Recently the subject of real patriotism was brought up by resident Sayre Uhler and it caused me to think about the divisiveness and uncivil discourse that exists here on Marco Island among our citizens during the most difficult and trying times we have faced as a city.
I consistently hear that we need to come together as a community for our common good. It caused me to think about the situation and what brought us to this point in our history as I see it.
When you have citizens of such a small community that have been put in the position of trying to defend their rights for equal representation in a peaceable manner, while also desiring the community’s betterment on the whole, yet shot down again and again while pursuing those rights, you should expect that those citizens would become more vocal, anxious, and retaliatory.
Everyone knows here, from looking at the way the utility rates were set up and implemented, and the STRP was formulated, that the business community and the condo owners were favored. The response by those same people who perpetuated these wrongs upon the people and those who supported them was to label those who asked for fairness and equalization, as malcontents, cave dwellers, and other choice names.
Those in positions of authority did nothing to publicly show that they condemned these name calling attacks or to stop them, but continued to aggressively support the agenda espoused by those people doing it thereby showing their lack of concern for these folks.
This segment of residents here that was singled out for such assaults on their rights were given only lip justice by most of those in office and little was done to help rectify the damages to them and then only when those people protested loudly and often, too often to go unnoticed. But it should never have sunk to this level of discourse. Had those in our city government reached out to solve this impasse early on by listening to legitimate complaints and actually doing something about it, you would have a much more civil and pleasant group of citizens here. Instead by steam rolling the single family homeowners, and doing nothing about these underlying “sins of the past,” it will always remain an irritant to those who were damaged by the city they voted to install, without realizing what the future would hold for them.
The attitude of City Council, now is more civil towards its citizens, thankfully, but since past wrongs were never confronted, acknowledged or righted, there is no “closure” and there can be no forgiveness or peace from those disenfranchised expected. In other words, you can hope for the populace to forget, forgive, accept and reconcile, but there must be acknowledgements that wrongs were done and whatever corrective actions that can be done to mitigate those wrongs taken, before change will occur. Along with that, perhaps it is time for City Council to adopt a mission statement for our city which would include promises to deliver services to all its citizens in a fair, impartial and just manner which will provide for the peace and well being of all its residents while attending to the needs of the community as a whole.