Marco Island City Council: Off the map – Rates, roads, and rockets

Major topics at City Council meeting non-agenda items

City Manager Jim Riviere explains the speed limit signs on the island's roads should never have been changed. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

Photo by LANCE SHEARER

City Manager Jim Riviere explains the speed limit signs on the island's roads should never have been changed. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

It has been said that everyone has their own agenda.

The Marco Island City Council has an agenda, every time they meet. It is supposed to provide a heads-up, a roadmap of the issues the council will deal with at a given session.

Sometimes, though, other issues take over, and the roadmap is left miles behind. Tuesday evening, the agenda items before the council were disposed of rather quickly, and with minimal discussion (for a deliberative body). Ordinances on second reading for budget re-appropriation and water and sewer rate modifications were passed 7-0.

A resolution for annual uniform collection of tax bills, and authorization of the Smokehouse Bay Bridge design phase two were also approved unanimously, as was a proposal to rename Tracts C and D to Calusa Park. Approval of a contract to purchase a property for demolition did not even require a vote.

When public comment was called for, Utilities Advisory Board chairman and city meeting regular Ken Honecker brought up a topic which seemed to strike a nerve in the Council, and kept coming up time and again during the evening. His concern was utility rates.

“The city spent $80,000 and countless hours of staff time on rate design,” he said. “Does the council intend to do anything with that? I know there’s a better chance of ten inches of snow in Mackle Park than we’ll get a rate design in 90 days,” but he urged the Council to press ahead on the issue. Touting his monthly water consumption of just 1.350 gallons per month, he said, “I saved $272 last year.”

Council came back to the question several times during the meeting, and eventually directed City Manager Jim Riviere to set up a meeting with Burton & Associates, their consultant on utility rates, to try and resolve it.

“It’s embarrassing,” said Chairman Jerry Gibson. “We need to give our people some rates that are fair and equitable. I’d really like to see a rate study by January or February.” The Council decided to hold a workshop meeting on the issue before their regular scheduled meeting on December 5 if the consultant’s personnel could be available.

In another item not on the agenda, Gibson made an announcement, responding to citizen input from a previous council meeting. On Jan. 23, he said, the City Council will hold a town meeting to hear input from Marco residents. The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Community Meeting Room at 51 Bald Eagle Drive.

“Letters to civic and homeowner groups will be sent this week, soliciting topics and questions for the meeting,” said Gibson. Individuals are also encouraged to submit questions and comments to City Clerk Laura Litzan at llitzan@cityofmarcoisland.com.

Fireworks, also not on the menu, came up for discussion. Four of the seven Councilmen, by a show of hands, voted to revisit the idea of the City of Marco Island contributing to help with the expense of putting on the Fourth of July fireworks display at Residents’ Beach.

The last non-agenda item was one that has been much on the minds and tongues of Marco Island this week – speed limits. Basically, Riviere paraphrased the old line from Gilda Radner on “Saturday Night Live” – “never mind.” It was, he said, all a misunderstanding, and the speed limit signs should never have been changed.

“It was all a misunderstanding” among city staff, Riviere said, adding no disciplinary action would be taken. “I’ll flagellate myself,” he promised.

© 2011 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 10

marco97 writes:

Why would my tax dollars go to fireworks on a private beach club? If I need to be a member to use that beach I don't think my tax money should be spent there.

marco826 writes:

in response to marco97:

Why would my tax dollars go to fireworks on a private beach club? If I need to be a member to use that beach I don't think my tax money should be spent there.

Selfish Selfish...The Fireworks are a community event and thousands of our citizens and guests to the Island enjoy them every year. Move somewhere else and take a sparkler with you.

happy6 writes:

“It was all a misunderstanding” among city staff, Riviere said, adding no disciplinary action would be taken. “I’ll flagellate myself,” he promised"

NOW...i ask you how in the world can someone "mis-understand"..."go take down the 35 mph signs and replace the with 30 mph signs"...this character is in denial.
he did it...it was his decision...he broke state law and he knows it....so just admit it doc.

Throat_Yogurt writes:

in response to marco97:

Why would my tax dollars go to fireworks on a private beach club? If I need to be a member to use that beach I don't think my tax money should be spent there.

Non-members are allowed through Residents Beach entrance on the 4th. And it is not a private club, it just a controlled entrance to part of the beach. If you really want to use their facilities, enter the beach at another point and walk down there (or jump the fence next to the Gulfview)

MarcoberryRFD writes:

in response to happy6:

“It was all a misunderstanding” among city staff, Riviere said, adding no disciplinary action would be taken. “I’ll flagellate myself,” he promised"

NOW...i ask you how in the world can someone "mis-understand"..."go take down the 35 mph signs and replace the with 30 mph signs"...this character is in denial.
he did it...it was his decision...he broke state law and he knows it....so just admit it doc.

DR GOOBER: well gollie Andy they got a law for changing them there signs, guess Barney shouldn't of changed the darn things.

ANDY: Thats ok Goob, soon as we figure out the that darn law, you and Barney can change them again.

DR GOOBER: ya think we oughta hire one of them consultants in a fancy suit Andy? he can help us learn that darn law.

OldMarcoMan writes:

Just get a 16 year old, they have to know this stuff to get their Lic.,
Then you can work on getting a 6 year old to fix our Computers.
There i just saved you enough to have Fireworks ever night, like Disney.

Oh and European Fireworks arnt free, they are paid for with Taxes too, just thought Id add that for arguments sake.

marco97 writes:

in response to Throat_Yogurt:

Non-members are allowed through Residents Beach entrance on the 4th. And it is not a private club, it just a controlled entrance to part of the beach. If you really want to use their facilities, enter the beach at another point and walk down there (or jump the fence next to the Gulfview)

Thanks for the info, if the beach is open for all residents on the 4th I don't mind my tax money going for fireworks on that part of the beach.

condoseller writes:

in response to happy6:

“It was all a misunderstanding” among city staff, Riviere said, adding no disciplinary action would be taken. “I’ll flagellate myself,” he promised"

NOW...i ask you how in the world can someone "mis-understand"..."go take down the 35 mph signs and replace the with 30 mph signs"...this character is in denial.
he did it...it was his decision...he broke state law and he knows it....so just admit it doc.

Someone also had to order and authorize payment for the 30 mph signs and direct the police to enforce the newly posted limits. I'm afraid Dr. Rivière is not being truthful with residents or our City Council.

OldMarcoMan writes:

I think your wrong Klaus
And if what ever second string country your from is so great why did you leave? It couldn't be to take the Waters.

marcofriend writes:

in response to condoseller:

Someone also had to order and authorize payment for the 30 mph signs and direct the police to enforce the newly posted limits. I'm afraid Dr. Rivière is not being truthful with residents or our City Council.

While I don't disagree with what you are saying, I'm afraid it was a "staff" member who did this and the City Manager is trying to protect him. Read between the lines as to what was said at the last City Council meeting. Mr Pinter did a little more than he was supposed to.

Also, I'm sure we will never hear the real "cost" for this mess. New signs, multiple man hours of labor, wear and tear on vehicles and it just goes on and on.

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