MARCO ISLAND — The 2010 Marco election marks the third attempt by candidate Joe Batte, 68, to vie for an open city council seat. Batte lost the 2008 election and says this time, it’s a “quieter campaign” than the previous election, which was essentially a referendum on the controversial Septic Tank Replacement Program (STRP.)
Batte has served on several city committees, including the forensic audit committee. He has a background in law enforcement, particularly in healthcare-related crimes.
Protecting the health, welfare and safety of people are Batte’s priorities, while nice-to-have items will be delayed.
City budgeting should be done monthly and all areas, including employee costs and all departments’ budgets, should be on the table for review. He is not supportive of recent increases in staff.
“A government willing to look at itself is a healthy government.”
Batte will be at a non-election-related event Tuesday night with the Knights of Columbus at San Marco Catholic Church. He says he may join one of the incumbents', Chuck Kiester's or Ted Forcht's, campaign events later in the evening.
Live on Marco with Joe Batte
jJoe Batte, new Marco Isalnd City Councilor, was with his "brothers," the Marco Isalnd Knights of Columbus when he learned he had won election.
A round of applause and hugs followed. He called his wife, Anna, who told him he had won his second-place seat by 55 votes.
"I am obviously humbled," he said."I think the people of Marco Island have sent the message to current council and city that they are looking for representatives who are looking out for them. I think the vote showed that the people reached out to the candidatesd who would care for the folks."
City Manager Steve Thompson called Batte shortly after the election winners were announced.
"Steve congratulated me and expressed his desire to work very closely with me," Batte said. "I am looking forward to working with Steve and our good city staff."
Batte's wife Anna came to teh church hall to pick up her husband and give him a hug and kiss.
"I'm relieved and very happy that he won," she said. "I know this is something he really wanted and worked very hard to be elected. He and I feel he can make a difference."
The Battes then were off to Chuck Kiester's party.
As the first round of results were being tabulated Joe Batte was with his Marco Island Knights of Columbus friends. When the first round of votes, around 7 p.m., were being announced he was in the San Marco Catholic Church Chapel with his Knights of Columbus members saying the Rosary.
Joe Grande, fellow Knights member, gave Batte a hug and kiss, saying , "I know you will be in the top three."
"I'm feeling good and I'm goping to say the Rosary with my brothers," Batte said sith tears in his eyes.
"The election is a brotherhood of brothers," Batte said. "I like the candidates, they are all good men.
Batte told how he served with Larry Magel on the City Audit Forensic Committee, that incumbent Councilos Chuck Kiester appointed him to the committee and that Councilor Frank Recker appointed him to the Code Enforcement Board
"It has been a real treat for me to work with the councilors," he said."