Letter to the Editor: Improving City Council

In democracies, elections of, by and for the people have significant consequences. This should be especially true today for our beloved Marco Island where, according to our ever-informative Taxpayers Association, a record 87 percent of registered voters (12,519) cast ballots in our City Council election last month. The good news for Marco Islanders: Three incumbent seats and a term-limited seat were won decisively by new councilors!

Thus, I anticipated a significant operational transformation compared to past conclaves as I attended the Dec. 20 City Council special meeting. I was disappointed and, to some extent, depressed with the continuing nonchalance, the opaque conversational tone and the unfathomable chatter of the new City Council members among and between themselves and our hired bureaucrats and participants. Just as in the past decade or so, attendees at City Council meetings and workshops continue to be treated as interlopers, well-disciplined listeners and, above all, docile witnesses to conclusions and decisions that, in political reality, appear to have no significant inputs of, by or for we the people. Council members continue to “talk down” to our city manager, municipal clerk and other participants sitting far beneath and out of sight of most attendees and councilors. Elected as well as employed participants, moreover, continue to appear suffering from a persisting nasal reflux that certainly benumbs the hearing power of our most alert spectators at many if not all City Council gatherings.

On the positive side, our new City Council should be congratulated for expanding its use of the “Requests for City Council Consideration” distributed with official council agendas. These added sheets are comprehensive and serve as vital citizen guides in understanding the history and perspective of each presentation/discussion/action item being heard and what is necessary to lead to final decisions by our City Council. We the people deserve ridding our public agendas of inconclusive, vague, preconceived and connived items which have dominated our council agendas for the past decade or so, and especially when public referendums have been dolefully denied the electorate. Conjecture, paralyses, irrationality and bombastic “huff and puff” demeanors serve only liars and charlatans purporting to represent We the People as we have so well-learned since cityhood, 1997.

Also needed to improve our City Council’s behavior to better represent and serve we the people of Marco Island: (1) Distinct public speaking voices by councilors and meeting participants primarily aimed at the attending audience not just at each other; (2) Monthly public oral reports by the chairs of our seven council-appointed public boards and committees with special emphasis on pending matters and future issues; (3) Constant updates by the city manager and others covering revenue flows, debts and updated reports on credit ratings and costs of public indebtedness (i.e., our own fiscal cliff?); (4) Brief monthly reports by representatives of our Chamber of Commerce; the Area Real Estate Board; the Taxpayers Association, the Civic Association; the newly formed Property Association; and any other representative group aimed at improving the quality of life and public services on Marco Island.

In brief and long overdue is our dominant City Council expectation: “Oh please not just more conversations and tweetings at our City Council meetings and workshops, as our Marco Island is transformed beyond recognition and hope for the way things ought to be on this our beloved and uniquely exceptional residential platinum coast barrier island!”

Sayre Uhler

Marco Island

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Comments » 18

lauralbi1 writes:

Dear Sayre: Without going into the meaningless diatribe that you constantly present us with, I will tell you that your number of registered voters that voted is totally inaccurate.
In fact, if you research the numbers in detail, you would find that over 500 voters did not even vote for City Council due to the fact that the names were on the back of the Ballot.
Yes, I agree, s-----. But you need to go to the Supervisor of Elections to get an accurate number.
And when you do, you will also see that there were candidates (1) that lost by 184 votes. And while I have already congratulated the victors, as a citizen, and while I acknowledge that the Democratic process has worked, 184 votes is hardly a mandate on the part of our voters,
And it is the same Democratic process that allows our seven member Council to vote on issues to determine their impact to the citizens of Marco Island.
We can only hope that all of our City Council votes for the betterment of ALL Islanders, I repeat, ALL Islanders, rather than special interests. We have many more families here than we do retirees. We have condo residents (how many I do not know compared to homeowners). We have younger and we have older voters, each looking for different things from our City Council.
Once you get the correct number of voters, why don't you print the retraction and correction yourself.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!
Ed Issler

OldMarcoMan writes:

What City do you live in Uhler??
At least two (probable three) of the new Councilmen are more closely linked to the Power Elite of Marco than any of the old Councilmen ever dreamed of.
Look at the facts! For at least the last six years these so called reformers have been on Boards, Commissions, and Ad Hoc Committees that controlled everything from our Water/Sewer Rates to our Tax Milage Rates!
Reformers?
They just reformed what they call themselves, the power stream is still intact on Marco and it still starts in the same dank pond it always did!

ed34145 writes:

Why don't you run for Council? Oh that's right, you are not a full time resident.

MrBreeze writes:

I am wondering if the the "three new guys" as they run as have fooled the voters of Marco Island. The people were so desperate for change you could not help to vote for them.

So far, I am not impressed with their quiet conduct which seems to go along with the majority.

Mr. Issler is still fooling himself if he believs that Marco Island is tilting towards "families" vs. "retirees"

Some may want the scales to tip that way but the only reason this has got some truth to it is the lower property values has opened the door to affordable ownership of a home on Marco Island. Prior to that "families" could not afford to live on Marco Island. I for one want to retire here and am not concerened with "family" lifestyle. My home town which was once a quiet rural community was transformed in the 90's building boom to a "family friendly community"
Schools were built, subdivisions popped up everwhere. Farmers were bought out for their land and farming was no longer a part of the community. New police, fire and municipal buildings and services were added. Parks were built, along with golf courses. Community Centers with pools and gyms and large meeting facilities all came new out of the ground.

Land values soared as everyone wanted to live there. Today after the crash, the homes are valued 50% less than the aquired price. Forcloseure was high, houses were sold cheap.

With urban sprall came Crime. The police and Fire forces are on constant call for traffic accidents and police matters. The number of daytime home breakins has risen. Thefts of cars and from parked cars has risen. You have to be on guard to live there or you will be a crime victim.
The City is millions of dollars in debt due to lack of tax revenue from houses that lost value and business that closed. Legacy costs for retired City workers are pushing the City further and further in debt. Many people have and many more will walk away from their homes.

Is this the future you see Mr. Issler for Marco Island? I have lived all my life in that area and I dare you to tell me that "retires" are not the primary part of Marco Island.

Retirees are the anchor of Marco Island. If you do not think that leave. If it goes your way with the "family City" I will leave before I get there. When I get there, I plan to run for a Council seat that truly represents the "little Guy" and that voice will be heard.

Ian_Curtis writes:

Breeze, from a 23 year resident of Marco who raised a family here, you are clueless about what Marco was, is and will be. Please do not move here, we have enough 833holes here already.

dc5799 writes:

in response to lauralbi1:

Dear Sayre: Without going into the meaningless diatribe that you constantly present us with, I will tell you that your number of registered voters that voted is totally inaccurate.
In fact, if you research the numbers in detail, you would find that over 500 voters did not even vote for City Council due to the fact that the names were on the back of the Ballot.
Yes, I agree, s-----. But you need to go to the Supervisor of Elections to get an accurate number.
And when you do, you will also see that there were candidates (1) that lost by 184 votes. And while I have already congratulated the victors, as a citizen, and while I acknowledge that the Democratic process has worked, 184 votes is hardly a mandate on the part of our voters,
And it is the same Democratic process that allows our seven member Council to vote on issues to determine their impact to the citizens of Marco Island.
We can only hope that all of our City Council votes for the betterment of ALL Islanders, I repeat, ALL Islanders, rather than special interests. We have many more families here than we do retirees. We have condo residents (how many I do not know compared to homeowners). We have younger and we have older voters, each looking for different things from our City Council.
Once you get the correct number of voters, why don't you print the retraction and correction yourself.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!
Ed Issler

Issler,
You and your landslide members lost lost lost.I thought you left the Island because you were so devastated. How is the 6/1 vote going for you? Get over it, you are on the losing team.

MrBreeze writes:

Ian-Curtis You sir do not have the clue. I first visited Marco Island as a day trip back in 1994. I fell in love as most do and was hooked. I was a "day tripper" since I purchased a Deltona Home in 2002 and have been just a visitor since. So lets see, I have been paying property tax in full since 02, and I guess you have been on homestead reduced rate. I pay school tax and have no kids yet I pay for yours to go to school. I do not use a drop of water yet I pay 50.00 per month so you can have utility. I pay for garbage yet I do not have any trash as I am not there. You have trash every week. I pay for roads and infastructure yet I do not use any of it I have no car down there I drive mine down on the very few times that I have been there in the past 13 years. I pay property insurance, a mortage and taxes all so you and your family can enjoy the Island, have Police and Fire service and you have the guts to say I do not get it? My wife and I work full time jobs to support that house so we can retire there.

The vision of Marco Island was to always be a "retirement community" get it. It was people like you who "flopped" there and "mooched" off the part time residents. That's right "MOOCHED" so do not tell me were to live mooch as you should kiss my butt as I support you daily s-----. You must be so dumb not to see that us "833 holes" pay your freight freeloader.

Read your history about Marco Island you and the other "mooches" want to change the island now that you have used it to your advantage. People like you make me sick.

Ian_Curtis writes:

My grandparents were brought here in 1967 by a Deltona sales person and it was never once called a "retirement community". I guess that is why the schools sites were deeded by Deltona, for all the retired children.
It is people like you who make me sick because you chose to buy in Florida and not live here you think those that are here are stealing your money. You think you own the island and everyone should kiss your 833 because you pay for our meager mooching lives.
Again, please do not move here. We do not need you.

lauralbi1 writes:

DC/Klaus: Your problem has always been that you want to make these blogs personal. That is why Klaus has so many postings that are removed by the Eagle staff. Our Council votes and make up is never a "personal" thing, but rather something that affects all of us.

And as far as Mr. Breeze is concerned,
he or she should really take a look at the Deltona Master Plan to convince him or herself as to whether Marco was ever a Retirement Community.
Ed Issler

MrBreeze writes:

Ian-Curtis. I bought my 1967 Deltona home from the "origional owner" they purchased the home for "retirement" and enjoyed it seasonally until 2002 when in their 90's they could no longer travel down to it. Deltona was a vision of not only retirement but "vacation homes" The Mackel Brothers and Deltona had vision. That included all being schools,open space,layout, and beech access.

So Ian when you grandparents were "brought here" in 1967 I am shure that you were a visitor to their home right? Then some 23 years later you became a resident according to your post you have been here 23 years which would be 1990.

I know in 1990 the ecomony was very poor and my guess is you either moved in with the grandparents or better yet they left it to you.
How did you get here Ian?

Let's set the record straight first. Yes, I bought a home on Marco Island and I am very proud of that fact and reaching that goal in life that lets my wife and I do that. I earned every dime to buy it and earn every dime to maintain and hold it. So Ian when we work 60-70 hours six to seven days a week to pay for it and people like you complain about people like us who are supporting the island. Your frikin lucky we have supported your as you say "meager mooching lives"

Second, I do not need to be told by you were to live or not to live. Last I checked my name is on the deed not yours. The problem is you think your name is on the deed and can make s----- statements like "we do not need you".

Well pal, if the island was not the island and just another subdivision Mooches like you would be in a wourld of hurt as you would have to tow you own rope. The only problem is Grandma's house is not worth what you thought it would be on your exit plan and now you are stuck there. That's why all you "full timers" are mad. You hoped the golden goose was going to keep laying eggs and you just waited a little to long friend. So maybee it is time for you to leave the island so me and the other 833's can have the 23 years that you have enjoyed. Better yet move away and keep your home and all the costs with it and see how it feels on this end fool.

MrBreeze writes:

Ed Issler Sir, I have asked you many times. If Marco Island is not a "destination" for "retired" people, what are you doing here???

I have studied the Deltona plan and know origional sales people from Deltona. Ever heard of the "Fly and buy" program? Answer that and you may know some details of Deltona. But you sir seem to be "displaced" if you are living on Marco Island and "retired" according to your logic.

Ian_Curtis writes:

I said they were brought here, not moved here. They never stayed. So, i never got anything from them. I started with renting a condo and worked up to buying a home of my own after a few years. It is not an investment or retirement home, but the home i raised my family and will spend my life. Unlike many others, I have equity in my house because i did not get caught up in the real estate boom of the 2000's. i also am very proud of my modest home i worked for and the life i have here.
Good luck running for council when you arrive. Based on your past comments, you hate the locals, hate business owners here and hate the local workers. All those that actually vote here.

1Paradiselost writes:

in response to lauralbi1:

DC/Klaus: Your problem has always been that you want to make these blogs personal. That is why Klaus has so many postings that are removed by the Eagle staff. Our Council votes and make up is never a "personal" thing, but rather something that affects all of us.

And as far as Mr. Breeze is concerned,
he or she should really take a look at the Deltona Master Plan to convince him or herself as to whether Marco was ever a Retirement Community.
Ed Issler

The following is taken from a ad placed by the Mackle Brothers in 1969 in Newsweek.....

The title is:

Marco Island....The Climate's right for the good life or for investing - or both!

"Conceived, designed and now being carved into breathtaking reality by Florida's famous community builders, the Mackle Bros., Marco Island is already a dazzling success: In less than 5 years, mores than $100,000,000 in property sales have been recorded".

"shopping and medical centers, apartments and hotels, yacht and country clubs, miles of inland waterways, and hundreds of homes testify to Marco Island's appeal . . . As a RETIREMENT or SECOND HOME. . . Or as an investment in a sun-filled future --- at today's prices"!

"Can you think of a better hedge against inflation than owning a part of the "south sea" paradise"?

Take what you like from the above Mackle brothers add

MrBreeze writes:

Ian Do not put words in my mouth. My opinions are I hate no one. I do not like dishonest people period. Be that a person in political office that was intrusted by the people to be honest, to the business owner who should be honest with his/her customer or the local worker who does not do his job right.

That being said I feel the "average guy" like I am needs a voice on the island. I have never run for any office in my life but I stand for one thing rights. People have rights. To be treated fair as in business, City spending, and City matters, to property rights through ownership of land. That is my stand, do not try to spin it your way.

The voting demographic is changing people like me are planning to move full time there and they will make the change. If not then you will see a good buy on a Marco Island home as I will leave.

RayPray writes:

in response to MrBreeze:

Ian-Curtis You sir do not have the clue. I first visited Marco Island as a day trip back in 1994. I fell in love as most do and was hooked. I was a "day tripper" since I purchased a Deltona Home in 2002 and have been just a visitor since. So lets see, I have been paying property tax in full since 02, and I guess you have been on homestead reduced rate. I pay school tax and have no kids yet I pay for yours to go to school. I do not use a drop of water yet I pay 50.00 per month so you can have utility. I pay for garbage yet I do not have any trash as I am not there. You have trash every week. I pay for roads and infastructure yet I do not use any of it I have no car down there I drive mine down on the very few times that I have been there in the past 13 years. I pay property insurance, a mortage and taxes all so you and your family can enjoy the Island, have Police and Fire service and you have the guts to say I do not get it? My wife and I work full time jobs to support that house so we can retire there.

The vision of Marco Island was to always be a "retirement community" get it. It was people like you who "flopped" there and "mooched" off the part time residents. That's right "MOOCHED" so do not tell me were to live mooch as you should kiss my butt as I support you daily s-----. You must be so dumb not to see that us "833 holes" pay your freight freeloader.

Read your history about Marco Island you and the other "mooches" want to change the island now that you have used it to your advantage. People like you make me sick.

"I have been paying property tax

"I pay school tax

"I pay for yours

"I pay 50.00 per month

"I pay for garbage

"I pay for roads and infastructure

"I pay property insurance, a mortage and taxes

Wow what a whole lot of "I"'s....

Moving to 'paradise' with a gun to your head....

1Paradiselost writes:

There is an old saying here

"Paradise ain't Cheep"

If you can't afford it do something about and stop complaining.

WE all pay for those items Ray outlined above.

It's the cost of admission to any homeowner any place in this country.

MrBreeze writes:

Ray&Paradise, I am not complaining. I just get fed up with this new drum that is beating that Marco Island is made up primarly of families not retirees. First it was the "tourist" that made the island up now it is the families. This just sounds like some hype to build schools and more infastructure to drive us deep in debt so the "part timer" or the "retiree" will be forced out. Facts do not lie if you own a home and do not use it the services are still paid no matter what. I guess I could be like other people and rent it for 15 years and not worry about my tennents or neighbors and just collect a check. Maybee I am the fool for not doing that.

Sometimes doing the right thing makes the good guy finish last. I do believe in karma though.

2themoon writes:

Chairman Batte needs to represent the homeowners who put him there!
"Wheres your voice Joe?"

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