Y leaders want referendum on new community center

The Greater Marco Island YMCA leadership has made it clear to city officials that the Y believes a referendum is essential to the process of creating a new community center at Mackle Park.

That view was delivered to City Hall earlier this month by Y officials in separate meetings with City Manager Jim Riviere and City Parks and Recreation Director Bryan Milk.

“We talked about it, but we didn’t press it,” says Y Board Member Dick Shanahan, of a possible referendum. “The Y board has not taken a vote on this, so it’s not official, but the executive committee and others feel this way.

“The Y’s position is one of supporting the clamor for a referendum, feeling that there is much controversy there relative to the size of the facility and expenditure involved, particularly at this time.

“That’s the most prudent way, if you will, to let the people make the decision. If they make a favorable decision to build the building, obviously we would support that feeling and work in collaboration with the city to provide the best services for the entire community.”

Asked about resistance to a referendum, perhaps including some members of the city council, Shanahan responded:

“I think it’s a dangerous precedent for them to take when it looks like the majority of people are clamoring for a referendum. It would be wise for these men to consider it. However I don’t think we need to go to a referendum on everything we do. That would be foolhardy.”

After his meetings at City Hall, Shanahan said he thinks that even before a referendum, there would be important changes to the design of any new community center from the one shown in the media.

The leadership of the Y also wants to make sure that activities and services that might be provided at the community center would not conflict with what the Y perceives as its purview.

“We specialize in fitness and in health care and aerobics and those are things that they have told us that they do not plan in including in the building. We take them at their word they would not compete on those core programs.

“Based on that scenario, that’s exactly how we feel. If they get a ‘yea’ from the community, wonderful, and we’ll support that, providing they live up to their commitment to stay out of the businesses that are most important to us.

“Both Bryan Milk and Jim Riviere told us they certainly have no intention of getting into the fitness business or the child care business.”

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Comments » 5

freedomofspeech1 writes:

WHAT DOES THE CITY OF MARCO OWE THE YMCA???
NOTHING!
THE CITY AS WELL AS ANY OTHER ENTITY DOESNT HAVE TO MAKE SURE IT DOESNT STEP ON OTHER BUSINESSES TOES!
WHAT THE Y NEEDS TO DO IS WORRY ABOUT THEIR OWN BUSINESS AND MAKE IT BETTER. IF THE Y DID WHAT THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO DO THERE WOULDNT BE ANY TALK OF THIS BUT THE TRUTH IS THEY OFFER PATHETIC PROGRAMS AT A PATHETIC FACILITY....THE CITY SHOULD DO WHAT IT WANTS AND DOESNT HAVE TO CLEAR IT WITH THE Y OR ANYONE ELSE!

happyhorowitz34145 writes:

in response to freedomofspeech1:

WHAT DOES THE CITY OF MARCO OWE THE YMCA???
NOTHING!
THE CITY AS WELL AS ANY OTHER ENTITY DOESNT HAVE TO MAKE SURE IT DOESNT STEP ON OTHER BUSINESSES TOES!
WHAT THE Y NEEDS TO DO IS WORRY ABOUT THEIR OWN BUSINESS AND MAKE IT BETTER. IF THE Y DID WHAT THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO DO THERE WOULDNT BE ANY TALK OF THIS BUT THE TRUTH IS THEY OFFER PATHETIC PROGRAMS AT A PATHETIC FACILITY....THE CITY SHOULD DO WHAT IT WANTS AND DOESNT HAVE TO CLEAR IT WITH THE Y OR ANYONE ELSE!

The "Y" is pathetic.
Their programs for children are pathetic, (removal of a donated baseball park, and the removal of a donated skate board park).
When the "Y" ran Mackle Park for a few years, their programs were abysmal.
Whith all the millions that the "Y" has raised, one would think that they would eventually would build their own permanent facilities, instead of running business as usual out of the 25 year old temporary buildings.
Dick Shanahan should try keeping both eyes on what the "Y" does.

Seawaller writes:

Living on Marco Island I can see a need for more museums, a philharmonic, a sports/convention center with an indoor track, raquetball courts, tennis courts and basketball courts, ice rink, indoor football and baseball parks, more dog parks, statues, art centers, a subway would be nice, more passive parks, a zoo, certainly a larger airport, more bike paths, and perhaps a university or two. I'm probably too old to see all this accomplished here. Let's see, where can I find all this? New York City! I guess I should have moved there instead.

Advice to those who want to forever change an Island Paradise: New York City awaits you!

ajm3s writes:

in response to Seawaller:

Living on Marco Island I can see a need for more museums, a philharmonic, a sports/convention center with an indoor track, raquetball courts, tennis courts and basketball courts, ice rink, indoor football and baseball parks, more dog parks, statues, art centers, a subway would be nice, more passive parks, a zoo, certainly a larger airport, more bike paths, and perhaps a university or two. I'm probably too old to see all this accomplished here. Let's see, where can I find all this? New York City! I guess I should have moved there instead.

Advice to those who want to forever change an Island Paradise: New York City awaits you!

I believe the City of Marco Island wants a community like Midland, MI with all the lavish public and cultural offerings, but without a Dow Chemical to support them.

How can we solve this problem of private support for a public venue? Start a foundation to get like minded folks together to raise monies and awareness? Then the foundation can get grants from the city? But the foundation still does not have enough money for its planned vision? So lets get a developer to hold the note and build the facility, kinda a one stop shopping scheme? Then lets show the community what organized volunteers can do?

Essentially, leverage a foundation to get monies from the taxpayers at large, even the old folks.

u2cane writes:

There are too many people on our island that think they were important in their previously unretired lives, that now feel the need to try and recapture that life and perceived importance instead of enjoying life as a retired person free to do anything.

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