems to have this mentality that we must grow. ...We can't lose these millions of dollars cause we'll lose more millions. Is there no time this government can be neutral?"

She said not everything needs to be upscale when people are hurting. "This economy has hurt all income levels," Glaub said.

The current roll back is 1.65 mils.

Recker recommended his motion again for 1.75 mils and .0955 mils for debt service for Veterans' Community Park.

"I think the next meeting is when the rubber hits the road with the final number," Recker said.

Popoff said if the CIP was delayed one year, $1 million would be saved and all would continue without problems.

"It's not a one year question," Trotter responded, regarding the cap.

Popoff said his wife was laid off at the Marriott, losing a salary and benefits. "I see friends leaving the Island because they have to leave the Island. This is not just a Marco Island problem," Popoff said.

Kiester, Forcht and Popoff said "no." The motion failed 4-3 for a 1.75 tax rate.

"I hope I get real educated in the next two weeks," Popoff said.

The vote needed a super majority.

"The cuts can be made. That's not the issue here. It's the impact on the future," Popoff said.

"Once you come down, you can't go back up," Thompson advised as council discussed a tax rate that didn't need super majority.

Recker made a motion for 1.74 mils and Gibson seconded. Kiester, Forcht and Popoff voted no.

Gibson made a motion for 1.7 mils and .0955 debt service for the park property. Trotter seconded. Kiester voted no. The motion passed 6-1.

Council approved a budget to correspond, which includes about $400,000 in cuts.

Electric franchise fee refund

Council is discussing whether to refund about $1.1 million from surplus electric franchise fees collected by Lee County Electric Cooperative, the Island's electric provider, on behalf of the city.

Recker asked to table due to the a/c being out and the meeting running late. Council approved and the issue was tabled until October.

Council communication

Recker wanted a proposed scope of work from the utility advisory committee. Gibson preferred a 20 minute to half hour work session with them. We should be telling them what we want, he said.

Trotter said whatever we do, let's not delay the Nov. 6 deliverable on what money is needed. Next is the review of whether and how they should become a permanent standing committee, councilors agreed.

Student Ellie Polling of Tommie Barfield Elementary wrote council requesting wider sidewalks.

Joel responded that the wish will come true in a couple of years with grants to widen pathways to eight feet.

Trotter said he was upset about publishing rumors in the Eagle about two councilors' personal lives. "It's not responsible journalism to create that vicious platform," Trotter said.

"Some of us just considered the source and ignored it," Popoff said.

Waldack urged that there be a youth council.

Popoff would like to review in-house landscaping Sept. 21. "I believe there are real savings," he said.

City Manager communications

Esplanade's permit was open-ended. Recker said his motion was for 56 events. Thompson said it wasn't one year. It automatically extends each year, he said, and council agreed.

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

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Comments » 61

happy6 writes:

the cameras were 250k and they are in a storage unit somewhere....this per the Eagle report last year.

happy6 writes:

read on...walduck wants to raise the taxes (he doesn't pay any as he's in foreclosure)...same for popoff...the refund was delayed again...and by the way my tax bill from marco is more than 10%.

MarcoFacts writes:

Shadow, once again it's obvious you were not at the meeting nor did you watch it. Popoff was the councilor that was trying to get the lowest milage rate. He, Kiester and Fortch voted no to the higher rate twice! It amazes me how misinformation spreads...are you happy you are the source of the lies this time?

jwputnam writes:

Trotter said he was upset about publishing rumors in the Eagle about two councilors' personal lives. "It's not responsible journalism to create that vicious platform," Trotter said.

Could someone please tell me what "rumors" were published in the paper?

ezeee writes:

The only rumors I have heard of are the unfounded babbling of a blogger who calls himself Shadow who constantly attacks council members with untruths and non issues.

Smeg writes:

Rumors? Both city councilors' foreclosure problems are public record. But since the paper choses to ignore the n-e-w-s it gets reported here. The Shadow knows.

jwputnam writes:

Some would say that it is "irresponsible" to not recluse yourself from voting on property taxes when you use foreclosure and bankruptcy to avoid paying your own!

EdFoster writes:

Not to change the subject, but Hecker is correct. Street runoff is and will continue to degrade Marco waters. What she fails to mention is that it's not a question of whether the first inch or inch and a half is captured, it's a matter of destroying the swales and replacing them with catch-basins and/or direct runoff into Marco canals in order to satisfy the people's desire to drain the island as rapidly as possible after a rainstorm AND to city government's penchant to spend money on roadway projects.

Marco was designed and laid out with swales to retain rainwater and filter it slowly through grass and sand to remove pollutants before they enter the waterways. Deltona took considerable effort in designing the swales, going back year after year to improve those which were not doing their job. Needless to say, the swales slowed down drainage and roadways flooded for a period of time after a severe downpour. Duh! That's precisely what they were supposed to do!

In their infinite wisdom and non-ending desire to spend every nickel they could find, City Council, the City Manager, and the Public Utilities Director decreed that Marco Shall Replace Swales with Drainage Ditches and Catch Basin and shall hasten the flow of rainwater into the Gulf of Mexico thereby creating more pollution but faster traffic flow.

You asked for it, Marco residents. C.A.R.E.S., Inc. crusaded against this idiocy and was denigrated by Ms. Hecker among others for being CAVE dwellers, Citizens Against Virtually Everything. When you can no longer swim or use the waters that are Marco's prime possession, go complain to Monte Lazarus and John Arceri. They brought you this pig.

Ed Foster
Former Marco Resident
Founder of C.A.R.E.S., Inc.

happy6 writes:

marcofacts/ezee...i don't have to make up lies..these guys make the news regularly..the cameras are in storage/the properties are in foreclosure....now what portion of this is a lie?
oh and by the way...the LCEC refund has been delayed and your taxes are going through the roof and the water plant is falling apart(literally, look at the pictures)/no fishing pier/bridge we don't need over smokehouse/veterans park we can't afford....these are the facts...not me making something up...thankyou.

ezeee writes:

According to county tax rolls it shows that the taxes on the properties you morons refer to are were both paid on 11/26/08. Putnam you disgust me, most people would say it is "irresponsible” to shoot your mouth off when you don’t know what you are talking about.

By the way Mr. Putnam you stated in a previous blog that you were on Medicare. How did you pull that one off, according to county records you won’t be 65 until November, was it a mental disability that got you on Medicare early. Or are you just a BS artist.

Sailor writes:

At least one councilor is in foreclosure and I sincerely feel bad for his unfortunate circumstances.

There is one other councilor in public records for foreclosure and it is not his personal residence. The foreclosure is under Key Marco Investor Group, LLC. There are six partners listed in this LLC.

Times are tough John, people are having financial troubles, in this market it is entirely understandable. What is not understandable is that you seem to be relishing in others misfortune.

jwputnam writes:

Are you seriously asking me to feel sorry for someone who inherited a home from his mother and then lost it in foreclosure? I feel sorry for the investors in the bank!

Look....you (usual suspects) can't make me feel sorry for these two. They have made lousy decisions and I don't want them making any for me. Simple as that.

PS I have my Medicare card already.....and check those tax rolls again in 2010 and tell me how they are doing. I would LOVE to examine your tax records, but then you hide behind a moniker.

I kind of get to you guys, don't I.

jwputnam writes:

Actually, I am far more interested in reading "the usual suspects" responses to Ed Foster's excellent response to Ms. Heckers comments above. Hard to refute, so I am assuming that you will probably just check for blasteding information about him and see if you can smear him enough to change the subject, right? Issler will of course refer to the last election results. hahahahaha. Love it.

Leroy writes:

John, on the contrary, I think we're getting to you. You're all alone John - you are the last stubborn voice of the cave dwellers. We haven't forgotten that Chairwoman DisCuillo had a restraining order against you for threatening emails and yet you're still at it. Some people never learn!

Geezer writes:

Putnam, your antics will assuredly backfire. Everyone is struggling to make ends meet and you are attempting a smear campaign against anyone you disagree with. Why not attack Kiester with the same vigor? After all, he did break the law, was found guilty in a court of law. Putnam, if you have such high ideals and standards for our community leaders why are you so silent about Kiesters transgressions?

Uomo_di_Stato writes:

jwputnam, have some respect for those that were elected by the majority to lead our city! what have you done to deserve any respect or admiration on marco island? so brave of you to take pot shots at these people in financial trouble.

Leroy writes:

Putznam, if you don't like them don't vote for them. And yes, the last election has to come up because you still don't get it...you're still too dense to accept the fact that your candidates got creamed at the polls. You are the last reminants of the vocal minority.

Flowerpower writes:

Leroy, I remember how upset Terri was that this guy, Putnam, kept sending inappropriate and threatening emails to her. I know for a fact that she called the police chief and almost had him arrested. He sent her an apology, what a creep.

marcoislandres writes:

Seems to me we all got along just fine before we became a City. I wish we could vote on that again?

jwputnam writes:

hahahahaha. If only you knew how much I enjoy your moronic nonsense.

PS I never wrote threatening emails and I never apologized.

jwputnam writes:

in response to Leroy:

Putznam, if you don't like them don't vote for them. And yes, the last election has to come up because you still don't get it...you're still too dense to accept the fact that your candidates got creamed at the polls. You are the last reminants of the vocal minority.

Leroy,

"Restraining order"? I think that you should provide proof of that.

Perhaps you are a little worked up and fabricating some?

Flowerpower writes:

Mr. Putnam, all I know is that Terri was very upset at emails she received from you. I didn't see them but you can count on the fact that I will do a public records request and find them...stay tuned.

jwputnam writes:

Flowerpower,

Your mission is to distort and misdirect the argument. You are a zealot. You know that I have simply stated the truth about two of our councilors, but you don't want to hear it....more importantly, you don't want anyone else to hear it. I have news for you though: These "blogs" are fun, but if you really want to have your say, write an LTE (if they will except one from you....you do have to have the courage of conviction to use your real name). In other words, this is a very limited audience. You may feel better ranting and raving and calling everybody names, but you aren't getting out there! Versteh?

I vaguely remember the emails to Terri. I tried to recall them on my computer sop that I could reprint them for you, but they are gone. They may have been somewhat heated...kind of like your ranting, but FAR from threatening. I was totally amazed that Terri took offense and I told her so. Frankly, I supported Terri often and offered to work for her at one time. Emails are often TOTALLY misinterpreted, especially when they are written in passion.

If I apologized to Terri....which I do not recall and think unlikely...it was probably an attempt to help her to understand that I was not attacking her personally. I did contact Chief Reinke (cc Terri) because she copied him on an email to me "warning" me of her feelings. NO ONE except Terri found my emails to be anything more than an expression of my political leanings.

You don't have to pay for a records request. All you need do is give Terri a call and ask her for them. I welcome seeing them again in their entirety as well as Chief Reinke's response.

You know "Flowerpower", I don't hide behind an anonymous name like you do. I am sure that you will tell me how dangerous it would be for you to disclose your real name, but it is VERY easy to make accusations anonymously, isn't it?

PS "Flowerpower" actually kind of says it all to me. Enjoy my latest LTE. I am sure that you will.

jwputnam writes:

Well, I found those dastardly emails (and learned something about my archive files, for which I thank you). Here you go:

First one: Terri,

It is time for you to step up and take charge. Moss must go. You know it. If you don’t, you are kidding yourself. This isn’t political, it’s criminal.

If you do nothing, you will be held responsible as well….and then you will deserve it.

Open your eyes.

With respect,

John

Terri's response: Dear John,

I don't appreciate your threatening words. Perhaps through email, one cannot tell another's tone; however, I don't take threats lightly, and have notified the Chief of Police in other "threatening tones" before. Perhaps you will be held responsible for your actions.

Terri

Second one: I fail to see the threat in my email. In stating that you will be held responsible for inaction, I am simply referring to the potential of political problems….perhaps a future recall. If you perceive some sort of personal threat, that is simply off the chart for me. As you say, with email it is difficult to discern tone. For that, I apologize.

As I reread what I wrote, I still fail to see the threat. I see the note as advice. That is what was intended as a frequent supporter of yours.

At any rate, I have always shown you good support. I have always been honest with you and you have always acknowledged this.

I will not write to you personally again as I do not wish to perpetuate any further tension for you. I obviously struck a nerve.

Chief Reinke is certainly welcome to give me a call if he feels it necessary, and he can find time to break from his investigation of those evil parties whom the city contends are planting asbestos shards about the city. My cell is 239-777-2555. I am in MN until next Monday.

Sincerely,

John Putnam
1420 Salvadore Court
Marco Island, FL 34145

jwputnam@comcast.net
HM: 239-394-3549
CLL: 239-777-2555

I have quite a few more...mostly very supportive...and I have MANY friendly responses and "thank yous" from Terri. Would you like to see them as well? Not a problem, just takes time. Ask. I'll actually send them all.

So....how's that going for yah? Do you see an apology in there?

PS You need not thank me for saving you the information request funds. It is my pleasure.

happy6 writes:

GO JOHN!..and i agree with you the blogs are FUN...it's just too bad the rest don't see them that way...no one on these blogs would say in person what they say on the blogs i suspect...unless of course it was to arceri,walduck,lazzarus,issler,trotter and our esteemed city manager...bill moss JUNIOR....
so my friend...and i use that term loosely...keep 'em coming...i love 'em and you have a set of kahonies.

27_Year_Resident writes:

John, WHAT? In one blog you say "I never wrote threatening emails and I never apologized," and in the next you provide proof that you did!! You are a liar, and not a very good one.

27_Year_Resident writes:

Putnam, you have also shown that you are blogging under your own name, very admirable, and the name of Shadow as the blogs are only 17 minutes apart. Clever, sick and desperate, but clever.

Montel writes:

John Putnams internal dialog:

I didn’t write a threatening letter to Chairwoman Terri D.

Terri didn’t call the police one me!

I didn’t send her any apology!

Oh, by the way, here is proof that I did send Terri and inappropriate email and an apology…have a nice day!

Uomo_di_Stato writes:

Putnam makes Godfrey Davies look like a genius…lol

Sailor writes:

John, have you ever considered that you are wrong about your choices? Have you considered for a moment that you're the guy that the majority laughs at? Read your ridiculous blogs and have some quiet time John. Do some soul searching and perhaps you will see the light. John, you are way out of line. I know you and you are better than this!!

jchamberland writes:

Mr. Putnam, here's a headline I thought you would appreciate. It is a sad headline but it just goes to show the readers that not only are you a hypocrite, you also make very poor choices in who you supported for council. First the guilty verdict for Kiester, who made a mockery of the law according to Judge Carr for his Sunshine violations and now your friend Guidry!

"Formal charges of soliciting sex for services filed against Marco doctor."

Unlike you John I am saddened by this headline. I did not even consider voting for him and he is not my doctor but I feel for the victim, Guidry and his family.

jwputnam writes:

hahahahahahahaha!!!! I love you guys!

jwputnam writes:

Oh...incidentally....I have no aliases....never have had...ever.....and I have written to the Eagle in the past and told them that they are free to release any false identities that I might have. Call them and see. Have them call me and get permission if that helps.

Actually, my sense of humor would not create someone like "Shadow", but rather a moron like "Montel". In addition, I would not stay with ONE identity. That would be no fun and would lead to early detection.

OK, perhaps you have caught me. I'll at least confess to one identity created that I amuse myself with: "Ed Issler". That one is most fun and a stroke of genius!

jwputnam writes:

Sometimes I crack myself up!

jwputnam writes:

in response to EdFoster:

Not to change the subject, but Hecker is correct. Street runoff is and will continue to degrade Marco waters. What she fails to mention is that it's not a question of whether the first inch or inch and a half is captured, it's a matter of destroying the swales and replacing them with catch-basins and/or direct runoff into Marco canals in order to satisfy the people's desire to drain the island as rapidly as possible after a rainstorm AND to city government's penchant to spend money on roadway projects.

Marco was designed and laid out with swales to retain rainwater and filter it slowly through grass and sand to remove pollutants before they enter the waterways. Deltona took considerable effort in designing the swales, going back year after year to improve those which were not doing their job. Needless to say, the swales slowed down drainage and roadways flooded for a period of time after a severe downpour. Duh! That's precisely what they were supposed to do!

In their infinite wisdom and non-ending desire to spend every nickel they could find, City Council, the City Manager, and the Public Utilities Director decreed that Marco Shall Replace Swales with Drainage Ditches and Catch Basin and shall hasten the flow of rainwater into the Gulf of Mexico thereby creating more pollution but faster traffic flow.

You asked for it, Marco residents. C.A.R.E.S., Inc. crusaded against this idiocy and was denigrated by Ms. Hecker among others for being CAVE dwellers, Citizens Against Virtually Everything. When you can no longer swim or use the waters that are Marco's prime possession, go complain to Monte Lazarus and John Arceri. They brought you this pig.

Ed Foster
Former Marco Resident
Founder of C.A.R.E.S., Inc.

I think that you all have forgotten to address Mr. Foster's excellent analysis of our drainage problem. How about the more intellectual among you? Anybody?

27_Year_Resident writes:

Pitiful how you try to redirect the focus from you back to Foster. Won't work John, you are a liar and you were caught. So, how about a reply - you clearly stated that you did not send a threatening letter or an apology to Terri D. and then you supplied the letter and your apology. What’s your response John? You hold everyone to a higher standard but yourself and those that you agree with politically. Time to get back on your meds!

jwputnam writes:

In other words, you wish to dismiss Mr. Foster's excellent analysis of our water problem on Marco....because, of course it does not fit with your political views AND the fact that it so clearly shows how inept the city government is and was. Does that about cover it?

Now...that said...there is clearly no threat or apology. The letters are proof. You know that though.

Ed Issler

jwputnam writes:

in response to Leroy:

John, on the contrary, I think we're getting to you. You're all alone John - you are the last stubborn voice of the cave dwellers. We haven't forgotten that Chairwoman DisCuillo had a restraining order against you for threatening emails and yet you're still at it. Some people never learn!

ummmm, Leroy, my main man. You want to retract that "restraining order" comment? Wouldn't you consider that a little liablous? Probably not, but then "some people never learn", right?

jwputnam writes:

in response to jwputnam:

I think that you all have forgotten to address Mr. Foster's excellent analysis of our drainage problem. How about the more intellectual among you? Anybody?

Let's try this again. Any intellects left out there?

ezeee writes:

John, you are babbling, do you realize that you are talking to yourself. I think you have lost it. Please get back on your med's before its to late.

Soloman writes:

Mr. Putman just can't admit he's wrong and he's lying. No need to continue talking to him!

jwputnam writes:

"P-U-T-N-A-M"

Not to change the subject, but Hecker is correct. Street runoff is and will continue to degrade Marco waters. What she fails to mention is that it's not a question of whether the first inch or inch and a half is captured, it's a matter of destroying the swales and replacing them with catch-basins and/or direct runoff into Marco canals in order to satisfy the people's desire to drain the island as rapidly as possible after a rainstorm AND to city government's penchant to spend money on roadway projects.

Marco was designed and laid out with swales to retain rainwater and filter it slowly through grass and sand to remove pollutants before they enter the waterways. Deltona took considerable effort in designing the swales, going back year after year to improve those which were not doing their job. Needless to say, the swales slowed down drainage and roadways flooded for a period of time after a severe downpour. Duh! That's precisely what they were supposed to do!

In their infinite wisdom and non-ending desire to spend every nickel they could find, City Council, the City Manager, and the Public Utilities Director decreed that Marco Shall Replace Swales with Drainage Ditches and Catch Basin and shall hasten the flow of rainwater into the Gulf of Mexico thereby creating more pollution but faster traffic flow.

You asked for it, Marco residents. C.A.R.E.S., Inc. crusaded against this idiocy and was denigrated by Ms. Hecker among others for being CAVE dwellers, Citizens Against Virtually Everything. When you can no longer swim or use the waters that are Marco's prime possession, go complain to Monte Lazarus and John Arceri. They brought you this pig.

Ed Foster
Former Marco Resident
Founder of C.A.R.E.S., Inc.

dc5799 writes:

Ed Foster has it all over you people, you missed a great, smart, classy guy when you let him go. He never said one thing he couldn't back up.
I applaud Ed and all the info he has shared with us. Keep it up Ed they must want to vomit when you share your knowledge.

playballonK writes:

Putnam you are esentially arguing with 2 people here, Monte Lazarus and his 4 aliases and Ray Beauford and his 4 aliases(soloman,gezeer,sailor & leroy) .
I'm sure they're in the process(after reading my post here)of creating a few new ones.

Flowerpower writes:

Mr. Putnam, I see you got a little help from some bloggers, or your alias'. Either way, you started a fight you cannot finish and you lied repeadely...both are enough for me to stop any further communication with you .

jwputnam writes:

Thanks so much for intelligent comments concerning a serious water problem on Marco!

I gotta admit that this commenting is getting a little childish. I honestly have tried to be open and honest, but they do a good job of bringing out the sarcasim in me. I really just want to address issues and read other serious opinions, but if you write ANYTHING that the protectors of the syndicate do not like, they attack you personally.....which doesn't bother me as I have nothing to hide (or or at do NOT hide), except that I really, really want to discuss the issues. Not possible as long as the likes of the despicable attorney remain on line.

Incidentally, I wrote the following to Bill Green today and he said that he would look in to it:

"Dear Mr. Green,

First of all, thank you so very much for accepting and printing my LTEs.
I realize that many are considered "contoversial" by one group on the Island and that they have repeatedly pressured your paper to omit them....or so I have been told.

I write today to suggest that you allow all commentors only ONE alias OR their real name as I have always elected to use....and that you make this known via an editorial. In this way, those of us who prefer to write under our own names (there are several) would not have to be constantly accused of responding to ourselves under some other alias.

If you cannot do that, would you at least verify to anyone who asks that I (John Putnam) write under my own name and do not ever use an alias?

Thank you again,

John Putnam"

We'll see what happens.

PS Look for another "hateful" LTE tomorrow. The girlymen are NOT going to be happy.

jwputnam writes:

in response to Flowerpower:

Mr. Putnam, I see you got a little help from some bloggers, or your alias'. Either way, you started a fight you cannot finish and you lied repeadely...both are enough for me to stop any further communication with you .

In other words, you give up because you got beat up pretty badly by a man who knows your type and can handle your childish rhetoric?

That, my dear is the truth. Go soak in your tub.

Semper_Fidelis writes:

The only childish one is you Putnam!!

Soloman writes:

Mr. Putnam, after carefully & painfully reading the entire blog stream I want to make a couple observations:

With respect to you writing a threatening email (and it was a threatening email) to a councilor you said:

"I never wrote threatening emails and I never apologized."

Then you supplied the letter you wrote for all to see and in that letter you say:

"For that, I apologize."

Sounds like an apology to me.

Then, like a child, you say:

"So....how's that going for yah? Do you see an apology in there?"

Wow, I just don't understand your thought process. Really sad that a grown man could act so childish and outwardly lie so much. You are definitely a psychology thesis waiting to happen. Your inability to see anything wrong in your behavior and hypocrisy is amazing. I am writing this anonymously because you scare me.

jwputnam writes:

More truly childish comments from syndicate sycophants. Do you honestly believe your own words? Of course not.

You do not reveal your name because you are afraid of reprisal...not from me...but from the community. No courage. That's why I do not fear you or all the others like you.

Well, this is getting old. Same old nonsense from the same old cowardly nasties. (That kind of hurts, doesn't it....tough to hide behind mommie's skirts at such an old age.) Pathetic really.

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