Marco Island City Council candidates – Nine vie for four seats

— While the electorate is in the middle of one election, another is occupying the thoughts of some on the island. On Nov. 6, in addition to selecting the President, a U.S. Senator, and many other races, Marco Island voters will elect four City Council members from a pool of nine candidates.

The nine, including three incumbents, all qualified by submitting 126 valid petition signatures, representing one percent of the vote tally in the last general election, in addition to a 10 cent per signature verification charge, and a $60 filing fee to the Supervisor of Elections, making the cost to run for the Marco Island City Council a minimum of $72.60.

Each winning candidate will serve a four-year term, with elections staggered so four or five seats are open every two years. After two terms, councilors are term-limited; Dr. Bill Trotter, an incumbent, is not able to run again, so his seat is open in November.

In upcoming issues, the Marco Eagle will spotlight each of the candidates with a brief bio, plus why, in their words, they want to be on the council and why the voters should want them there. Each candidate was asked, via email, the same list of questions, to ensure a level playing field. Today, we present the first three profiles. Look for the next three profiles next Friday.

Larry Sacher

Larry Sacher

Larry Sacher

Larry Sacher is perhaps best known to Marco Islanders as president of the Marco Island Property Owners, which he co-founded. With Judy, his wife of 42 years, he has been a full-time resident of Marco Island for 12 years, and part-time for 20-plus years.

Formerly from Ohio, Sacher has extensive experience in financial planning and personnel management, serving as lead executive for a $55 Billion financial services organization prior to retirement.

The number one issue facing Marco Island and the City Council, said Sacher, is "the vision and direction of Marco Island's future – tourist attraction or stay true to the Mackle Brothers/Deltona vision." Additional key questions, he said, involve spending issues from utilities to the Mackle Community Center and the Smokehouse Bay Bridge.

Sacher was compelled to run, he said, by what he saw as "how dysfunctional our city government is, the lack of transparency, and over-the-top spending." He is troubled by the "apparent disconnect between Council and residents."

Why should Marco voters elect him to the City Council?

"Because I have the business, financial, and management experience to oversee an enterprise with a $20,000,000-plus operating budget and a $26,000,000-plus operating budget for Marco Utilities," said Sacher. "Furthermore, I've demonstrated by commitment to improving Marco through both my activities in the Marco Island Property Owners as well as getting an in-depth understanding of Marco issues by constant attendance at meetings."

Sacher is also a patron of the Marco Eagle Sanctuary Foundation, and member of the Jewish Congregation of Marco Island, Marco Men's Club, Marco Police Foundation, the Marco Bay Yacht Club, and Marco Island Country Club. He has a website, www.larrysacherforcitycouncil.com.

Kelly Farrell/Eagle Correspondent
City Council Vice Chairman Frank Recker.

Photo by Kelly Farrell

Kelly Farrell/Eagle Correspondent City Council Vice Chairman Frank Recker.

Frank Recker

Frank Recker has both DDS and JD after his name. He combines the two in his professional life, engaged in the full-time practice of law representing dentists and dental organizations nationwide.

Recker is a current incumbent city councilor, where he has served as both chairman and vice-chairman, elected to the posts by his peers on the council. With his wife Sandy, he has been a permanent resident of Marco Island for 15 years, moving here from Ohio.

Looking ahead, Recker anticipates a greater focus on infrastructure and growth management.

"The present Council has been fiscally prudent, and that is a matter of public record," said Recker. "Our spending CAP, although the only one in the State of Florida, is workable and has proven to be a deterrent to unnecessary spending. Any anticipated expenditure requiring large amounts of money, such as a new park and recreation building, should be decided by referendum, but only after all the facts and options have been publicly discussed and analyzed."

Why should Marco voters retain Frank Recker on the City Council?

"I think voters only need to review my voting record, and consider my unwavering penchant for governmental transparency, a reduction in government regulations, and my propensity to ask tough questions and then come to my own conclusions, regardless of any single voter or special interest citizen group," said Recker.

In addition to Marco's City Council, Recker has served as vice mayor and city councilor for Madiera, Ohio, president of the Marco Island Marina Association and the San Marco Residences Condominium Association, on the board of directors of MICA and Marco Community Bank, and is a member of the Marco Police Foundation.

Ken Honecker

Ken Honecker

Ken Honecker

"I have attended more council meetings than the incumbents," said Ken Honecker, who is a regular at city meetings. With his wife Diane, who works for the Marco Eagle, he has been a full-time resident of Marco Island for 11 years, coming from Maryland and New Jersey prior to moving here.

Honecker served as chairman of the Marco Island Utilities Advisory Board, as well as the city's Ad Hoc Utility Advisory Committee and the Ad Hoc Rental Housing Committee. He is something of an expert on water and sewer-related issues, and has engaged City Council members in passionate technical debates about how utility rates are calculated and assessed.

Professionally, Honecker has a background in finance, acting as controller for a commercial refrigeration business, with experience as an engineer and project manager for the U.S. Navy. Along with his years of involvement in city government, he said this eye on the bottom line, along with a desire to make government more responsive to the people it serves, is why he has chosen to run for elected office.

Honecker is running for City Council, he said, because "the Council does not listen to the citizens." He sees the major issues facing the city and the council as STRP district financing, development of the downtown district, and balanced growth.

Why should the citizens of Marco Island elect Ken Honecker to represent their interests on the City Council?"I have a background in project management and finance," said Honecker. "I have attended more council meetings than the incumbents. I will listen to the people and not the special interests. I am ready to start the job on day one."

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Comments » 20

ajm3s writes:

In honor of maintaining Mr. Magel's classic approach to winning a seat, may I suggest three bullet votes: Sacher, Petricca, Honecker. But there are four seats?

Some other candidates, claiming fiscal restraint voiced concerns about the plight of city employee salaries. Interestingly, some employees are not residents of Marco Island. So again, in my state of constant confusion, is a vote for existing incumbents as well as some new entrants a vote for residents or a vote for a city management.

Pay attention folks, some new entrants are merely extensions of the city management serving on citizen advisory boards to do the city's bidding. For example, am I too bold to suggest that if you are on the Park & Rec citizens advisory committee you may have a propensity for P&R projects? So again, I ask: Do they represent you the resident or staff management? Even under the cloak of voicing concerns of fiscal responsibility.

Then we have those we are trying to understand. Let me offer a sample. Go to Mr. Honig's website:

http://honigformarco.com/

Under Mr. Honig's "Pledge to you" which I believe means us he makes a request to "Click on "Issues...." to see his positions on important matters.

Lo and behold, I do NOT see a list of positions but a note:

"PLEASE NOTE: CITIZENS' GROUPS, SUCH AS MICA, ARE NOW CONDUCTING CANDIDATE SURVEYS. I ENCOURAGE VOTERS TO CONSULT MY RESPONSES TO THOSE SURVEYS!"

So I need to go a MICA survey? Some incumbents have publicly complained the MICA surveys are NOT a fair representation of the folks on this island. So round and round we go?

Well, well, if you want to run on a platform of efficienct government operations, may I suggest Mr. Honig simply list his position on issues on the page heading "ISSUES" on his website. Because today, this page is definitely lacking!

Why must I go searching for another site to find positions on issues outside of your own website? 'Why three clicks when twe would suffice Am I too demanding to expect efficient representation from someone running on demanding efficient government?

I confess I am simple person, bordering on simpleton. You can also include lazy, if I complain to the number of clicks to access information. Note: I do NOT want to talk to anyone, I want to see what you will commit under the written word.

What I have found with city governance, getting something in print is nearly impossible, in fact from my experience it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE.

Help me help you to fill the fourth seat, NOT your database under the webpage heading "Issues". You are just one click away from gaining a vote! And in this age of Google, a click has tremendous impact.

Unless, we go back to the Magel bullet approach and simple cast a vote for one, two, or ...... seats.

MrBreeze writes:

I agree agm3 for council. Sounds good to me. You are correct in seeing the candiates that run off platforms of stepping stones from boards and commissions.

What this island needs is people for the residents. I like the statement tourist attraction or Mackle Bros./ Deltona vision.

We need to revert back to Deltona vision or we will lose this island to a tourist trap.

Mr. Breeze will run one day for a seat in the future then you will see support for the Resident,Taxpayer, and Landowner of Marco Island.

naples_rocket writes:

what about Duane, ajm3s?

lauralbi1 writes:

To quote Mr. Sacher (which will happen a lot during the campaign) "the vision and direction of Marco Island's future – tourist attraction or stay true to the Mackle Brothers/Deltona vision." Well, to be fair to all concerned, Mr. Sacher quickly forgets about what the Mackle Brothers desired and envisioned for Tract K, which was, and still is, for this property to be a school. In addition, the vision of Deltona (Mackle Brothers) was for the Island to have a great deal of tourism to form the basis of an economy and tax base for Marco Island. I suggest Mr. Sacher call Deltona in Miami and speak to the current President of Deltona (who was with them in the early days) as I have. In fact, if one reviews the original Master Plans and all the Deed Restrictions and original zoning, one would see much more density and development than is allowed today. And then let's talk about the STRP and what Deltona envisioned. At the time of their Bankruptcy, Deltona (Mackle Brothers) had applications in with the State to extend sewers to all the homes they had built and were going to build on Marco Island. Their vision was to have all the houses on Marco connected to sewers. In fact, it was part of their negotiation with the State prior to their permits being issued (Septic Tanks came about only due to Collier County allowing them in order to build up a tax base for the County by permitting homes). We also cannot forget about the rollback of density and the recent Marco Island Master Plan submitted to the State. In addition, Veteran's Park was scheduled to be a permitted high rise Hotel and 35,000 feet of Commercial space, all a part of the "vision" of the Mackle Brothers, per their zoning. Every time Mr. Sacher wants to talk about the Mackle Brothers vision for Marco Island, we can all ask him about what he wants to do with Tract K. After all, the Eagles will soon migrate to another location, as they always do.
You just can't have it both ways, Larry.
Ed Issler

ajm3s writes:

in response to naples_rocket:

what about Duane, ajm3s?

Not convinced he is informed on the issues and unsure as to his guiding principles. Is his perspective as a seawall installer that resides on this island or a resident that installs seawalls? We all have biases.

When was the last time Mr. Thomas voiced public issues outside of seawall related issues to council?

The reason I have no qualms with Mr. Sacher, Mr. Petricca and Mr. Honecker is based on their incessant public plea to the council. You can clearly hear their positions in front of the council and/or advisory boards. In fact, some served on advisory boards, but you can judge for yourself, if they acted on behalf of residents interests or city management interests. I say they acted in the interest of the residents.

In the case, of Mr. Petricca, he is a staunch fiscal conservative... and I highly recommend voting for him just to guarantee a response from the city as a member of council. History has shown that Mr. Petricca, as a citizen, his past request for additional financial information was promised but never furnished. As a council member he would could not be easily dismissed.

In fact, I would vote for Mr. Petricca even if I was diametrically opposed to his positions, simply based on his endurance, attention to detail and most importantly his love of this island from the perspective as a resident.

I accept the fact, that not all residents may come to the same positions, but I sense that there is an overall shift that the city has its own self generated interests.

I believe these candidates would serve as good representatives of residents. I do have a clear bias to residents that retire here full time, because their voice is muted and they simply wish to leave quietly and peaceably. On the flip side, the business community has a strong Chamber of Commerce to voice their concerns given the tourist amenities. And there are residents that purchased property as investments to generate revenue or appreciative value. So it is quite a mix.

I am looking at candidates that recognize the need to address residents who simply live here without a business interest, or special concern, other than to maintain this island's small tropical town ambiance. I am not a supporter of super-sizing facilities or adding services.

Remember, since 2000 there are 1200-1500 less single family homes, yet the city claims we need to expand facilities and services and payroll.

Throat_Yogurt writes:

CAN WE JUST ELECT PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE YEAR ROUND, WHO MAY HAVE LIVED HERE THEIR ENTIRE LIVES? SOMEONE WITH A CLUE.

26yearsonmarco writes:

To: All of the above, with the exception of Klaus.

If a Candidate is being endorsed by Klaus, that Candidate must be similar, in his mind, to his Great Obamee.

If that Candidate is not similar to the Great Obamee, he must clearly state it if he has any hopes of being elected.

By the way Klaus, I'm still waiting for your explanation on Obamees net worth, and the 50 lies reported by Snoops.

26yearsonmarco writes:

Also, on the subject of voting, I endorse Kevin Lilly for County Property Appraiser. Kevin had to resign in order to run against Abe Skinner, who is a nice guy, but he is double dipping on his pension.

Kevin is a young guy with major computer experience who is needed to bring the appraisers office into current mode, at a reduced cost.

All I hear is "Reduce the cost of Government", and Kevin is a good start.

ed34145 writes:

I laugh when I see this: "we need to revert back to the Deltona vision". If you truly read and understand the Deltona vision it was all about development, development, development. If it had not been for the law suits brought against them, Marco and the surrounding area would look like a mini east coast of Florida.

MrBreeze writes:

Klaus, Are you to tell me that you are a "Resident" since 1971 which would be the start of the island? If so, how can you say that "Vision" is flawed.

ed34115 I think sir you may be wrong. Deltona in my opinion were far advanced of their time. If you look at the Master Deeds that MICA have they have many Density Restrictions something that was not even heard of in 1969 when they started.

The problem is many want to kick the small guy with his 1969 Deltona home off the island and replace him with a modern more higher Tax Valued home.

The recession stopped that plan for a short time but I see it ramping up again.

I do not know how long you have been on the island but I think the Mackle Bros. "vision" was for normal people to have a place to retire in paradise not a "Tourist Trap" loaded with fast food and T-shirt stands waiting for spring break to occur. That is why I would choose that vision.

As far as development it was the Army Corp. of Engineers who stopped the Dredging permits that was to occur at the Isles of Capri that doomed Deltona. Would you have not wanted to see Marco Island duplicated at the Isles of Capri? I would not have a problem with that. More nice Deltona Homes, more beech created.

If Deltona was so mistaken why did they have the "values" as a company to create and adopt the Deed Restrictions in the first place? It was their island they could have full built it out right from the beginning. I see Deltona houses on large lots, corners, not just jammed in. I think you need to rethink your position.

lauralbi1 writes:

Please, everyone notice. When Klaus (Bill McMullan) responds to any post that brings up valid points that he does not agree with, all he reverts to is comments alluding to the blogger being drunk, sick or he posts a comment that is eliminated by Eagle Staff.
Not that anyone cares, because very few preople read this anyway and it has no impact on voting.
This site is just a place for us to express our opinions to a few.
Ed Issler

seasonala writes:

in response to lauralbi1:

Please, everyone notice. When Klaus (Bill McMullan) responds to any post that brings up valid points that he does not agree with, all he reverts to is comments alluding to the blogger being drunk, sick or he posts a comment that is eliminated by Eagle Staff.
Not that anyone cares, because very few preople read this anyway and it has no impact on voting.
This site is just a place for us to express our opinions to a few.
Ed Issler

Since nobody cares, I believe you are truly incredible' as in lacking credibility.

MrBreeze writes:

Klaus, I am not wrong. I said "normal" people to retire. That means working class.

My 1971 Deltona home will not nor never be for sale. I will live as Deltona envisioned. I will have my place on the island.

I will run and win a seat on the council. Bet on it you heard it hear first.

1Paradiselost writes:

They are going to raise the millage rate due to future real estate pricing to pay for their personal projects.

Frank Recker alone is good for $45,000,000 dollars alone and needs to be voted OUT! Just do some research on his list of pet projects.

Are we going name a another building after people with only self interests, that's what they want! To many egos on this Island, agree?

Projections are for the next 5 years. We are lucky #13

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/the-15-...

soundman writes:

will one of the new candidates please tell me who "the special interest" are and what is meant when saying current council does not listen to the people--give examples.

ajm3s writes:

in response to soundman:

will one of the new candidates please tell me who "the special interest" are and what is meant when saying current council does not listen to the people--give examples.

Example of a special interest.

Answer: Mr. Magel (although NOT a current candidate for council, but serves as Chairman, and is seeking to form a coalition to promote HIS vision)

Mr. Magel, is himself, his own special interest as evidenced by bringing forth a resolution to have the voters decide on the creation of a special taxing district.

Mr. Magel took a recent emergency debacle, and interpreted as an opportunity to fund a health care clinic for expanded 24/7 service.

I will provide as evidence that it was self motivated:

1. No public petition submitted to Council
2. No public outcry at bimonthy council meetings requesting such resolution or suggestion
3. No workshops or public review by the city or council of elected representatives.

This begs further inquiry as to what promoted this interest, or special interest?

Folks, we can all debate what constitutes a special interest, but the most dangerous special interest in an individual elected official, serving as chairman, making a decision that this NEEDS to be placed before the voters in a quick fashion.

Folks, then ask yourself who on council was convinced and supported Mr. Magel in moving this resolution forward:

Mr. Gibson
Mr. Recker

These three votes were a majority, enough to continue this absurdity because two council members were absent due to family and health matters beyond their control.

So I say to every Marco Island resident:

ARE YOU BEING SERVED? A SPECIAL TAXING DISTRICT?

Voting records matter! Pay attention! Let the voters hear the council members defend their positions, but from my perspective they are puny and narrow.

I DO NOT wish to limit free speech or any individual/group from advertizing, promoting or lobbying for some interest or concern, but any interest that goes unchallenged is a travesty. Especially, when an elected official promotes an interest to a heightened level without clear public discourse or outcry. I can only conclude that Mr. Magel is his own special interest, unless there is someone else in the wing... because it is certainly not coming from the public.

As a recovering apathetic, I understand those that do not wish to get involved or peer behind the campaign rhetoric, I will provide the Cliff Notes for my cast of votes:

Mr. Petricca
Mr. Honecker
Mr. Sacher
Mr. ________

MrBreeze writes:

Klaus is right Popoff and STRP divided the City.
It needs to be put behind us and move forward. Klaus is also right in his history facts about Marco Island to date. What we need is candiates for the residents best interests only.

Klaus has said that we need to revert back to the county and I agree. We need to have the Sheriff take over the Law Enforcement, Collier County Fire and EMS. Eliminate the Marco City Hall make it Collier County Service Office.

Keep the water plant, make it efficiant, sell excess water for profit, have fixed price for Island residents.

Finish STRP, control spending with no crazy or lavish pet projects. Make the MICA rules fit todays standards and live with them. Have a process for appeal for sensible building projects.

Remove all "double dip retired" collecting another check while living in paradise on the back of the taxpayer.

Where are these Candidates? This is what this Island needs. It would take three to make it happen. I would hope to be one of them.

lauralbi1 writes:

Come on you guys, 32 blogs from a total of about 10 people hardly represents a divided City. Mr. Breeze and Klaus, according to past elections represent about 2,000 voters opinion of about 8,000-10,000 that actually voted. Maybe 3,000 out of 10,000 but these numbers hardly represent a "City Divided".
This is more of the talk like when Sayre Uhler uses terms in his diatribes like "We The People". A divided City is hardly 2,000 to 3,000 voters. "We the People" is hardly representative by 2,000 to 3,000 people.
Thankfully, these blogs are also not representative of the voting majority, to date. I think the post by Mr. Breeze would make an excellent platform for Mr. Sacher, Mr. Hoenecker and Mr. Pettricia. That way when the election is over we can all see what the majority of Marco Island citizens and voters want as a vision for the Island.
Also, just as a matter of interest, check the IP address for Klaus and for Fossil.
Ed Issler

ajm3s writes:

in response to lauralbi1:

Come on you guys, 32 blogs from a total of about 10 people hardly represents a divided City. Mr. Breeze and Klaus, according to past elections represent about 2,000 voters opinion of about 8,000-10,000 that actually voted. Maybe 3,000 out of 10,000 but these numbers hardly represent a "City Divided".
This is more of the talk like when Sayre Uhler uses terms in his diatribes like "We The People". A divided City is hardly 2,000 to 3,000 voters. "We the People" is hardly representative by 2,000 to 3,000 people.
Thankfully, these blogs are also not representative of the voting majority, to date. I think the post by Mr. Breeze would make an excellent platform for Mr. Sacher, Mr. Hoenecker and Mr. Pettricia. That way when the election is over we can all see what the majority of Marco Island citizens and voters want as a vision for the Island.
Also, just as a matter of interest, check the IP address for Klaus and for Fossil.
Ed Issler

I apologize for contributing to the non-representative nature of the voting majority; but here is a sampling of 6 candidates and their position on the referendum with regard to creating a special taxing district designed, endorsed and brought to the citizens by Mr. Magel and abridged council.

http://www.marcoislandflorida.com/app...|topnews|text|Home

Note: Eagle editorial also supports the passage of this referendum, which may explain why I have to cite the Sun Times for news and information which may impact voters and offer a naysayer viewpoint.

http://www.marconews.com/news/2012/ju...

Vote tally to date: 6-0 opps

Vote tally to date: 7-0 (I forgot myself)

Correction: 9-0 (I need to include Mr. Trotter and Mr. Waldack based on original no vote for creation of a referendum, but it needs to be confirmed)

Feel free to include your vote.

lauralbi1 writes:

I do not understand anyone's opposition to a referendum. Either it passes or it fails.
Joe Batte has turned out to be a fairly good Council member. But I rememeber when he was running he wanted to have every issue voted on by the people. Not practical, but for an issue that impacts all of us, it is not a bad idea ifd it is possible.
Ed Issler

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