Marco Island's sewer director cut as city continues to trim costs

Public Works Director Rony Joel presents council with the state of the water utility, saying that the sewer assessment pot is empty and there are less than 90 days left in the operating fund. Joel and city consultants informed council of factors leading to rate hikes, including 'dampened water usage in the future forecast' and erred projections of more customers and city growth while the actual number of customers is shrinking.

Photo by KELLY FARRELL, Staff // Buy this photo

Public Works Director Rony Joel presents council with the state of the water utility, saying that the sewer assessment pot is empty and there are less than 90 days left in the operating fund. Joel and city consultants informed council of factors leading to rate hikes, including "dampened water usage in the future forecast" and erred projections of more customers and city growth while the actual number of customers is shrinking.

— The days are numbered for Rony Joel — the man who led Marco Island through its most expensive, controversial city project— the island-wide sewer installation.

Marco Island City Manager Jim Riviere announced Tuesday that Joel’s final day with the city would be April 1. Joel’s title and responsibilities had changed in recent weeks from the director of the public works department as well as director of the utility to simply the general manager of the water and sewer department.

“I was very surprised,” Joel said after hearing the news. “I think I have and I will continue until the last day to provide all my best efforts to the citizens that I can possibly give.”

Joel’s personnel records, which were initially obtained by the Daily News about four months ago following several city management changes made by Riviere, indicate that Joel was hired as the public works director in June 2004, earning about $78,000 annually.

He then took on the additional role of director of the utilities in January 2005 after the city purchased the water utility from a private firm. Joel then earned $90,000 for both roles.

Riviere said he wasn’t immediately aware of Joel’s current earnings as general manager or the full terms of his severance package.

Joel earned about $120,000 annually through early 2010 while he served as director of both departments.

Joel, under the leadership of then-City Manager Steve Thompson in 2009, was suspended for three days without pay, along with three other utility employees, for lack of communication about changes in water pressure that was causing damage to several sprinkler systems and spikes in many customers’ bills.

Joel received “exceeds expectations” on each annual review prior, but in 2009 his direction from Thompson was to “stay on budget.”

That was a goal that was not met as indicated by Riviere’s most recent assessment.

Riviere cited a “change in direction” as the reason for Joel’s upcoming separation from the city.

Riviere described his preferred operational philosophy as “Spartan,” indicating that Joel’s philosophy was not lean enough.

“I’m just not making the headway that we need to make financially,” Riviere said.

City Council had discussed months earlier the possibility of hiring an outside firm to operate the utility.

Riviere said a nationwide search for a new director was not likely to take place and that hiring internally was not the plan. When asked if an outside firm would be considered, Riviere replied “that’s not out of bounds at all.”

Joel cited his ability to acquire more than $13 million in grants as a primary accomplishment.

When asked if he had become nervous about his job following several changes made by Riviere in top city management earlier this year, Joel indicated he was not.

Riviere eliminated the positions of the city spokeswoman; held by Lisa Douglass; community development director, held by Steve Olmsted; chief of code compliance, held by Steve Olmsted and two police lieutenants, among other changes earlier this year.

“I have, in my six and 1/2 years, had five city managers to report to and I thought I’d continue in that role,” Joel said.

“I work at the pleasure of the city manager... It’s his prerogative,” he said.

Joel, 57, said he was grateful that he and his wife of about 35 years, Nora, have several months to plan their futures.

“It’s obviously going to put a little damper on our Thanksgiving meal, but I’d say any time is not a good time to receive this kind of news,” Joel said.

© 2010 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 45

Ian_Curtis writes:

Finally

deltarome writes:

That is a thankless job. He was very effective technically but politically, was isolated when Dr Riviere came to power.
City needs to continue to cut expenses and trim personnel as taxpayers are looking for decreases, not increases in millage rates or taxes paid.

marco97 writes:

Merry Christmas and happy Hanukkah.

happy34145 writes:

City Manager Jim Riviere continues to prove we finally have a city manager that cares about what is best for the island and its residents and is not working for personal agendas.

Hopefully also on his agenda is to re-name city hall after someone who actually did something that benefited Marco Island and its residents.

Ocram (Inactive) writes:

Don't get too excited. 6 years and many millions of dollars in sewers too, late.

zxcv (Inactive) writes:

More short term thinking. "doctor" Reviere. Where will you all be when the bill comes due for amateur management.

ed34145 writes:

What kind of a city manager doesn't know the salary of a staff member or his severance package? Oh, that's right, someone who isn't a real city manager.

And, he's thinking about hiring a private company? That's because private companies who make a profit have done so well taking money from taxpayers.

ba10da69 writes:

Bye Bye Joel....who's next?With that money you were mooching off the city,you could have a least bought a good tie.

liberator100 writes:

Uwe Klabberyapper: You are a very sick man. One man's misfortune should never be a happy occassion for anyone. Those who dance on other peoples graves deserve to have same done to them. I threw up after reading your sick blogs.

JoeFubietze writes:

TWO IMPORTANT THINGS;

1) HOORAY, No more Rony Joel

2) Mark my words, you heard it here first. John Arceri or some company of which he has vested interest will get the contract for managing this city utility.

Then again, this is only my opinion. And going with that opinion is the thought that it will not be getting better, it will indeed get worse.

Fossil writes:

Although this should have occurred years ago, Ronnie is joining the 1 in 5 Amercians currently out of work. Those who lament his job loss should not forget the many other Americans that will have no bread winners this Thanksgiving. When will the GOP and Chamber of Commerce start hiring people? Corporations have made more profits this past year then any other time in the history of our country. What are they doing with these profits? If they don't start using the money for the good of the country then they should be taxed.

MarcoJimbo writes:

Don't worry about Rony, the April 1st date gives Moss 4 months to find room in Naples for this latest Marco reject/refugee. He's probably owed a few favors by the local construction industry as well.

liberator100 writes:

fossil: You belong in North Korea, Cuba or Venezuela. Your man is in charge; why don't you ask him the same questions? Corporations exist to make money; governments exist to spend it foolishly.

happyhorowitz34145 writes:

"April 1st"? This is a joke?
Why not give him his severance pay and fire his butt now?
Why does the "doctor" (hehehe) want to keep him around, when he fired everybody else immediately?
Want to be more "spartan" fire that loud mouth spokesperson/secretary.
Want to be even more "spartan" fire Murphy also.

GorgonZola writes:

"Spartan"? My keister! What is spartan about Steelcase furniture, an expensive renovation and new furnishings, a sparkling new TV set for your office, a lovely corner office, vanity plates (that we no doubt paid for) on a car probably financed by city taxes also. Be very afraid citizens! A leader who claims not to know salaries of top dogs? We wonder what he does all day anyway - oh, TV maybe!

ajm3s writes:

in response to happyhorowitz34145:

"April 1st"? This is a joke?
Why not give him his severance pay and fire his butt now?
Why does the "doctor" (hehehe) want to keep him around, when he fired everybody else immediately?
Want to be more "spartan" fire that loud mouth spokesperson/secretary.
Want to be even more "spartan" fire Murphy also.

Yes, Yes, Yes,

kazbah writes:

look in his overseas bank account,that is where the citys money is

Islandguyalso writes:

"never read a post from you made any sense' Hows that english language working for you Klab ermouth

1Paradiselost writes:

in response to kazbah:

look in his overseas bank account,that is where the citys money is

Hey we don't call those kickbacks, You can't tell me his friends in business did not take care of him. We call those referral fees!

How about the cost of the Smokehouse bay bridge project compared to the cost of the new Jolly bridge. Follow the money folks!!!

RayPray writes:

From the official City Web site bio of our City Manager:

"Dr. Riviere majored in Economics at the University of Washington, obtained an MBA from American Graduate University and a PhD in Industrial Engineering from Pacific Western University."

From this it is unclear exactly how many credits DOCTOR Reviere actually took at the University of Washington.

Sounds like he didn't graduate.

Then where exactly did the BS or BA degree come from?

American Graduate University is an online degree mill dispensing credentials to anyone with a check.

So much for the MBA.

Here is Wikipedia on Pacific Western U.:

"Pacific Western University, also called American PacWest International University and registered with the business name Pacific West University (Hawaii) was an unaccredited institution based in Hawaii that was closed in 2006 following a lawsuit filed by the State of Hawaii a year earlier.

Pacific Western University (Hawaii) was incorporated in Hawaii in 1988. According to the State of Hawaii, it enrolled fewer than 25 state residents, but used several websites (including www.apiu.ws, www.open-universities.com, www.warwicks.com and www.imed-pwu.com) to enroll distance education students from other places.

In 2005, the State of Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection brought a lawsuit against the institution, alleging that it misrepresented itself to prospective students and committed several other violations of state law.

On May 9, 2006, a state court ruled in favor of the state agency, ordering Pacific Western to cease operation and assessing a civil penalty of $500,000."

Hence the dubious PhD!

While Florida seems to be a powerful magnet for individuals boasting factitious academic credentials, could it be that our esteemed City Council has selected a person to mange our island -- with a most generous package of salary & benefits -- possessed legitimately of little more than a High School diploma?

ba10da69 writes:

"86" EVERYONE.......CITY WAS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE EVER

deltarome writes:

This isn't about city manager saving money or cutting budgets. Council sets millage rate and city budgets were increased for past year.
This is about the hijacking of control over city assets by the marco mafia. They didn't have enough votes on council to stop the tide towards equalizing sewer base charges. Master meter condos can pay as little as 20% of that of an individual metered condo owner or a single family home.
There is more at work than meets the eye.
From his comments not to hire a replacement and left open the possibility of hiring an outside firm to run the water and sewer plants, I think the city manager intends to contract it out and make it less political.

Fossil writes:

deltarome: I think you are correct. Klab: I'm not sure why so many conservatives on Marco Island are concerned with the City manager's credentials. They didn't care about GW's business failings or his barely passing grades. They didn't care that the Governor's office in Texas is ceremonial and has no real managerial power. They don't care that the former Governor of Alaska had to transfer to several less then great schools to get an education. They also didn't care that she resigned in the middle of her term. Oh, and she never read a national newspaper until someone brought it to her attention. Our City Manager is doing fine and he needs to do more.

happyhorowitz34145 writes:

in response to RayPray:

From the official City Web site bio of our City Manager:

"Dr. Riviere majored in Economics at the University of Washington, obtained an MBA from American Graduate University and a PhD in Industrial Engineering from Pacific Western University."

From this it is unclear exactly how many credits DOCTOR Reviere actually took at the University of Washington.

Sounds like he didn't graduate.

Then where exactly did the BS or BA degree come from?

American Graduate University is an online degree mill dispensing credentials to anyone with a check.

So much for the MBA.

Here is Wikipedia on Pacific Western U.:

"Pacific Western University, also called American PacWest International University and registered with the business name Pacific West University (Hawaii) was an unaccredited institution based in Hawaii that was closed in 2006 following a lawsuit filed by the State of Hawaii a year earlier.

Pacific Western University (Hawaii) was incorporated in Hawaii in 1988. According to the State of Hawaii, it enrolled fewer than 25 state residents, but used several websites (including www.apiu.ws, www.open-universities.com, www.warwicks.com and www.imed-pwu.com) to enroll distance education students from other places.

In 2005, the State of Hawaii Office of Consumer Protection brought a lawsuit against the institution, alleging that it misrepresented itself to prospective students and committed several other violations of state law.

On May 9, 2006, a state court ruled in favor of the state agency, ordering Pacific Western to cease operation and assessing a civil penalty of $500,000."

Hence the dubious PhD!

While Florida seems to be a powerful magnet for individuals boasting factitious academic credentials, could it be that our esteemed City Council has selected a person to mange our island -- with a most generous package of salary & benefits -- possessed legitimately of little more than a High School diploma?

AMEN!!!! AMEN!!!!! AMEN!!!!!!!
Not only are Reveire's credentials phoney, so is the scam that is being perpetrated by him and certain city councelors with all these firings/dismissals. Slowly more dupes/pawns are going to be put in place to fill theses voids.

Sooo.. What do you think Kiester is trying to do, by calling for the resignation of one of the code board members?
She supposedly is not following the new wave of thinking or the direction of caring that the city council is moving in.
Why not get rid of the midget Granda and Taliban Tariq at the same time, their little power trip needs to end also.

MarcoJimbo writes:

I sure hope the City Manager isn't looking to contract-out utility operations. The only southwest Florida utility with rates higher than ours is Golden Gate City, owned by the Florida Governmental Utilities Authority, who contracts out to Severn-Trent Services. It would be a real shame to see us jump out of the frying pan into the fire after shutting down the Electric Municipalization (undergrounding) and Town Center CRA projects (2 of Rony "the construction industry's shill"'s most recent schemes).

MrBreeze writes:

It was a "no brainer" Joel had to go.
Many chances at a better island were missed by the leadership of Joel.

I for one feel the "concept" of the STRP was good but it burdened the homeowner with to much costs. The project should have included central sewer for all the island along with a water "loop" mains for current use as the island is pretty much built out. That could have included all the needs of the island today and the future. Big mistake by Joel went for sewer only now we need water upgrades.

The fatal mistake of Marco Island was to get into the Water business. We need to SELL the water plant if we can but with a deal that can be structured that will not kill us in return with high bills.

Along with bad decisions, it was just time to break ties with Mr. Joel.

We need not get involved with contracting out the water services operations that will further harm us. If anything, we need to hire the right people to operate the water plant with the right lean cost approach not just "card blanche" spending.

The City has gotten us into a bad situation and firing one guy will not cure it overnight but maybee we can turn things around with sensable thinking and correct spending and leadership. There is no fast cure for this one.

ajm3s writes:

in response to MrBreeze:

It was a "no brainer" Joel had to go.
Many chances at a better island were missed by the leadership of Joel.

I for one feel the "concept" of the STRP was good but it burdened the homeowner with to much costs. The project should have included central sewer for all the island along with a water "loop" mains for current use as the island is pretty much built out. That could have included all the needs of the island today and the future. Big mistake by Joel went for sewer only now we need water upgrades.

The fatal mistake of Marco Island was to get into the Water business. We need to SELL the water plant if we can but with a deal that can be structured that will not kill us in return with high bills.

Along with bad decisions, it was just time to break ties with Mr. Joel.

We need not get involved with contracting out the water services operations that will further harm us. If anything, we need to hire the right people to operate the water plant with the right lean cost approach not just "card blanche" spending.

The City has gotten us into a bad situation and firing one guy will not cure it overnight but maybee we can turn things around with sensable thinking and correct spending and leadership. There is no fast cure for this one.

Agree

MrBreeze writes:

I forgot one more thing that could have been done during STRP.

We should as an island looked into servicing all properties with recycle water out of the waste treatment plant for the residents irrigation.

If Mr. Joel and the rest of Marco Island leaders were ahead of the curve this plan would have been in place and then it mabee would have qualified for the stimulus funds instead of building that second span of the bridge.

How nice would it have been for us to be able to water our lawns without a second mortgage on the home to pay the water bill. How much better would the whole STRP project been implemented with new water service along with waste water for irrigation. The savings would have been huge in construction costs to do it all at one same time.

I would have been happpy to pay towards that improvment even though my home is already on city sewer. That was a big mistake by all on the island to not to study such a project.

Mr. Joel could have and should have been the guy who brings such concepts to the City leaders for debate. Instead the STRP was a failure due to bad feelings over payment by the people who felt cheated by the program.

Enough of Joel. My question is who is going to grab this job by the boot strings and do it right going into the future? I am shure that there are many retired water plant and munincipal public works directors on the island.

It is time to step up to make a change or we will all go broke.

happyhorowitz34145 writes:

Klapasstrap;
If you think (no real degree) dr. Reviere is doing a great job, you sir, are the real Island/village-idiot !!!!
He must be a witch doctor, because he's got you under his spell.

reallifeswfla writes:

Joel was the chief cheerleader for the entire Marco sewer expansion fiasco. He cooked the books by offering rosy financial forecasts that the City swallowed down like candy. Homeowners were hit with $20k sewer asessments plus a doubling or tripling of their utility bill (average from $75, to $200- $300 per month). That went over with the citizens like a lead baloon in these tough economic times. Who can forget the asbestos fiasco, the methane gas fiasco, etc... under his watch. Despite what he says, he was no saint.
Keep going Riviere, you're doing a great job. Laura Litzan, you're next!!!

MrBreeze writes:

I do not know John Arceri. I was thinking someone who has knowledge of munincipial water plants who can give us value for services that they can render.

I am open to new fresh faces and out of the box thinking.

Again, if we do not get a handle on this we will be paying out the nose to turn the faucet on.

In my hometown up North we have been hit with 18% increases over the course of a few years but still our water is cheaper than Markup Island.

Why is it that the base charge is 50.00 dollars?
Why again do most part time residents pay the frieght for the full timers. I pay 50.00 bucks a month and I use not a drop of water. In fact my main valve at the house is off until I get there. Yes, I can get the main turned off at the street if I pay the service charge another "fee" of Markup Island.

Like I say we part timers pay through the nose and use nothing. No trash still pay, No water or sewer still pay. No road use, still pay. No burden on City services and still paying.

For the good of ALL residents we need to get a handle on this water deal before we ALL go down the drain.

Fossil writes:

The absence of so many financial oversight regualtions during the last two administrations are the single greatest cause of our resources drying up. Streets with property not generating revenue and fees can put a damper on a small town like ours. Soon we won't be able to afford collecting our garbage much less our excrement. But, there is hope. Economic indicators indicate Obama's recovery efforts are making progress, although slowly. Last quarter showed record profits for corporations, the banks and auto industry are paying off their loans with interest, all contributing to a decline in the deficit. Shiny new cars can be seen on our roads again. The population of hybrids and alternative fuel vehicals are ready to take off. Restaurants up north are reporting an increase in customers. Excellent and undeniable indicators of progress are occurring every week. Today the business community is crowing about recent black friday sales exceeding those of the last year. Consumers are opening their wallets again demonstrating that cash and not credit will be the reponsible way to go. Hopefully, the new House Republicans will deliver with their promises next year to improve the economy. Can't wait to hear what their solutions are. When the Tea Party members and the new Republican House members reveal their plan to help business create jobs, Rony's problems may go away and our realators can start selling houses again. Happy times may be coming back. Keep your fingers crossed.

marcosandflea writes:

Joel was "let go" more because he is one of the two remaining that was involved in violating the clean water act with phoney story of discharge permit then on a conference all with Feds denying pumping at very moment pictures being sent to Feds. Look at the documents the EPA gave out for the true proof (Arceri Lasarus Tarik Walduck Gibon Trotter do not have to look at the documents since they do not want to read facts). All others except one are gone so city had to free itself of liability. Even with good odds that no prosecution coming with new governor since old governor was involved (remember Popoff saying alot "Governor Crist is for the sewers weather the people on Marco want it or not"?? with his appointment to election commission of local MM member $$ donation from city firm with partner as councilor) best to get rid of liability. Big s----- mistake was those that got the EPA papers did not get Feds to charge city. Let see when the honorable councilors fire environmental specialist for slander of local troublemakers when asked by Feds to look into water contamination instead of looking into contamination - this is in papers to.

marcosandflea writes:

If City Of Marco and all state and local and federal governments were to fire all staff that were part of doing wrong as like Joel there will be no budget negative and taxes will not have to go up.

RayPray writes:

All the above stuff on Obama and recovery miss the real farce of STRP.

Global warming is real.

Like a broken clock, Al Gore happened to get this one right.

The ice caps and Greenland ice sheet are melting.

Some estimate have all of Florida south of Orlando under water by 2050.

Costly STRP will be done in a couple years.

Even if rate of sea rise is slower, all of Marco will start to inundate soon after sewers are all online.

Soon as the first signs of inundation are visible, home sales down here will drop to zero.

Huge cost of sewer will soon be down the drain in more ways than one!

Fossil writes:

islandeye: The health care reform bill does NOT contribute to the deficit. As a matter of fact the Congressional Budget Office has labled it deficit neutral. The TARP was a Republican idea. It was sold to the country by the Bush team. They scared the beejeebees out of everyone and got that ball rolling. Obama did what he was told to do by the experts, not necessarily what he wanted to do. Looking back, it was the only thing to do. The tripling of the national debt was a joint effort contributed to by BOTH parties. It was born of the TARP and if the major financial instititions had failed, they would have taken your money with them. Our country would have been devastated and the libertarians would have their city states rising from the ashes. Not saving the automobile companies would have resulted in millions more unemployed and they would have received unemployment benefits costing even more. You are so blinded by misinformation and party loyalty that you keep misdirecting your blame. The Chinese worker is doing fine because of all the outsourching of jobs. Jobs that corporations have sent overseas at the expense of our own workers. Black Friday sold far more Chinese made goods then American made. That is not a result of Obama's policies. That is a result of more then a decade of Clinton and Bush policies. You claim the Bush tax cuts for the rich will bring the best results? Where are the jobs Ronald Reagan's "trickle down" policies were to create? Where are the jobs that GW's tax benefits for the rich promised? The rich are so busy screaming that class warfare is ruining their chance to make more money that they can't hire anyone. They do that even though the greatest transfer of wealth the country has ever expereinced just occurred. The middle class has just about turned over all their cash so that the rich can continue getting richer. It is the rich that declared war on the middle class, not the other way around. They have all the money and all the power. Is having the power of wealth enough for them? No, now they are actually openly buying politicians by financing their campaigns. Some won their local elections will only one single contribution of cash. That is the new reality. Open your eyes and stop believing all the garbage the populists feed you. The experience of the Bush administration should have taught you something.

Fossil writes:

islandeye: You want us to believe that the eight (8) years GW was in office had little if nothiing to do with our country's problems today? You actually believe that Obama's policies developed in the first year and implemented during the next six months are the greatest cause of our nation's problems today? The thing the Obama haters can't get over is the total devestation that occurred during the last six months of the Bush administration. Recent revelations by GW prove that he really doesn't understand how it happened. Now you can't accept the fact that the Obama polices may have arrested the crisis and that just maybe this fellow will be able to put things right. You champion a party that has a primary goal of getting him out of office in 2012 and not of making our country whole again? You still believe that health care is to blame, yet so little of it has been enacted that it cannot be considered as a contributing factor to the recession and projections four and five years out predicting a poor outcome are just that, projections based on no facts. Stop making excuses and admit that two parts to this problem must be examined to fully understand it. Pre recession and post recession. Most economist cautiously believe that the recession has been arressted and that current polices are beginning to show their worth. What is it about what these economists say that is so hard for you to understand? Are you really angry that they may be working? Don't you care about the millions of citizens out of work? Don't you understand the devestaing events that have ruined their lives? The wealthy represnet only 2 percent of us. Why do you care so much about their good fortune? Especially since they have proven to be so tight fisted with their money. Most Americans pay their taxes because they know it's a duty they must endure. What is so special about these rich folks? If they feel that they shouldn't pay their fair share, then why are they not at least investing in our country? Wouldn't that be the patriotic thing to do? Isn't the country more importnat then politics and money?

marcosandflea writes:

Most of these inputs have a great deal of true to them but as relate to Marco Island where the people have some control if it were not for the MM then if we the people can have the city get rid of the Joels and the Richies that were part of the STAFF that affected the law against the CLEAN WATER ACT and as Foster found CLEAN AIR ACT or asbestos, like the STAFF of Reinke and that whole fake investigation and Moss with voter intimidation threat to sue the people that signed HALLs recall proxy (but MOSS would not be charged because Rhodes partner of Tucker appointed to Elections Comision that does these things) there fore we people can flush these violaters out of government and save taxes and it not matter if Bush or Obami or any one because no more corruption. Only now left in City of Marco is Ritchie see when she goes and then we do not have to care if Bush or Obami are bad because we people can clean house at local and that will work at Feds level.

marcosandflea writes:

But what good was the pass of the Health Act if Joel Ritchie Moss Rienke Tucker Trotter Minozzi Rockoff let lethal hydrogen sulfate gas cover the streets and 900 people went to the doctor? Will the new health care Act cover the long term health problems from breathing fumes?

ajm3s writes:

in response to Klabautermann:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

K,

You claim that Obama"s words are of a savior. I counter and claim that his words are those of an activist. If you would have lived in the inner city as a child you would recognize the verbiage.

Many folks confuse the social justice, social economic diatribes as the speech of saviors. But we all know saviors are a mask furnished by Progressives to swoop down and "solve" a crisis by taking power from the people to serve their own central government bureaucratic dream. All under the guise for the betterment of the people although a less free people.

Review the development of eugenics in the early 20th century, it is a classic Progressive idea for the betterment of the human race. I submit it is the most racist concept I ever read about though well disguised.

And do not feel sorry for Obama, he is a "false" god [if you wish to frame him as a savior]. He spent much time with Rev. Wright and his influence. It is so obvious.

The only hope for Obama is if the economy returns to pre-2008 levels of employment, which is a huge task, in this world economy. But there is "hope and change".

I wish I could support Mr. Obama, but he is a pathetic example of adminsitrative ineptitude coupled with obsolete Progressive ideas.

Americans just want a place to live and work without the encumbrances of big brother. And since my father's time there has been a constant drip-drip-drip of central government control and growth. And all under the guise of regulating those with power i.e. banks, insurance industry, taking tax dollars from the rich through a progressive tax structure, providing safety nets for the folks etc.

Are we better off today relative to these specific industries and tax policies, or have we simply handed over our freedom of choice to the government because we do not wish to exercise personal responsibility.

I agree with you if America wants to be a great nation among nations, it's greatest gift is the freedom of its people. And every time we diminish that freedom we fail to demonstrate our potential to the world.

ajm3s writes:

in response to Klabautermann:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I am not a McCain fan nor am I an Obama fan, but if you wish to compare the Marco Mafia with either presidential candidate, I will simply say that Americans better wake up and start to question those that represent them. On a Federal level, the Health Care Reform Act or whatever it is called is a monstrosity of bureaucratic proportions that even Ms. Pelosi does not know what will come out of this bill since the creation of all the agencies that will administer the various forms of health care are yet to be created.

I suspect the Health Care Reform Act will go down as unconstitutional since the government cannot force American to purchase something for simply being an American. Under the Health Care Reform Act every American must purchase health care insurance or face fines and penalties.

That in a nutshell is why it will not see the light of day in its current form. And this will force the dismantling since there is no severability clause, which is quite embarrassing to those who drafted the bill for passage.

Or perhaps, the unelected bureaucrats can just rewrite the laws as they feel fit without legislative action?

Again, it was more important to Mr. Obama and his administration, as well as liberals to get health care reform passed, without anyone understanding what was in the original bill.

With regard to the current Marco administration, I believe they are transforming it into a more island friendly environment. Maybe its me but I do not see the Code Ordinance vehicles riding around as often as when Mr. Olmstead had the reins, or I am just imagining this? Imagine, today a Code Ordinance officer that now believes in education as a goal rather than revenue. Code compliance is more a function of education than revenue. It always was until the past administration believed in revenue enhancement and had the soldiers in place to meet his demands.

At least the folks are engaged, in fact, the newest group to establish itself (Homeowners Association) are about to engage with the other power brokers, i.e. Chamber of Commerce, Condo Association. Let the games begin. Imagine you have to create a Homeowner's Association to be heard by the Council as a viable entity. I guess the few homeowners that rose to the podium to express their legitimate concerns were not clear or powerful enough. I guess, you need quantity of voices rather than quality of voice to make the case. I truly am a neophyte when it comes to political matters on this island especially with regard to who influences whom.

Again, just thinking outloud which can be a dangerous thing. LOL

marcosandflea writes:

Thank You Joel! Ritchie! Moss! Tucker! Trotter! Minozzi! Rockoff! Reinke! Arceri, Issler, Tarik! Thank you all of you for world wide publicity for Marco Island!

City of Marco Island and Quality Enterprises USA, Inc. Agree to pay Penalty to Resolve Clean Air Act Violations

Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, (404) 562-8421, harris-young.dawn@epa.gov

(Atlanta, Ga. – June 24, 2010) The city of Marco Island, Florida, and Quality Enterprises USA, Inc. (Quality) have entered into an administrative consent agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to settle allegations that the city and Quality violated the Clean Air Act and the federal asbestos regulations known as the National Emission Standard for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Asbestos. Under the consent agreement, the city and Quality have agreed to pay a penalty of $81,722. In accordance with a separate agreement between the city and Quality, Quality will pay the entire penalty. The alleged violations occurred during the city’s Collier Boulevard road-widening and sewer and drinking water pipe installation project that began in 2005. The Consent Agreement was finalized on June 23, 2010. The alleged violations of the asbestos regulations include:

* failure to conduct a thorough inspection for asbestos prior to the excavation of asbestos-containing cement piping;
* failure to provide timely written notification to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection prior to beginning the construction project;
* failure to remove the excavated asbestos-containing piping prior to conducting construction activity that would break up, dislodge or disturb the asbestos material;,
* failure to adequately wet and keep wet the excavated asbestos-containing piping until disposed;
* failure to have on-site a supervisor properly trained in the asbestos regulations; and
* failure to properly dispose of the excavated asbestos-containing piping and asbestos-contaminated debris as soon as practical.

In 2006, EPA learned that fragments and sections of the asbestos-containing cement piping that had been excavated during the project had been disposed of and/or otherwise had come to be located at three separate sites near the construction project on Marco Island. Due to the presence of asbestos contamination at the three sites, EPA determined that cleanup action was required. The city and Quality fully cooperated with EPA in the development and implementation of sampling and cleanup plans to address the contamination at the sites. Cleanup actions were satisfactorily completed in accordance with the work plans in May 2007, April 2008, and November 2008, respectively. Subsequent confirmatory soil sampling did not indicate the presence of any remaining asbestos fibers. Under the Consent Agreement, the city and Quality have certified that they are in compliance with all relevant requirements of the asbestos regulations.

Fossil writes:

Good riddance to Rony Joel. Maybe he can get a job with a waste managment monopoly.

Fossil writes:

Klab, he wants to simply run a business and not have any responsibility. He doesn't believe the government has any role in the business world except perhaps to ensure he has the "freedom" to operate the business the way he wants to. He also doesn't believe he should pay any taxes. He cares not if his business brings harm to a community or if consumers suffer harm who use his product. He despises trail lawyers who may take him to court for cheating someone or because he was reckless. There are many wealthy hardworking business people in Mexico, Columbia and Afaganistan, that believe the same thing he does. The only difference between our local guy and those fellows, is they have the courage to pick up a gun and fight the government for their "freedom" to grow and sell harmful products. Governments make regulations to benefit ALL of us, not just the business world. A nation without a strong central government respresenting all it's citizens, is a nation in anarchy in which only the wealthy can afford the security to live "free".

marcosandflea writes:

K - that is my understanding and that is what I tried to say and you picked it up correctly. The Joel Ritchie Moss Tucker Trotter Minozzi Arceri Issles Tarik mob with the lies and public profane that they spewed of those that told the truth about the asbestos and hydrogen sulfide they not only brought shame on the island now recognized world wide because of the EPA press release but also because they hurt so many people. And the dear "clean house" councilors and the "clean house" city manager still has Ritchie employed - the same Ritchie that said nothing when asbestos was being crushed not a mile from two schools that said nothing when hundreds of people breathed hydrogen sulfide - yes she did say something she wrote an email using slur against those people that were telling the truth about the pollution but she still has her job! All of the above should be prosecuted even their estates but no the MM still in charge and no one wants to "live in the past". There are some real winners on the island - the people now that want to stop school on Track "K" because of the eagle - alright school s----- idea - but these same now new love the birds environmentalists - where were they when a burrowing owl nest was discovered in the middle of the asbestos dump now called veterans park and the Florida Department of Fish and Wildlife sent an officer and within FORTY EIGHT HOURS that owl and the nest disappeared so fast never to be seen again. Go pull these records and guess who the Fish Wildlife officer interacted with? RITCHIE!! So where we the bird lovers then??? And other winners - Davies and Sanchez taking pictures of toxic water dumping into the canals and sending them to the EPA while Joel Moss and the MM gang are on a conference call with the EPA LYING that there was no pumping going on and they were getting sick! Now they are not here and best thing is that NOBODY cared then or now!! So they wasted their time because the people that did the pollution never receive justice!

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