A reporter asked me why I wanted to be Chairman of the Marco Island City Council and I replied, “I want to communicate with our citizens.” You deserve to know the real facts on the issues that come before the City Council, not what some group wants you to hear. When you have the real facts you can decide if you want to support the issue or oppose, but you’ll do so being fully informed.
Let me cite some examples. The major issue being discussed at council today is what are fair and equitable water and sewer rates. It is a contentious issue. Everyone wants their rate to be fair, but does not want to pay more. I agree.
On Feb. 26 the Property Owners Association sent out an email to their members with the following headline “186 percent increase in sewer and water rates?” and after the headline, “click here to tell Council you want answers.”
A widely circulated newsletter headlines “Water and Sewer Rates going up by 50-90 percent” and further reports that the cost for water at a popular restaurant is going up $400 per month when in fact the increase is only $100 per month under the rate plan adopted by City Council. It also reported that there is a 9 percent rate increase in 2012, when in fact there is no rate increase planned. It failed to report the good news that Council reduced the Utility Surcharge by 6 percent effective March 30.
If I saw those headlines and did not know the real facts, I would certainly let council know how I feel. Of course, I don’t want my water/sewer bill going up 186 percent but that is not the fact.
There are statements made by bloggers and authors of letters to the editor in our papers that proclaim “City Debt is $400 Million,” “Spending is out of Control,” “The city employs too many people,” “We’re going broke,” etc.
You deserve the real facts, and I’ve asked the City Clerk to let our community and civic associations know that I would like to appear before them to present the facts and answer questions from our citizens. Please contact Ms. Litzen if you would like me to appear at one of your meetings.
My job is not to be a cheerleader for the City. I am your elected official serving in a legislative and policy position on City Council. I want to hear your views as I consider issues brought before the Council. But, I want you to understand the facts behind the issue, not what you are being told by some group. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.