Letter to the Editor: We are making progress

Contrary to what many of the naysayers have been saying, I would like to compliment the current City Council and give them an A.

The excessive spending of the past has ended. Most of the capital improvement projects have been put on hold for review. The design plan for the Smokehouse Bay Bridge has been downsized and the city will receive a new total bid package quote any day.

A revised Mackle Park Community Center proposal is still in the reviewing stage and is before the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. The voters have been heard and the proposed 7 million dollar project is now in the area of 2.3 million. They have listened to us. We need a new Mackle Park Community Center. Give kudos to the Park and Recreation Advisory Committee.

The new firehouse is now in review.

They have refinanced the utility debt and have saved us a substantial amount of money. They have also released six million which has been added to our reserve fund.

The Marriott expansion plan was presented to the Planning Board on Aug. 2. Last month, the Marriott invited the public to see and hear the revised plans for the expansion and will invite the public for a second presentation in January. The Marriott will also present their revised plan to the Planning Board; however no date has been set.

All in all, we are making progress. This has been a good year for Marco.

Happy and Healthy New year to all.

Herb Jermanok

Marco Island

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Comments » 9

1Paradiselost writes:

I'm still waiting for answers to the Blog I posted a few weeks ago concerning the building at Mackle Park....

Just my take... a few questions from a taxpayer....

1) Who is the person responsible for the current buildings upkeep?

2) Why was the building allowed to get in such disrepair?

3) How much money in each years city budget is allowed for the maintenance & up keep of the building in question?

Many years ago while at a party, the subject came up about buying new cars. During that conversation a woman told us she would neglect the maintenance of her car.
When asked why would you do that. She said the answer was quite simple. If I take care of the car my husband won't not buy me another. So I just let them fall apart.

4) This brings us to a different question, is a 25 year old building really to old? Whats that say about the rest of the buildings (homes/businesses) on the island..

Before moving here over a decade ago, I moved from a suburban area. Many of the buildings in that area were over 125 years old. Only the buildings in the lower downtown area were in disrepair, why.... maintenance!

Whoever is in charge of the maintenance of the building in question at Mackle Park should be fired, NOW!!

5) If we the taxpayers vote via referendum and allow the city to build a new building, who will be in charge of maintenance of that building?

(hopefully not the same person!)

6) What will the costs be to maintain a new much larger building?

7) Based on the city's past performance record. who's to say after another 25 years we won't need another building?

As a city we have many worthy projects, However this city is in debt for $250,000,000 dollars! With the highest water rates in the state of Florida.

Let's first make an attempt, a plan to cut that debt before spending anymore taxpayer money.

Cost of living issues are much more important to any long term potential real estate buyer and current owner than any new community center.

Let's fix the building we have for $400,000 and prove to the tax paying public the city can maintain such a building before spending 3.9 million dollars including interest for a new one.

seasonala writes:

Just look at the Teen Center. It is poorly maintained, but would one not expect better for a public facility for teens?

I do believe the Teen Center is more recent installation, and is compliant with recent codes....so again why is it in such a decrepit condition than the older facility?

I do not hold much hope that public facilities can be properly maintained, given the common complaint of HVAC operations. This is the case at the fire station as well currently under review for a major expansion/renovation.

Could it be uninsulated duct work, or duct work that is open to the open air? Is this happening in private facilities or is this just a condition found in public facilities?

Konfuzius writes:

"Just look at the Teen Center. It is poorly maintained, but would one not expect better for a public facility for teens?'

A teen center is just an one time investment.
No follow ups, no kick backs. Fire department or STRP have another dimension. Police too. Boats, SUV's choppers new office space new fire trucks keeps administrations busy. Teen Centers mean nothing else than work and no big follow up order. Everybody has his own priority list. Especially local administrations.

marco826 writes:

With approximately 17,000 residences on Marco, one would think the Tax Base would be sufficient to run a community like this, but no, we are in substantial debt........Politicians.

1Paradiselost writes:

in response to marco826:

With approximately 17,000 residences on Marco, one would think the Tax Base would be sufficient to run a community like this, but no, we are in substantial debt........Politicians.

This city is in debt because of one man. That man is John Arceri! The rest of you can fill in the blanks.

Konfuzius writes:

in response to 1Paradiselost:

This city is in debt because of one man. That man is John Arceri! The rest of you can fill in the blanks.

Godfather Arceri?

harrisbill239#279036 writes:

I wholeheartedly agree with 1Paradiselost. The basic root problem for the Community Center, the Fire Station, as well as the Smokehouse Bay bridge and many other facilities on Marco, is that NO ONE takes responsibility for the maintenance, repairs and upkeep of them! The supervisors and managers of those facilities do not care, and flatly refuse to force their employees to perform the required maintenance. In turn, the City Manager (whether Interim or Full Time) flatly refuses to force the supervisors and managers to do their jobs, and our mighty City Council flatly refuses to force the City Manager to in turn force his employees to do their jobs. As said on the old Happy Days TV show, sooner or later, you have to hit someone Little Richie! If the employees, supervisors, managers, City Manager and City Councilors don't do their jobs right - Fire Them!! Contrary to what we're told, there will be people lined up to apply for their jobs, and if properly supervised, will do a better job, and most likely will do it for less money. Thanks, Bill Harris

harrisbill239#279036 writes:

Surely you're not serious! Give them an A? I think a C would be a more deserving grade. You think the excessive spending of the past has ended? Have you not been watching the news and attending the Council meetings? I don't know about you, but my taxes have gone up. My water-sewer utility charges have increased. We never see a proposal to make repairs to any of our facilities - it's always "let's tear it down and build a new one". Or, instead of making repairs to the fire station, it's "Let's make a multi-million dollar 'expansion'!
Smokehouse Bay Bridge has been downsized, but not before the citizens of our City raised hell about it! Mackle Park Community Center proposal is still in the reviewing stage, with a project price tag of 2.3 million.Again, not before the citizens raised hell about it. The Council refinanced the utility debt, and have saved us a substantial amount of money (I'm still not convinced that this will not cost us more over the life of the new loans). They have also recouped more than six million dollars from the refinancing effort, which by the way, will not be returned to the citizens. Instead, it goes into funds that the Council can now spend, along with this year's tax and fee revenues, and the surplus and reserve funds left over from prior years. All in all, the city budget for this year is a lot larger than presented, because the prior year's surplus and reserve funds, as well as that $6 Million plus from the refinancing, is not reflected in the current year's budget. As for the Marriott's expansion plan, why should we believe the claims and promises made by Rick Medwedeff and Marriott/Mass Mutual this time? They lied before and will likely lie again. Also, on the City Manager search: it seems that our Mister X candidate from the city of Marathon is pretty much a shoo-in. But why should we trust him, when he deceived Marathon? Can we trust him to be honest and completely forth-coming with us? Yours Truly, Bill Harris

Konfuzius writes:

" But why should we trust him, when he deceived Marathon? Can we trust him to be honest and completely forth-coming with us?"

Good questions. And the answers are: Certainly not!

We need for a new start not more pressures from the beginning on. No more whether he is PHD or not. Whether he is corrupt or not? Whether he is qualified or not?
Lets do it just normal. Search for a good candidate. Interview him and make a decision.
I have no idea why all this normal stuff is so complicated on Marco Island.
Maybe Marco Island never elected smart and with common sense equipped city councilor except Chuck Kiester and Dave Brunner. All others lie to much or made hoax what were never hoax. The guy with the photos and city hall name giver.

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