Letter to the Editor: Chicken Little – The sequel

Many of you will recall the story of Chicken Little who shouted “the sky is falling” after an acorn fell on her head. Soon Henny Penny, Ducky Lucky and the entire flock of feathered friends joined the excited chorus shouting “the sky is falling” until they met their fate in the open jaws of Foxy Loxy.

A similar real life emotional hysteria seems to have emerged with a group of council candidates and their followers proclaiming everything is going wrong in city government with the claim by their leader that we should “stop the insanity.”

Well let’s take a look at their claims of insanity.

- Lack of financial discipline: The truth is the tax rate has been flat for the last two years with surpluses at end of each year.

- A debt problem exists: The utility debt is being paid down and Moodys has just raised our bond rating.

- Spending out of control: The city is $2.3 million under the spending cap.

- Lack of transparancy: Florida has the most stringent sunshine law in the country and this contrived complaint doesn’t hold water. The meetings are televised and available on the website with agendas published in advance as required by law.

So it appears we have the same nay-sayers who emerge every local electionshouting “the sky is falling” routine.

Perhaps these negative people and their tactics drove Paul Meyer from the race.

Reject these tactics and vote for the positive people Gibson, Honig and Recker.

Jack Patterson

Marco Island

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Comments » 2

ajm3s writes:

Mr. Paterson:

The concern is the increase municipal spending each year, in light of citizens dealing with an economy over the last 4 years, that is sluggish at best. Is it too much to ask the city and our representatives to curb growth to match what citizens are experiencing?

Marco Island claims to be a city with families and retirees, yet the official government number keepers show a slowdown in GDP in the last 2-3 years, middle class losing ~4K in average income, while increase in cost for staples to raise a family.

Yet, the city wishes to expand services to increase the burden on taxpayers, with no regard to reviewing what would best benefit the citizens. Is raising the flag against an expansion model based on "more is better" mentality, a bad thing.

Sorry if I am skeptical of incumbents acting as cheerleaders; I tend to like candidates that are problem solvers. And from my experience, problem solving begins with identifying real problems NOT rah rah chants. In my professional life, it is what drives innovation!

I tend to look at those exclaiming there is a problem, as harbingers to a better Marco Island. However, to your point you must first start with a clear problem and perhaps some problems are not problems at all, and/or rise to a level of hyperbole.

Under that scenario: I ask you to be discerning as to what constitutes a valid problem. Consider the recent issue of sea walls and vacant lot staging, that in my estimation is a solution LOOKING for a problem. Or will it burgeon into a more costly approach to seawall maintenance under the auspices of a city managed program? Is this another council induced problem? Similar to a 24/7 urgent care resolution again under citizenry outcry, or lack of?

I ask for a fair review of all the candidates as well as what the problems are. Seawall staging or government expansion and unintended consequences are both perceived as "problems". Yet which are now considered by the city and council?

I am for a quality of life NOT a quantity of revenue from tourism or more costly city programs from expanded services at the expense of residents. Should I be silent as I view density transfer, CRA/TIF, larger public facilities, proposed parking transfer sites for trolleys, convention center on east side of Collier, etc as to the impact of residents.

Limited growth is NOT a bad idea for an island with a defined shoreline!!!!!!!

I believe some representatives are more sensitive to city managers/directors than residents. But ironically, the city expands and buys more stuff, i.e more police personnel, fire boat, recommissioning Station 51, while non-union rank and file employee incomes were frozen......and hazards remain essentially unchanged.

Just my opinion, is it too negative? Even the Planning Board is dismissed by council on several occasions, so the citizens are clamoring.

OutWithTheOldies writes:

Perhaps the problem is more that all you seem to find are problems? I don't think anyone can argue against measured growth and expansion befitting the level of development of our island community over a given timeframe- the issue arises when all opportunities for progress and improvement are approached with such negativity and antipathy that projects are sunk before even leaving the dock.
Finding problems with everyone else's plan is easy. Where's your plan for IMPROVING our island besides cutting your way to a lower tax statement every year??

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