At a very recent Marco Island Property Owners, (MIPO), meeting, the subject unsurprisingly turned to the City Council meeting of Monday, July 15.
The feelings expressed were totally unanimous in that this relatively new City Council is demonstrating the sort of change that many Marco Islanders have longed for almost since having become a city. The manner in which this new City Council, without exception, handled the debacle of the Smokehouse Bridge issue was commendable. An all-too-rare respect for the taxpayers’ wallet was shown when staff and the hired bridge designer were questioned as to why bids to build the bridge were coming in at more than four million dollars over what they (staff and designer) had originally estimated. On top of that, it was discovered that common sense items such as landscaping and lighting had actually been overlooked.
All councilors immediately rejected, with appropriate chastisements, the excuses being offered. After two hours of trying to salvage some portion of the bridge design that had cost two million dollars, a reluctant albeit rational decision was made to accept the loss and initiate fresh bridge designs and bids with obvious caveats. Council’s directives were to cut down on that $2 million loss as much as practicable.
Marco Islanders aren’t shy or slow to criticize city officials when abuse or incompetence is sensed. It was more than pleasing, then, to note that everyone at the Marco Island Property Owners’ meeting agreed that in this new council, each and every counselor in this particular instance deserved a loud and clear “thank you!” for protecting the taxpayers’ dollars … so, thank you! You’re gaining trust and confidence.