Marco city employee suspended pending investigation into zoning change for former business partner

Marco Island Community Affairs Director Bryan Milk reports to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee Tuesday on the new community center that will be Phase Six of the Mackle Park Master Plan. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Marco Island Community Affairs Director Bryan Milk reports to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee Tuesday on the new community center that will be Phase Six of the Mackle Park Master Plan. Cheryl Ferrara/Eagle Correspondent

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story has been corrected to reflect that Bryan Milk has held in his current position since 2011 and has worked for the city since 1999.

Marco Island Community Affairs Director Bryan Milk was suspended by the city Tuesday, pending an investigation into an undisclosed business relationship with an applicant who benefited from his interpretation of zoning rules.

Milk was suspended without pay effective immediately, pending the outcome of the internal investigation, according to a news release from Guillermo Polanco, interim city manager.

On Monday, Milk said he held a member interest until May 2013 in Progressive Auto’s Xpress Mart, another business on Progressive’s property, 720 Bald Eagle Drive, but was no longer involved with the business.

Milk said he had the authority to make the interpretation, which was requested July 26 by attorney Douglas Lewis.

Lewis represents the owners of two other storage facilities located in another part of the city which is zoned to accommodate the additional automobiles.

Lewis challenged the interpretation on Oct. 21 and asked the Marco Island City Council, which acts as the Board of Zoning Appeals, to hear the appeal. The city scheduled a hearing for 5:30 p.m. Monday.

Lewis said he challenged the interpretation because it is not consistent with the city’s comprehensive plan. He claims it will adversely affect other property owners in the storage facilities’ zoning district and deter development there. He also contends it grants a special privilege to an existing property owner, is out of scale with city properties and is unnecessary.

Milk has been in his current position since 2011 and has been a city employee since Jan. 4, 1999, when he was hired as a city planner.

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Comments » 26

ajm3s writes:

Another interpretation! Remember the "dustless" interpretation for a shell driveway in 2008.

Quite a quandary!

OldMarcoMan writes:

What a LOAD.
I have known Bryan from his days as a Planner/City Manager and I think he is just getting caught up in this money sucking mess we call a City Government.

Whats the problem ? Are you upset he actually live here on the Island ? That he does his Job and about four other peoples jobs too?
Does he make you look bad because he has a clue?

Is there still some cry babies upset from when Milk was City Manager and you snibblers wanted to make him our full time manager but he saw how you treated managers and didn't want the job?

This was such a nice island at one time, and you have ruined it,

I hope your happy,

What was it that one Councilman used to say about Pigs in Party Dresses.? City Government is still the Pig.

naples_rocket writes:

what? What a way to start a new year. Cannot wait for a full story. No permanent city manager, finance director has been the interim city manager for way too long, now this...

Konfuzius writes:

in response to OldMarcoMan:

What a LOAD.
I have known Bryan from his days as a Planner/City Manager and I think he is just getting caught up in this money sucking mess we call a City Government.

Whats the problem ? Are you upset he actually live here on the Island ? That he does his Job and about four other peoples jobs too?
Does he make you look bad because he has a clue?

Is there still some cry babies upset from when Milk was City Manager and you snibblers wanted to make him our full time manager but he saw how you treated managers and didn't want the job?

This was such a nice island at one time, and you have ruined it,

I hope your happy,

What was it that one Councilman used to say about Pigs in Party Dresses.? City Government is still the Pig.

Quit frankly. If I read your frustration post. Understandable and comprehensible I ask myself how will Marco Island ever coming out this dirty whole Marco Island stuck in since years now. I mean all this people responsible for the terrible situation Marco Island is in, are still working in different positions and committees. They still pull the strings their puppets hang. They still used their influence and power for themselves. How will you ever get a qualified city manager by this upside down image Marco Island created and conserved?
The deep trench they dogged is still dividing the community. My hope were the new city councilor Marco Island citizen elected. But it seems to me they cook the same salty soup with the same old recipes. Maybe on top more salt a small community can tolerate.
Today we have a friendly sunny day sun is shining people feel happy at New Years Day.
It is time for a new start. But - I have no idea how that can work. Tomorrow we are back in our endless story of pushing individual interests and forget the big picture of Marco Island. A little put putt here and a big Marriott expansion there! An overstaffed MIPD here a to expensive smokehouse bay bridge there! Confusing speed traps here and a community center with no basic concept there. And all explained with consultancy fee in millions of $$$ high.
I guess it is time for a mayor city I asked since years.
However have a Happy New Year!

JohninMarco writes:

in response to OldMarcoMan:

What a LOAD.
I have known Bryan from his days as a Planner/City Manager and I think he is just getting caught up in this money sucking mess we call a City Government.

Whats the problem ? Are you upset he actually live here on the Island ? That he does his Job and about four other peoples jobs too?
Does he make you look bad because he has a clue?

Is there still some cry babies upset from when Milk was City Manager and you snibblers wanted to make him our full time manager but he saw how you treated managers and didn't want the job?

This was such a nice island at one time, and you have ruined it,

I hope your happy,

What was it that one Councilman used to say about Pigs in Party Dresses.? City Government is still the Pig.

This was the worst kept secret on the island. His own staff, past and present did him in.

condoseller writes:

Mr. Milk has served the City admirably and I hope the "investigation" brings out the facts. I don't recall Mr. Milk ever holding the City Manager position which a previous post represented.

I fear our City is experiencing too much change and Mr. Rivière ruined good people by assigning too much responsibility to them, like Mr. Milk.

I hope our City Council hires a new City Manager who knows and appreciates our community. Someone who can bring transparency and positive change.

I also hope Mr. Milk's exit doesn't define his tenure. He is a good man who has done some good work for Marco Island.

marco97 writes:

If he personally benefited by letting progressive house more cars then allowed I think he's done working for the City and I like the guy. You just can't do stuff like that it's called a kickback.

1Paradiselost writes:

Is this the person who was responsible for overseeing the maintenance of the building located at Mackle Park?

If so.. Don't let the door hit you in ask on the way out!

marco826 writes:

I don't know Milk. Don't know if he was trying to help his friends. Friends with an interesting past at best. What I do know is that this small Island town makes a lot of messes.

marco826 writes:

In an email sent to Milk, Interim City Manager Guillermo Polanco advised Milk of his dissatisfaction with his missing a 2 p.m. scheduled meeting with him.

CopWatch writes:

SPEAKING OF COVERUPS............

A man accused of killing a woman and driving recklessly made his first appearance in front of a Collier County judge Sunday morning.

Peter Ferreira, 42, Marco Island, is charged with vehicular homicide and reckless driving. His bond is set at $75,000 for the homicide charge plus $5,000 for the reckless driving charge.

Marco Island Police say Ferreira sped through a stop sign at the intersection of Tahiti Rd. and Bayport Ave. Saturday afternoon. His car collided with another, killing the driver, 91-year-old Theresa Lesniak.

WHY IS INFORMATION ON DAVE BAER MIPD CAR WRECK, WHILE HE WAS RUSHING TO THE SCENE FROM HIS NON-MARCO ISLAND RESIDENCE, NOT FORTHCOMING?

captnjimbo writes:

Any possible appearance of conflict of interest or favoritism by government officials should be avoided and I do not believe any city officials are not aware of that. I personally don't see any real damage here but Milk should have known better. Just an opinion. (and pardon the double negative...I should know better)

Konfuzius writes:

in response to Hascle:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Instead of blogging banality and triviality make constructive proposals.
HOW will change your remote controlled buddies?
HOW will you see what really happened?
HOW shall the public really knew (not new) all the inside details of EVERY contract and zoning decision?
So one more time: What is your point?
We all know that King Moss gave his son-in-law more parking spots than available for his outside service areal.
WHAT happened? NOTHING!!!!!!
That is what happened!!!
We will see what happened with Keewaydin now.
Maybe the county change the rules for VP Biden.
A small island for VIP's. Than we know the county not better than Marco Island's government.
Hascle nothing else than hassle!

1Paradiselost writes:

I thought it was me? I'm glad somebody else did not understand that gibberish!

You have lived on Marco since 1971? How long have you been in this country?

Konfuzius writes:

in response to Hascle:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Psycho Babble,should be removed from posting. Their only intent is to cause conflict."

Typical for a guy packed with inferiority complexes!
One more time: What is your point in the case of Bryan Milk?

"....we would all head for the hills,where they have the same problem.!"

I can not understand this fundamental, sophisticated, epochal statement of this intellectual brilliant neighbor Hascle.
And what means "Fooook U"?
Is that the new blogger compliments for 2014.
However even a guy like this has the right to express his intellectual explosive diarrhea!

Konfuzius writes:

in response to 1Paradiselost:

I thought it was me? I'm glad somebody else did not understand that gibberish!

You have lived on Marco since 1971? How long have you been in this country?

Do you ask me?

captnjimbo writes:

In my experience the most effective executives recruit good people, make sure they understand and buy into the objectives and then they delegate. And then on a predictable schedule do planning sessions to see how they are doing and refine objectives for the next time. Dictators almost always fail because their employees are frozen until the boss either gives an order or approves an action. I thought our former manager was pretty effective...at least from the vantage of press reporting.

marcochoosehs writes:

So does this mean the city clerk will be investigated for also operating as a realtor and possibly gaining access to the "newcomers" to Marco as they enter City Hall for business...And does this mean that every city employee will be required to disclose their entire business/investment portfolios?? Wake up Marco! A dedicated city employee is being suspended before the facts are discovered. Meanwhile, there is no consistency occurring within all staff members. Is this appropriate?

GorgonZola writes:

Aaaaah yes, marcochoosehs I can only hope you are correct with your first few sentences about more attention being paid to city employees who take advantage of their positions by holding second jobs where they are supplying insider information. Unfortunately, as for Milk, I think he has been 'sour' for a loooong time now, or as my dear wife would say, "Karma has come calling at last" -- and hoping someone will look into his longtime association with that particular business. If it walks like a duck -----
Building dept.'s B. Maher was dumped for a lot less that this (but someone had to take the blame).
Sharpen your antennae -- if a temporary city manager takes strong steps like this, you can bet there is a lot more than meets the eye here -- bound to be a fire with this much smoke. Don't expect to know the whole story ---

tnjessen writes:

in response to GorgonZola:

Aaaaah yes, marcochoosehs I can only hope you are correct with your first few sentences about more attention being paid to city employees who take advantage of their positions by holding second jobs where they are supplying insider information. Unfortunately, as for Milk, I think he has been 'sour' for a loooong time now, or as my dear wife would say, "Karma has come calling at last" -- and hoping someone will look into his longtime association with that particular business. If it walks like a duck -----
Building dept.'s B. Maher was dumped for a lot less that this (but someone had to take the blame).
Sharpen your antennae -- if a temporary city manager takes strong steps like this, you can bet there is a lot more than meets the eye here -- bound to be a fire with this much smoke. Don't expect to know the whole story ---

Very well said!

Konfuzius writes:

in response to Hascle:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hascle and 1Paradiselost one and the same person. Sorry. I did not know that.
Back to the subject. I expect a statement from the city manager now, what's going on. It confused me more and more. Is Milk guilty, did he wrong, was in a conflict of interest, did he take advantages of his job?
Please answer.

CopWatch writes:

UPDATE: city community affairs director Bryan Milk terminated

Konfuzius writes:

in response to CopWatch:

UPDATE: city community affairs director Bryan Milk terminated

Hopefully in proper and fair.

condoseller writes:

in response to marcochoosehs:

So does this mean the city clerk will be investigated for also operating as a realtor and possibly gaining access to the "newcomers" to Marco as they enter City Hall for business...And does this mean that every city employee will be required to disclose their entire business/investment portfolios?? Wake up Marco! A dedicated city employee is being suspended before the facts are discovered. Meanwhile, there is no consistency occurring within all staff members. Is this appropriate?

Excellent point. I always wondered how the City Clerk could sell real estate while serving in her position. It "appears" unethical. She should be required to disclose her client list each year.

Konfuzius writes:

In America everybody has to work two or three jobs. Otherwise you die of hunger. It seems to me city management make a mountain out of a molehill.
I guess for some reason city management and city councilor needed to sacrifice a pawn.
It sound all very unfair.

condoseller writes:

My only point is, what is good for the Gander is good for the Goose.

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