Marco Island City Council: Council Chair Larry Magel takes pointed comments on condo letter

Judy Sacher criticizes City Council Chairman Larry Magel, right, for a letter he sent to condo managers. The Marco Island City Council met Monday evening. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

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Judy Sacher criticizes City Council Chairman Larry Magel, right, for a letter he sent to condo managers. The Marco Island City Council met Monday evening. Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent

— Politics reared its head at the Marco Island City Council meeting Monday evening. Before the council could get down to business, during the community forum, Judy Sacher, wife of council candidate Larry Sacher, rose to lambaste council chairman Larry Magel for what she called a "secret letter" he had sent to island condo managers.

"I would like to express my disgust with the conduct of Larry Magel, our city council chairman," she began, before being cautioned by the chairman that personal attacks are not permitted in the council meetings. "You state my husband's obvious motive was to (run for city council and) represent single family owners," Sacher continued, accusing Magel of representing only condo residents.

Magel responded he had run his letter by city attorney Burt Saunders before sending it, to ensure he did no wrong, and Saunders confirmed Magel was within his rights, as long as he did not use city property for campaign purposes. A succession of other residents then rose to reiterate Judy Sacher's complaints.

"We elect city councilors at large," said Linda Turner. "Their job is to represent all" the island's citizens. "By writing this two-page memo, it seems like the very same thing he is accusing these three of doing." The "three" are council candidates Amadeo Petricca and Ken Honecker, in addition to Larry Sacher. In his letter, Magel said, "Of the nine candidates running for the four open seats, three have openly expressed a bias against the 'Condo Owners' of Marco Island."

Ray Seward and Dave Scarborough also spoke against Magel's letter, with Seward requesting an apology from the chairman.

"There will be no apology," said Magel, and quoted from the founding documents of what was begun as the Marco Island Homeowners Association, with Larry Sacher as chairman, before the name was changed to the Marco Island Property Owners Association.

"A number of people have felt that the master-metered condo interests are overtaking those of the single-family homeowners," he quoted, along with a passage stating members could "choose to support those who might be more inclined to wish to protect the interests of single-family homeowners" rather than condo owners.

Magel, ironically, is not up for re-election this election cycle. Told by Seward, "I voted for you. I won't vote for you again," he replied, "Thank you. You have two years to worry about that."

On a lighter note, Old Marco resident Bernadette Powers asked for and got an update on erection of new streetlights in her neighborhood. Utilities Director Tim Pinter assured her the lights were on hand, waiting only for the ground to dry off enough to allow installation.

On another election note, the council passed an ordinance regulating election signs, leading City Manager Jim Riviere and Community Services Director Brian Milk to promise enforcement would begin the next day.

Seawall reconstruction came back before the board for another airing, with Councilor Bill Trotter complaining the meaning of a proposed ordinance had been changed, to prohibit any use of vacant lots for seawall "staging" after a six-month period.

That was exactly the intention, said Magel and other councilors, with the intent of forcing the Planning Board, city staff, and marine contractors to come up with a solution to the problem. The seawall ordinance passed 5-1, with Trotter dissenting and Councilor Frank Recker absent.

Another longstanding issue, the Smokehouse Bay Bridge, also came back up for discussion, with an engineer's report by consultant Cardino/TBE Consulting Engineers saying that replacing the bridge now, rather than continuing to repair the existing structure, would be safer and more cost-effective. Council voted 6-0 to accept the findings.

They also voted 5-1 to proceed with a fire/rescue boat that will eventually cost over $400,000. Trotter, who has come up on the short of a number of lopsided votes recently, and will soon be term-limited off the council, cast the dissenting vote.

Council unanimously approved a fitness center in the Shops of Marco. In response to a question from Magel, Saunders confirmed that the Sunshine Law does not prohibit city councilors from participating in voter forums, of which several are scheduled, as long as their comments are addressed to all and not on how another councilor would vote on a given issue.

Riviere opened the meeting by singling out several members of the city's utilities and fire-rescue departments for commendations, including engineer/paramedics Albert Munoz and Dustin Beatty, who were honored for saving a life when they pulled a motorist out of a vehicle after an I-75 rollover.

The next council meeting is set for Oct. 15.

© 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 24

20_Days writes:

Would anyone expect anything else, more unethical from Magel.

He won an election using bullet voting by the condos. For those who do not know what bullet voting is. It is an election in which more than one person is running for more than one seat and a segment of the community is asked only to vote for one candidate like Magel had done for him when he was elected. This is legal to do but is unethical because it gives an unfair advantage to one candidate.

Now this letter by Magel, "Shame on you" for thinking the public can be fooled by your behavior a second time. Shame on you for once again trying to divide this community for political purposes. Shame on you for thinking the condo owners are s----- and uninformed that they need someone with your underhanded behavior telling them what to do.

It would not surprise me at all that someone who is attempting to manipulate the fine people of Marco is not less capable of being unethical in other ways.

Finally Mr. Magel, we will all be sure that you will be voted off the next time you run.

RayPray writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Larry Magel has to go!!!!!!!!!"

But isn't Larry also Chair Person of the Marco's chapter of The Senile Citizens for Obama-Biden?

ajm3s writes:

Mr. Magel is the most dangerous public official on this island having replaced a host of contenders. Consider his unilateral promotion of the 24hr clinic referendum and now his recent circumvention of the Planning Board with regard to the seawall ordinance.

I could go on and on, but I believe this man represents himself and what he deems is best for this island, Now, given his recent letter to condo managers; this now confirms my suspicion that this man performs best in a Us vs Them" campaign, especially quoting an obsolete mission statement of a citizens group that recognizes property owners.

Quite a misinformer.

PATHETIC!!!!! And this from the head of council who controls agendas. I only hope the remaining members of council see this as pathetic, rudderless, leadership promoting fear. And he endorses a slate including Mr. Honig, who is marketing himself as promoting and bringing forth a positive and professional contributor to a team.

On a positive note, I guess the the slate of candidates is getting more defined based on endorsements and credibility. I only wish some endorsers i.e. Ms Watt, Mr. Magel had higher expectations for education and efficient and transparent government.

Folks, and that includes all folks, including condo owners, if you believe Mr. Magel is representing you, I recommend you have a cup of coffee with him, and listen to him "inform". Well on Monday night, during public comments, Mr. Magel was unplugged and "informed". Do not forget that day, for he will take you down, if you are not in his vision, or with him vs. against him, us vs them. Condo owners, welcome to a constituency of convenience for Mr. Magel. Condo owners beware! If you want a prediction, your fear is not repeal of water rates, it is the fear your condos and surrounding areas will become a treasure trove of visitors beyond your wildest dreams, because density transfer can come to your door, on a floor not yet built above you.

Mr. Honig I would reevaluate your alignment with an incumbent slate, I really hoped you were going to bring a sense of hope. I do not understand what the hell is the common thread, because the city does NOT need cheerleaders, we need competency.

I at one time thought Mr. Magel was professional and competent, now I see him as a pathetic man with a self-centered vision that will not tolerate dissent or alternate perspectives.

An unhinged Mr. Magel, is a door to nowhere.

ajm3s writes:

Oh I forgot. Mr. Magel, was on record in previous meetings that he could not justify a fire rescue boat on a cost/benefit basis. I believe the basis was on 8 incidents/year.

Voila! Pay attention Condo Owners, Mr. Magel just changed his mind, he now voted for a fire rescue boat. Mr. Magel is now seeking another constituency of convenience. What happened to character, and adherence to facts and figures. Oh yeah, just change the facts and figures?

Now. Folks. RecallMr. Murphy's plea to recommission Station 51 which was based on reducing response times, I will ask what is the response time from central station to fire boat, then fire boat to emergency scene?

Fast forward to future, Mr. Murphy will come before council to argue the need to man a platoon to reduce response time. And the folks will be lulled into believing we have competent professionals managing this city.

I say, it is the drip drip drip approach to safety management, start with purchase of assets, without full regard for staffing of assets until a later date.

We once had a fire boat that was inadequately equipped providing a false sense of safety, to now on our way to having a properly equipped boat without manpower.

My take: Mr. Magel was originally on message when approaching from a cost/benefit, but I guess the new approach is based on new information?

Folks, you are being set up for more wasteful spending!!!!!!!!!!! This is not a safety issue, this is more toys in this big playground (or playpen) I call Marco Island Wonderland Park.

All under the pretext of the city having saved money in the last two years. Really, I guess having a bloated budget is not to be questioned as a starting point.

I can only shrug my shoulders as the vacant lots lie fallow.

GFonda writes:

Is the Eagle going to publish the "scarlet letter" written by Mr. Magel as he promised in his response to the appropriate criticism raised during citizens forum? And just how is the "collegial" council going to function if the "bad guys" win seats? Should be entertaining! Anyone for a recall petition against Magel? And why weren't Trotter and Keister speaking up over this debacle. They had nothing to lose.

1Paradiselost writes:

You can count me in to recall Magel.

Just watched the replay of the meeting.

So he (Magel) has meetings with citizens and brings John Arceri along.

Who's running this city, Arceri?

Let us not forget bullet voting.

ajm3s writes:

"Magel responded he had run his letter by city attorney Burt Saunders before sending it, to ensure he did no wrong, and Saunders confirmed Magel was within his rights, as long as he did not use city property for campaign purposes."

This is a classic Magellism. What is Magellism?

Magellism (noun): derived from Latin Machiavelli

(a) rebuttal technique, by use of seeking an answer to a question not posed. [seek response from legal council to his right to free speech as a means to avert citizen questions as to the context of his message, not his right to say it]

(b) misinform [as to provide information that is obsolete and does not represent the entity to be disparaged]

(c) the act of targeted coalition building based on informing the public at large to the perils of misinformation, while simultaneously misinforming the targeted coalition to to the disadvantage of the public at large, reference bullet voting.

(d) _____________________ [additional definitions to be reviewed, see Marcopedia below]

For Wikipedia proponents, may I suggest Marcopedia where folks simply add to the wealth of knowledge accumulated from personal experiences with Mr. Magel.

Having fun at last! The games we play!

Note: All entries will be reviewed by Mr. Arceri for accuracy and adherence to the tenets of Magellism.

Rules: Profanity will be NOT be accepted unless found to be true by the Marco Island Review Committee.

[Yes another committee which can be disbanded by council when and if it feels fit that it is not run in the best interest of city administration or a coalition yet to be formed.]

blogsmog writes:

Magel has learned well from his mentor, john aceri, back in '08 aceri turned the condo owner against the homeowners to get his slate of candidates elected. These condo associations are becoming a vile political tool used by the syndicate to hold onto to power...why... Because the condo dweller is promised better util rates than the homeowner...oh by the way how did that promise from aceri do for you? Condo dweller util rates have skyrocketed in the last 3 years. Congrats condo dweller you earned it.

marco826 writes:

Why is it that politics draws the likes of a Larry Magel? In my opinion, the man has an ego driven by some sense of power that he feels entitled to. He also has distain and contemptuousness for anybody who disagrees with him.

JohninMarco writes:

What I saw of Magel was a scared, angry old man. He clearly does not care about the residents. As for the utility bills, it was he and the current council who cause this problem.

26yearsonmarco writes:


This is off the subject, but I knew I would find you here.

Plaese watch the 40 minute video of your Great One when he was in one of his Fleece the Flock modes:

ajm3s writes:

Let us not forget what Mr. Magel said just 7 months ago in his own words as a guest commentator. Note his disdain for a specific civic group.

"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."

So folks, Mr. Magel wants to speak candidly to condo owners only, as a citizen, of course! I believe this is also the same man, sitting as Chairman of Council.

Thanks, Mr. Magel you are making the case for the Marco Island Property Owners, as to who is better representing whom.

To the folks, we can discuss facts and figures, but one thing does NOT go away unless we vote for fiscal conservatives: the excessive level of debt service relative to other communities as confirmed from city hired consultants in the review of debt service.

I for one will NOT endorse candidates that wish to run on a platform of positiveness while this city is under a barrage of spending proposals that will bring us down a path of more spending that will require higher revenue relative to previous years, in fact rising faster than the county on a relative basis.

In 2000, Marco Island taxpayers paid 10% of total real estate taxes for city services and the balance to Collier County, today that portion is now 15-16%. That is NOT a positive development unless there was a commensurate decrease in Marco Island revenue to reflect the excesses of government spending!!!!!!!

To Mr. Magel, you simply wish to not include some facts or figures while lamenting some civic organizations are misinforming the public. And this continues with your assessment that Marco Island is a donor city.

Well your public demonstration on Monday was real, and your character was open to the public. I recommend everyone see the show it starts at 27:25

Perhaps the Marco Island Property Owners are misinformed because you chose to only communicate to condo owners. MIPO's clearly states its mission statement, which is not the mission statement you chose to read into the public record. Did you, again, mislead the public?


Shame on you, Mr. Magel.

1Paradiselost writes:


Your video has been on the internet since 2008, which is Old news!

Back to subject.. Magel should resign! He has proven, in writing a resentment for the single family homeowners on this island.

By Mr. Magel consulting with the city attorney on political matters is no different than Magel using the "City copy machine and city stationary"!

We need to see what the city attorney charged him for it advise. If there is no invoice from the city attorney to Mr. Magel was it on the taxpayers dime?

Is it a violation of the Sunshine Laws?

OldMarcoMan writes:

Pffft, Lets just start with he has the worst attendance record of ANY City Councilperson ever or that he promised in an Election Debate to not to take any pay till our city debt was payed off and Zip not only does he take EVERY perk the City has to offer but took a secret raise as Council Chairman.
Vote for who ever you want, but this time you know what you are getting.

20_Days writes:

Come on people. Why does it take someone to realize that a person who lies, (Tucker) and a person who uses an unethical method to get elected for something should not have the opportunity to continue in that office.

Now we have a councilman who, not the first time, but the second time is asking, for support from a segment of our city at the detriment of the others who he was, supposedly, sworn to represent.

When do we stop banging our heads up against the wall and electing Arceri's cronies?

Lies, failure to pay city taxes, and unethical behavior is completely unacceptable and has to stop.

26yearsonmarco writes:

in response to 1Paradiselost:


Your video has been on the internet since 2008, which is Old news!

Back to subject.. Magel should resign! He has proven, in writing a resentment for the single family homeowners on this island.

By Mr. Magel consulting with the city attorney on political matters is no different than Magel using the "City copy machine and city stationary"!

We need to see what the city attorney charged him for it advise. If there is no invoice from the city attorney to Mr. Magel was it on the taxpayers dime?

Is it a violation of the Sunshine Laws?

Less than 10 minutes of this video has been on since 2008, not the entire forty minutes that show who and what Obama really is.

1Paradiselost writes:

Hey 26...

Are you Magel or Arceri?

20_Days writes:

Magel should step down because this issue will not go away. He has transgressed into another area where the respect of his opinions and actions have diminished severely.

It is bad enough that we have a city hall named after a confessed liar, now we have a sitting councilman who admits being biased against the homeowners of Marco Island.

When will enough be enough when it comes to these unacceptable shenanigans?

ajm3s writes:

in response to 20_Days:

Magel should step down because this issue will not go away. He has transgressed into another area where the respect of his opinions and actions have diminished severely.

It is bad enough that we have a city hall named after a confessed liar, now we have a sitting councilman who admits being biased against the homeowners of Marco Island.

When will enough be enough when it comes to these unacceptable shenanigans?

When we hold incumbents to their record and performance! And to call them as you see them. I can understand if we have different visions, or a different approach to solve a situation, BUT what Mr. Magel just demonstrated is a nasty, nasty side that I personally saw in past city directors. This nastiness every now and then shows itself for what it really is contempt. If you raise a point that is considered "not POSITIVE", you are labeled as a naysayer, then misinformed, to eventually being targeted as a threat that must to be dealt with divide and conquer campaign. Well this approach by Mr. Magel, as a citizen, protected as free speech, is somewhat creepy, since he could have also made the same statement in public to all voters, as chairman but chose NOT. Until confronted and exposed, brought to the public view by citizens who wish the best for Marco Island.

I apologize for being so lengthy in my comments, but I AM SO upset! And this incident should NOT be allowed to go away, because most citizens do not see this pettiness especially from a chairman and some incumbents who approach some citizens they label as naysayers to be dismissed. And this happens over and over, butit took me years before I recognized it, and now all I want to do is SCREAM.

Ironically, there is a slate of candidates with incumbents that have gotten together on a platform of POSITIVE contribution endorsed by Mr. Magel. All I can ask: Why is fiscal restraint and transparency as a platform which binds the alternate slate of Mr. Petricca, Mr. Honecker and Mr. Sacher, such a bad concept or threat?

Think about it!!!!!

ajm3s writes:

Update: Mr. Magel moves to a new constituency, heavy users of reuse water.

Now in a memo to ICC members, Mr. Magel as a privileged well here is the actual text:

"I currently have the privilege of serving as your Board President and I’ve served on the Marco Island City Council for the past two plus years and currently, as it’s Chairman.

This upcoming City Council election has significant financial implications for the ICC in particular. The issue is the cost of reuse water which we purchase from the City to water the golf course and common areas. Last year that reuse water cost us approximately $97,000. As you know, water is essential to the course and the surrounding vegetation; we have no choice but to irrigate.

Reuse water is generated as we take showers, flush our toilets, and wash our dishes. It is sent to the wastewater plant and purified to a level specified by the Department of Environmental Protection. Then, it either is injected into deep wells at a cost to the City or in Marco Island’s case sold to large volume users for irrigation purposes. Marco can sell all the reuse water it generates and gets about $800,000 annually in revenue from its sale.

The ICC entered into an agreement many years ago to get reuse water from the City. The City agreed to provide the water, but the future cost per 1000 gallons could rise as the City Council dictates.

Three of the candidates running as a slate for City Council this year (Sacher, Honecker and Petricca) have expressed the view that the city does not charge enough for reuse water. Their argument is that since the single-family homeowner does not have access to reuse and is forced to irrigate their property with potable water, those who use reuse should pay more to subsidize their irrigation cost. They have talked about an increase of as much as 100%. That would mean an additional cost of up to $100,000 annually for the ICC.

If Sacher, Honecker and Petricca are elected, I am positive they will move quickly to negate the independent consultant study on water and sewer rates and implement new rates detrimental to the ICC..............

So who to vote for?
If you wish to get additional information, please email me at:

Larry Magel

ajm3s writes:

Must be getting close to the heart of the disinformation machine, if Mr. Magel is continuing to raise the fears of constituents.

So in an effort to seek facts.

What is the actual cost of service (COS) for reuse water? Again, what is the cost of service, NOT the price on the open market, because I need to confirm if property owners without access to reuse water are subsidizing the cost since the bulk of its raw material is supplied by single family residences.

I just want to confirm if all property owners are being treated fairly.

Instead of having a nice chat with coffee, just send an email to ALL the voters, instead of picking constituencies.

And again, thanks for representing all the folks on the island, because I am getting calls from friends asking what the hell are you doing, including members of ICC!! They are asking if this is true?

Let all the folks know, not just some!!!!!!!

Or did I miss one of workshops?

20_Days writes:

I think MAGEL'S MOTO is "DIVIDE AND CONQUER" and to hades with the homeowners!

ajm3s writes:

I have not heard public comments from Mr. Gibson, Mr. Recker, Mr. Honig and Mr. Meyer, denouncing Mr. Magel's negative attack given the "positive" platform that three of the four aforementioned candidates claim as a basis for their slate. Silence is a position, especially from candidates running for a seat on council.

Is it a too much of leap to assume Mr. Magel is doing the heavy lifting for the candidates he recommends by misleading the folks and smearing the other slate consisting of Mr. Honnecker, Mr. Petricca and Mr. Sacher, all running on a common platform of transparency and fiscal responsibility. Mr. Magel is sending memos to targeted groups, ie. condos and country club members creating a scenario that rivals some classic childhood fearful fairy tales.

Pay attention folks! This is the same stuff that has been plaguing this island for years. The majority of existing council continues to spend monies on wants instead of needs and Mr. Magel wants to maintain this dynamic.

We are now seeing what happens when a slate of candidates will not paint inside the lines of a picture drawn by Mr. Magel. The slate of Mr. Petricca, Mr. Sacher, and Mr. Honnecker actually offer an alternate view of what is important to preserving the atmosphere of a small tropical town.

But for now we must confront the vision and future scenarios embedded with fear as presented by Mr. Magel. Again, if you are not with Mr. Magel, they will attack, and today it is to attack MIPO, and a slate of candidates that are members of several civic organizations including MIPO, a citizen's group representing all property owners.

If you really want a change, you cannot reelect incumbents and now through Mr. Magel's endorsement, Mr. Honig or Mr. Meyer simply based on being anointed by the sorcerer. I was considering several candidates, but I now will not consider Mr. Honig as the fourth seat. Mr Honig sealed his fate by claiming to run on a platform of offering a "positive" approach to representation. It really sounds hollow given his silence as to the methods Mr. Magel chose to secure votes for Mr. Honig.

Vote 2012! And see if Mr. Magel is the kiss of death for candidates he endorses.

20_Days writes:

Did Magel resign yet?

Puppets should not be allowed to hold office on Marco. They should be required to show a human I.D. that shows a non arrogance clause!

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