Nine candidates for Marco Council have one thing in common — they're all men

The Marco Island City Council features eight contenders, three of them incumbents.

The Marco Island City Council features eight contenders, three of them incumbents.

Linda Colombo remembers how eyes rolled when Marco Island councilwomen spoke at city meetings.

"Their opinions were really considered incorrect," said Colombo, who serves on the Marco Island Beautification Committee, of the reaction the city's former councilwomen received from some of the men in attendance.

Maybe that's why no women serve on the seven-member council today, she said. And maybe that's why none of the nine candidates who filed to run this year for four positions are female — despite the fact that 51 percent of the island's 16,413 residents are women, according to the 2010 Census.

Marco Island hasn't had a female councilwoman since Terri DiSciullo served as the council chair in 2008.

"As a male I can tell you, hey, I wouldn't want my wife running for councilwoman," Russ Colombo, Linda's husband, said of the disrespect he said he witnessed years ago.

But some residents and experts say this year's lack of female candidates is a rarity for Marco Island and for local municipalities in general. Many agree a woman's perspective would be valuable on council.

When Charlette Roman moved to Marco Island 11 years ago, three women were serving on City Council. Roman later accepted an appointment to the city's planning board, where she said she never felt her opinions were marginalized. She served just one term before deciding to spend more time on her career.

"I've been asked several times to run (for City Council)," she said. "I don't know if I want to stick my toe in the political water so to speak. I don't know if it's something that's in my makeup."

But she's not ruling it out. As a retired colonel for the U.S. Army, Roman spent nearly 27 years in a role that was unconventional for women at one time.

"The younger generations are more travelled, more global," she said. "The older generations are more conformists."

Peter Bergerson, a political science professor at Florida Gulf Coast University, said women's roles in politics have historically been defined by their roles in the community as mothers and wives who took on voluntary positions at libraries or schools.

"Oftentimes women have family responsibilities different from men or husbands," he said.

Following an awakening during the 1960s Civil Rights movement, Bergerson said women began to get more involved by running for office. This year's lack of female candidates on Marco doesn't follow the national trend, he said, and it may just be a fluke for the city.

Several City Council candidates said they'd like to see more women run.

"I think a woman would add a completely different perspective and aura on City Council, and positive ones at that," said candidate Frank Recker, who said he encouraged some women to run for office last year with no success. "A woman's view of a particular issue is often different from a man's."

Candidate Larry Honig said he worries women and younger citizens with families are not fairly represented by an all-male council. Current Councilman Wayne Waldack, who is running for reelection, agreed.

"As long as women or a woman fails to enter city government, their perspective is lost," he said.

Mary Ann Maniace still works full time and only lives on the island seasonally, she said. Otherwise, she might have run for council this year.

"There's some male chauvinism going on around here," she said. "I think we would bring a different perspective."

Bergerson noted that the median age for Marco Island could play a role in the lack of female candidates this year. Women's roles in politics tend to undergo generational shifts, he said.

"If you had the 'Leave-it-to-Beaver' model, well these women did their civic duty as the culture and family responsibilities defined it then," he said. "Today we have a totally different culture and a good example is half or more of the political science majors here at (Florida Gulf Coast University) are women."

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Comments » 20

26yearsonmarco writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

KLAUS,

I just wanted to let you know I voted against your Good Buddy yesterday.

26yearsonmarco writes:

Some "Joisey" things never change:

http://www.waff.com/story/19981857/so...

captnjimbo writes:

I was lucky enough to work with a lot of strong women in my career, converted a sales force that was 100% men to 50-50...used first initial and last name on the reports. Was accomplished by keeping an open mind and picking the best candidates at the time. Performance ratios were equal regardless of gender.

There is still a stereotype in the minds of a lot of old men, brought up in a different era...but people of similar development, education and experience do not think differently on serious things based on their gender...also have grown daughters that are educated and experienced...and respected by their peers because of that.

Locally, once Jane Watt gets the school going, financed and managed she would be an excellent, educated and experienced executive that has proven that she can survive and excell in the public arena...I am sure there are others but perhaps because of their age and station they have higher immediate priorities...might need some nurturing, mentoring and encouragement. My opinion based on my experience..

2themoon writes:

Can anyone on Gods green earth explain to me why Mrs Watt endorsed Gibson, Waldack , Recker and Hoenig?

No_more_cyber_bullying (Inactive) writes:

Have you ever noticed Recker's eyes light up when Mrs. Watt was allowed by him to speak early and out of turn at the council meetings?

I will bet there is more than meets the eye here! Maybe ask Old Black Eye Recker the question?

No_more_cyber_bullying (Inactive) writes:

Klaus,

You are so predictable. Once again you changed the subject because you recognize the truth in what was said.

happyhorowitz34145 writes:

All the candidates aren't real men. Or....
else some of them in office would have done something concerning following.
A certain Lt. on the police department sending x rated pictures of himself to another officer (female), the cover up, and another officer getting blamed for the coverup within the department, oh and the coverup to the press.
A certain pizza guy opening up a breakfast rest. and doing illegal construction work, all the while assuring everyone that the zoning change (from commercial to resteraunt) that is needed is in the bag, because he controls Gibson, Waldac and Recker and a soon to be elected councilor.
Or last but least another pizza wannabe trying to bully his way around the council, with complete disregard to zoning laws (commercial to resteraunt), parking, impact fees, etc. etc.
Yeah they may be men, but they have no ba!!$.

No_more_cyber_bullying (Inactive) writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

MrBreeze writes:

Is Jane Watt the woman who was trying to push a full high school development a short time ago?

No_more_cyber_bullying (Inactive) writes:

Klaus,

Once again, one of your divert and regurgitate responses.

There is not enough lipstick on earth for Michelle.

Go to them you will never be missed here.

marco826 writes:

Motley looking crew...Men screw things up....but then again, all politicians fit the same mold..

No_more_cyber_bullying (Inactive) writes:

Klaus,

Once again, one of your divert and regurgitate responses.

captnjimbo writes:

in response to MrBreeze:

Is Jane Watt the woman who was trying to push a full high school development a short time ago?

MrBreeze...back on point...Jane Watt did indeed found a public Charter High School on Marco Island. I think it is in its second year and I see construction of facilities under way on San Marco Road.

It was a contentious effort with many obstacles along the way. I have been around for a while and was very impressed. The ongoing school is funded by the public, through the county school tax, based on students enrolled, so they have to do well as the students (parents) have a choice, but the facility itself has to be funded by private contributions and fund raising. I don't recall seeing much in the press on that effort but they must be getting somewhere because I see work being done on the site.

I'm not doing cheer leading, just wanted to point out that the feminine gender is capable of leadership in the public arena and if they could be identified and mentored we would have more options when it comes to our choices.

MrBreeze writes:

Captn, I would not object to a woman for a council seat I would welcome anyone who is fair to the Residents of Marco Island.

No_more_cyber_bullying (Inactive) writes:

Klaus,

Will you please hold back on your verbal vomit.

Romney will win by a Tsunami on tuesday and the polls are showing it. Thank You

No_more_cyber_bullying (Inactive) writes:

What is it with Obama and Biden?

First we had Biden say that the Republicans want the black community "back in chains".

Earlier today or yesterday we had Obama actually, at a rally, say vote for him if you want "Revenge".

This is not a coincidence and surely shows the race card being used to its fullest.

If you don't see this than there is plenty of sand to bury your head in on Marco's beach.

captnjimbo writes:

in response to MrBreeze:

Captn, I would not object to a woman for a council seat I would welcome anyone who is fair to the Residents of Marco Island.

Wise, you are.

No_more_cyber_bullying (Inactive) writes:

Klaus,

Just more of your redundant, verbal vomit but never a response to the question.

26yearsonmarco writes:

KLAUS,

Your thoughts please:

http://www.worldtribune.com/2012/11/0...

No_more_cyber_bullying (Inactive) writes:

Klaus,

Do you really think anybody cares what you have to say. Obviously you don't since you have to repeat yourself, so much.

It has been fun taunting you.

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