Larry Magel resigns from Marco Island City Council

A brace of the old and new, Marco Island City Councilor Larry Magel, past chairman of the council, holds up a gavel plaque commemorating his service. Joe Batte, new council chairman, presented the plaque to Magel. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

A brace of the old and new, Marco Island City Councilor Larry Magel, past chairman of the council, holds up a gavel plaque commemorating his service. Joe Batte, new council chairman, presented the plaque to Magel. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

— Marco Island City Councilor Larry Magel resigned his position Wednesday, effective immediately.

The reason? He won’t be a Marco Island resident come fall.

Magel and his wife Joanna are moving to Windermere, an upscale town in the Orlando area, to be closer to family members, he said. They expect to move in September and, by stepping aside right away, Magel said he is giving his successor an opportunity to be part of two important issues facing the council: setting the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins October 1, and choosing a new city manager to replace Jim Riviere, who is stepping down Sept. 30.

“I could have stayed on until I was no longer physically a resident of Marco Island, but it’s important for the new councilor to get some grounding in budget operations, and to fully participate in the selection of the new chief executive,” he said. “I could have stayed on, but my replacement would have come in cold. It wouldn’t make sense for me to cast a vote on the new city manager.”

Magel tendered his resignation in writing to Council Chairman Joe Batte, in accordance with the city’s charter.

He was elected to the council in March 2010, and served as chairman in 2012. In the aftermath of the 2012 elections, which saw four incumbent council members leave through defeat at the polls or term limits, Magel has found himself on the losing side of lopsided votes.

Since Magel is more than halfway through his current term, his replacement will be chosen by a vote of the remaining six councilmen. That could come as soon as Monday’s council meeting, but will likely take longer.

Magel retired in 2001 as executive director of an 800-attorney law firm in New York City. He and his wife have had a home on Marco Island since 1989, and moved to the island full time in 2007 after selling their vacation home in North Carolina. Magel is currently a member of the Physicians Regional Hospital Advisory Board and past president of the Island Country Club. Prior to being elected to council, he served on the city’s Utility Advisory Committee and Charter Review Committee.

Magel said he is proud to have helped steer Marco Island through a turbulent period.

“During my tenure, we had the worst economic times any of us can remember. Every year, we returned a budget surplus, and held our millage rate the same, even with our assessed property values dropping eight and 10 percent.”

Now, he said, the city has low debt, and “great ratings from Fitch and Standard & Poor’s. We’ll end this year with another million-dollar surplus. That makes me pretty happy.”

Batte praised Magel’s service to the community.

“Councilor Magel has been an exceptional leader in our city, working on many boards and committees, and his outstanding work on the City Council has resulted in numerous organizational and fiscal benefits to out citizenry. Many of us will miss his sober, professional approach to solving the problems Council has had to face during his term of office,” Batte said in a statement.

Riviere called Magel’s resignation a “major loss in terms of our ability to have bright minds solve difficult problems.” “Larry Magel has always had a moderating approach to his legislative technique,” she said.

Riviere did not speculate on who might fill Magel’s seat, but did say he would like to see a female candidate.

“It’s been all males for so long,” he said.

When asked, City Clerk Laura Litzan mentioned one possible candidate for Magel’s vacant seat.

“One person just came to mind, who I think everyone would say is a great choice. Fay Biles (president of the Marco Island Taxpayers Association) has been to every council meeting since the city began,” she said.

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Comments » 19

tnjessen writes:

Great news!

Konfuzius writes:

I recommend as replacement - KONFUZIUS!
Konfuzius knows everything about Marco Island and the needs of the citizen.
Konfuzius has a strong concept for Marco Island.
Key-points:
1. Go rid of MIPD!
2. Consolidate the budget!
3. Cancel Marco Island as resort destination!
4. No more rights for MICA!
5. Make Hide-way Beach public!
6. All goodies for single family home owners!
7. Restructure city hall and re-name the building!
8. Remodel town center!
9. Stop Marriott's expansion plan!
10. Free beach parking for residences.

What a great concept!
GO! KONFUZIUS! GO!

Konfuzius says:
It is time to change below average city council management to upper class management~!

WMissow writes:

Larry,

So long its been nice to know you....NOT!

OldMarcoMan writes:

Guess I should have Voted for Forcht

Konfuzius writes:

in response to OldMarcoMan:

Guess I should have Voted for Forcht

I voted for Forcht. But I do not believe that he has this concept and the power to fulfill it:

1. Go rid of MIPD!
2. Consolidate the budget!
3. Cancel Marco Island as resort destination!
4. No more rights for MICA!
5. Make Hide-way Beach public!
6. All goodies for single family home owners!
7. Restructure city hall and re-name the building!
8. Remodel town center!
9. Stop Marriott's expansion plan!
10. Free beach parking for residences.

That is for the people of Marco Island!

dc5799 writes:

Today is a very good day.

captnjimbo writes:

Why bring gender into the consideration. If they are going to appoint go for quality of person from either gender...not an issue.

ed34145 writes:

My dear Ms. Litzan....Everyone would NOT say that Ms. Biles is a great choice. Many, many would take exception with that.

GorgonZola writes:

When asked, City Clerk Laura Litzan mentioned one possible candidate for Magel’s vacant seat.

“One person just came to mind, who I think everyone would say is a great choice. Fay Biles (president of the Marco Island Taxpayers Association) has been to every council meeting since the city began,” she said.

EVERYONE? Are you on drugs?

happy6 writes:

hopefully magel takes diaz with him.

dc5799 writes:

in response to happy6:

hopefully magel takes diaz with him.

And also Issler.

Sailor writes:

Never did like Magel!! He's so condescending and arrogant. He spent way too much time trying to micromanage city employees which is a violation of the charter. City employees must be thrilled. Good Riddance Larry.

WMissow writes:

Sailor,
You are among many who feel the way you do. In my opinion, I do not trust the guy, period.

condoseller writes:

Considering the last election results, perhaps Mr. Recker should be considered as a replacement for Mr. Magel. Appointing Mr. Recker would return an experienced council member at a time a new City Manager is being selected and his appointment would be consistent with the recent electoral tally.

WMissow writes:

There were good reasons Recker failed to get re-elected last time. You do not appoint someone who was an incumbent who lost because the public voted him out of office.

Anyway it is too late, the council already selected and voted on a replacement.

OldMarcoMan writes:

Condoseller the same could be said for Wayne W.

condoseller writes:

in response to WMissow:

There were good reasons Recker failed to get re-elected last time. You do not appoint someone who was an incumbent who lost because the public voted him out of office.

Anyway it is too late, the council already selected and voted on a replacement.

Thank you. I did read in the Sun Times that our City Council has appointed Mr. Brown. Still nothing in the Eagle.

I wrote about appointing Mr. Recker only because he followed Mr. Petricca in vote tally in the last election. There is much talk of we the people in this forum and since Mr. Recker was next in line by votes, his appointment would have been consistent with the electoral (the people's) count. It is now a moot point.

I wish Mr. Brown the very best as councilman and have every belief he will work for the best interest if Marco Island.

2themoon writes:

Good riddens..

deltarome writes:

Magel was the last councilor who was part of Marco Mafia that succeeded in getting home owners to pay for sewer plant replacement and repave roads on Marco. The damage was done. Good riddance.

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