For the past few years, I've had questions on how the city runs. This is the reason why I decided to run for one of the city council seats, to better understand the workings of the city. I believed my ideas would help the city move forward and I chose to run as an independent candidate, not with any other persons or groups. I wanted to be able to project my own ideas into the city's workings.
In my quest to gain one of the city council seats, I have learned a lot about Marco Island and how dysfunctional it really is. You have two sides to everything, the City against MICA, condo owners against home owners, young families against the retired, YMCA against Parks and Rec, and the police department and fire department don't see eye to eye. So how can you run a city if you can't get anyone to work together. Just being a candidate, I have been fired at from all sides by some of most unhappy people I have ever met anywhere. They are unhappy at how the city operates but have no positive input other than what can you do for me, I'm a taxpayer. One example at the forums, I was asked about the new Mackle Park building and most who know me, know I support it. The question was "why should I pay for it if I don't use it". My answer is the fire department is there, I don't use it. It is there as part of the community as a service. How can you have an opinion on something if you don't use it or know anything about it. Some people are just unhappy and are very vocal in their unhappiness. But I'm not going stand by and let these people take pot shots at all the candidates. Nine of us stood up and said we can make a difference and help the city move forward. Unless you are willing to do something positive for your community, please stay home and be unhappy. We need positive people in the community and on our city staff if we ever want to be the true paradise that I call home. We need everyone to pay their fair share for all the services the city provides. I don't agree with all the decision made by our city, like the assets purchased and the number of personnel we employ. Just the overhead for the assets such as gas, oil, maintenance and insurance is huge dollars. The pensions that we will have to pay for are mind boggling. In twenty years, most of you will be gone and families like mine will be stuck holding the check.
All said and done, I still love where I live. Until the people of this island can unite to move forward and not dwell on the past, nothing will ever change. Everyone wants change but they are not willing to change themselves. I just hope one day in time that we can become a community and not 16,000 private entities. This run for office has been a life-learning experience for me and my family. That is why I believe I am the smartest candidate for stepping out of this race for a thankless job that pays a whopping $6,000 a year. I have better things to do with my time than listen to the unhappy people of Marco Island. I prefer to live in peace and happiness than to sink into the political quicksand for the next four years.
To all the people who wanted me in that chair, my commitment to you is still there and I want to thank all of you for your love and support. I have made a positive impact on the community and will continue to help the best I can. But this run was starting to change Paul Meyer and I will not change the happy Paul Meyer. To my wife, Mary, I am all yours. To my kids, yes I will still be there to pick you up from school. To the people who know me, you know I get things done. The rest of you will never know. To all the candidates left, good luck on the Tale of Two Cities that will never have a true resolution.
I'm going back to being just Paul Meyer.