As many of you are now more aware of the issues surrounding the construction of our home on Marco Island thanks to the articles we appreciated being printed, allow me to attempt to both clarify and expand on certain points without legal review speaking directly and truthfully to our fellow residents. Due to length limitations, please accept the following format:
1. Action against the City Of Marco Island is not being taken because our builder went bankrupt (we continue with legal options available against KHH/Qualifiers) rather because of the failure of the city building department to either perform or perform correctly inspections we were mandated to pay for and hence have been damaged by because of the violations of building codes and resulting construction defects (the Franklin report specifically documents these yet more have been identified since written).
2. Certificate of occupancy being issued has enabled an inept builder that did not provide the requisite expertise or supervision to divert the problems acknowledged back to the city. The Department Of Business And Professional Regulation seems to concur as it has closed complaints against KHH/Qualifiers while there is an ongoing investigation of the city building official that we hope will be adjudicated favorably for us but that remains to be seen.
3. Do know in November 2007 the city was advised of Florida statutes that enabled the building official to revoke the CO. Our intent was not to be removed from our home but instead encourage KHH which was then an operating and viable company to correct problems or possibly have this authority invoked. No action was taken by the city other than us being told information was forwarded to counsel.
4. The Franklin report was initially commissioned to enable us to pursue Florida legal precedent for litigation against a builder that did have a binding arbitration clause in contract.
5. Government councilors and management have all been contacted since July 2008 to draft a settlement instead of forcing us to expend the money and time on a lawsuit as well as impose further burdens on court dockets but a complaint was filed in November 2009 yet we are still open to dialog to amicably and fairly resolve this for all involved.
Please note comments below and feel free to question the accuracy of what I share with you with the individuals mentioned. These are not offered as personal criticisms or to begin he said she said but as accounts of what took place as honestly remembered:
- Mr. Forcht promised to visit and then get action started to solve problem but he did not.
- Mr. Gibson was very direct and told me to sue if city guilty of malfeasance.
- Mr. Kiester initially said he would look into it. He had the courtesy to call back and tell me the city attorney had advised caution due to litigation at which point I explained there was no lawsuit but a consumer complaint with the DBPR but he did not pursue further.
- Mr. Popoff first told me he knew we were not litigious people and would look into it but he never got back to me. When he became council chair, I called again and he said he believed the city bore culpability and would now possibly be in a position with his new authority to speak with the city manager and find a resolution but did not hear from him again.
- Mr. Recker appeared empathetic and as he has often mentioned at council meetings expressed the belief that settlement was preferable to litigation; we would like to believe he is still of that opinion about our case and is sharing that sentiment with fellow councilors.
- Mr. Trotter said he understood the frustrations of building a home and would inquire and get back to me but I did not hear from him again.
- Mr. Waldack read the report prior to walking our home and said heads were going to roll; he did to his credit have Mr. Olmsted come to our house.
- Mr. Olmsted’s first statement after reading report and walking home was that I should realize he was not employed by the city when this occurred or he would have liked to have thought he would have prevented this but assured me he would implement changes and processes that would keep this from happening to others; all of you reading this can draw your own conclusions from what he said. Now also know at one point Mr. Olmsted offered settlement and told me to have my attorney contact the city attorney which resulted in my attorney being told there was nothing to talk about.
- Mr. Thompson on several occasions told me he does not believe sovereign immunity applies here and since the complaint is based on city records it will be interesting to read the response to our complaint especially if it involves the state.
6. I have been heartened by the calls and e-mails received from other residents explaining similar experiences with the building department as well as some offers to testify on our behalf in court should it have to come to that. Still we need other fellow citizens to stand with us for in doing so the city cannot simply ignore this case and spend our tax dollars in litigation when an insurance policy is in place to cover such errors and omissions and even more importantly in the future perhaps residents will not have to go to such lengths to have positive action taken on their behalf.
Obviously we know we are blessed to live here in Marco Island and came here with the intent of positively contributing to our new home as we had attempted to do in Ohio. Please believe we do realize that caring for elderly parents, health concerns, etc., are much more significant to deal with as we share those concerns as well. Tim and I are also retired U.S. Naval Reserve Officers; we simply want justice from the very system we were honored to defend. We would be very grateful for any of your efforts to assist us.
Regina L. Dayton