Letter to the Editor: Thank you Petricca, Honecker and Batte

The full time home owners on Marco Island owe a thank you to council members Petricca, Honecker and Batte. They actually did what what we elected them for; holding the line on unnecessary spending.

By defeating a motion to vote on the proposed Community Center they made it clear that Marco Islanders are sick and tired of the wasteful spending that was the norm under previous administrations.

Anthony Costantino

Marco Island

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Comments » 18

ajm3s writes:

"By defeating a motion to vote on the proposed Community Center they made it clear that Marco Islanders are sick and tired of the wasteful spending that was the norm under previous administrations."

I too was impressed, but I did not hear one comment regarding the commitment made during the campaign season by Mr. Honecker and Mr. Petricca to bring the Community Center proposal to a referendum. The motions initially presented by Mr. Magel and Mr. Honig were quite interesting given their experience in management. I was dumbfounded as to Mr. Honig's motion based on the need to show a commitment to the citizens by committing to a review of a single proposal. In my world of project management, you have only committed to a building specification that was suggested by members outside of city management which led to cost reduction and construction time. Normally, the next process is obtaining competitive bids to this new set of specifications.

So, no discussion of an open bid process from competing vendors, no meaningful discussion of funding or its impact on funding and budget, and again, no public input or consideration. So again, we see the same "rush" approach we saw on other contentious issues of the past, that "need" to be decided during the summer months while a good portion of citizens are off island.

LEHonig writes:

Hello ajm3s, you've not got it quite right, and of course Mr. Constantino has it pretty much wrong. My motion May 20 (which failed 3-3, with Batte/Honecker/Petricca opposed, Honig/Kiester/Magel in favor, and Sacher absent) was to "direct staff and the City Attorney to evaluate the proposed contract ... provide a range of financing alternatives with their concomitant impact on (fiscal years) and present findings to Council." We're pretty much going to do all of that anyway. My motion was simply to keep the process moving along. That's going to happen. My motion probably failed because of the heat of the moment, rather than because of its merits. Welcome to politics. I'm doing my dead-level best to figure out how to work with my colleagues, all of whom I respect, within the confines of the sunshine laws, which mean of course that I can basically talk with them only when everyone is looking on. Fine, but sometimes it keeps me from 'splainin myself.

As I noted in Council on May 20 when this came up, the proposal for a new Mackle Park Community Center as presented by City staff (in what I felt and said publicly was an excellent response to requests and input over the past few months) has met or exceeded all of the requests of City Council, including mine (which when I ran for office included "reduce the cost, reduce the scale"). Councilor Honecker investigated and found a responsive construction company, for which I applaud him.

And there is no "rush." Chairman Batte was very clear and forceful, stating that he wanted to make sure that citizens had a very ample chance to weigh in. Whether the Mackle Park Community Center goes to referendum or not, who knows. I'm on record that it does not need to. Others may disagree. But the vote on May 20 did not speak to that issue. Batte / Honecker / Petricca did not in fact vote against the proposed center. That vote is yet to come. We as City Council still need the legal and contract assessment, and we still need to understand and discuss the funding.

Finally, to ajm3s, as to your assertion that I "need to show a commitment to the citizens," I applaud you for attention to detail. Yes, I wanted us as City Council to show such a commitment. Since the original Community Center was built, the population of our Island has increased just shy of 100%. The center is not up to code on any significant aspect (electrical, hurricane, plumbing, Americans with Disabilities Act). I think the various push-backs to the "Taj Mahal" Community Center have given rise to a much more modest and community-consistent proposal that should be presented to City Council after vetting as I specified and as Councilor Honecker advocated as well, and then voted up or down by City Council. We have enough information. We have enough input. Time to vote.

WMissow writes:

NAY SAY I !!!!!!

ajm3s writes:

in response to LEHonig:

Hello ajm3s, you've not got it quite right, and of course Mr. Constantino has it pretty much wrong. My motion May 20 (which failed 3-3, with Batte/Honecker/Petricca opposed, Honig/Kiester/Magel in favor, and Sacher absent) was to "direct staff and the City Attorney to evaluate the proposed contract ... provide a range of financing alternatives with their concomitant impact on (fiscal years) and present findings to Council." We're pretty much going to do all of that anyway. My motion was simply to keep the process moving along. That's going to happen. My motion probably failed because of the heat of the moment, rather than because of its merits. Welcome to politics. I'm doing my dead-level best to figure out how to work with my colleagues, all of whom I respect, within the confines of the sunshine laws, which mean of course that I can basically talk with them only when everyone is looking on. Fine, but sometimes it keeps me from 'splainin myself.

As I noted in Council on May 20 when this came up, the proposal for a new Mackle Park Community Center as presented by City staff (in what I felt and said publicly was an excellent response to requests and input over the past few months) has met or exceeded all of the requests of City Council, including mine (which when I ran for office included "reduce the cost, reduce the scale"). Councilor Honecker investigated and found a responsive construction company, for which I applaud him.

And there is no "rush." Chairman Batte was very clear and forceful, stating that he wanted to make sure that citizens had a very ample chance to weigh in. Whether the Mackle Park Community Center goes to referendum or not, who knows. I'm on record that it does not need to. Others may disagree. But the vote on May 20 did not speak to that issue. Batte / Honecker / Petricca did not in fact vote against the proposed center. That vote is yet to come. We as City Council still need the legal and contract assessment, and we still need to understand and discuss the funding.

Finally, to ajm3s, as to your assertion that I "need to show a commitment to the citizens," I applaud you for attention to detail. Yes, I wanted us as City Council to show such a commitment. Since the original Community Center was built, the population of our Island has increased just shy of 100%. The center is not up to code on any significant aspect (electrical, hurricane, plumbing, Americans with Disabilities Act). I think the various push-backs to the "Taj Mahal" Community Center have given rise to a much more modest and community-consistent proposal that should be presented to City Council after vetting as I specified and as Councilor Honecker advocated as well, and then voted up or down by City Council. We have enough information. We have enough input. Time to vote.

Mr. Honig:

Sorry, I am the simple one. After reading your comment, what did I specifically get wrong, correction, "not right"? Bear in mind, you seconded the motion presented by Mr. Magel! Which essentially, squelches dissenting views going forward.

From the Council Meeting mimutes:

"MOTION by Councilor Magel to authorize,
pending approval of the contract by the City Attorney, the execution of the contract with Royal Concrete Concepts for the construction of Mackle Park Facility Phase II, with a request that staff report back to Council regarding financing options. Second by Councilor Honig."

Under that motion, the only qualifier t going forward, if this motion was passed, would be a review by the City Attorney! NO qualifier for public input!

Do you understand my outrage! Your seconding of the motion was so revealing!

Now to the points raised in your comment, you make no mention of the fact that Mackle Park Community Center was originally utilized for Council meetings, public workshops, etc. that are now provided in a new facility which houses the Police Station and Community Room.

May I recommend a review of the goals and objectives of the Parks and Recreation department as outlined in the Comprehensive Plan. There is a lot of verbiage and it is pretty clear to enhancing open space, to which I believe means open air space. Yet, most of the activities that are expanding and noted by the P&R department could easily be held in existing vacant facilities around this island, some more centrally located near Veterans Park in the midtown district to which the city is encouraging redevelopment. But then again, we just want more new buildings in parks, more parking lots on land relegated to parks, increase density, and less open park land on an island that attracts many for its climate and beach.

Sorry, Larry on this one I do not agree with an expanded facility, given the past uses of this facility that are now relegated to new facilities on San Marco Road.

And to all the subsequent motions proposed, it was simply an attempt to fast tract this project and coincidentally while some seasonal islanders are away.

WizeOlMarco writes:

"...within the confines of the sunshine laws, which mean of course that I can basically talk with them only when everyone is looking on. Fine, but sometimes it keeps me from 'splainin myself."

How does sunshine laws 'keep a politician from explaining themselves'? What's to hide from your constituents, the voters? Or, as modern politico, do you represent a select few? Sunshine laws are about the process leading to a vote, not the vote; at the end of the process you can still vote as you decide, based on whatever influences bend your will. This community building project may be a perfect example of why sunshine laws exist and are needed. Your comment should concern all Marco Island residents and voters.

I appreciate your willingness to participate in discussions.

WMissow writes:

When will the people of Marco Island realize that we are in the midst of a puppet city council. It has been that way since we became a city and still is such.

Kind of reminds me of the Kukla, Fran and Ollie
show. Magel, Arceri and Honig.....the 2013 version.

soundman writes:

the elevated blood pressure for those who completely misunderstood coucilor honig is very revealing. he and magel and keister clearly stated the entire future of the Mackle Center had to pass 2 critical votes first the wording of the contract and the approval of money to pay for it. I believe they only wanted to have the city attorney review the proposed construction contract which would be brought back at a council meeting fully advertised for public input.
the Public Referendum issue is interesting considering council is about to spend much more than the Mackle center on the Smokehouse Bridge without a referendum.

WizeOlMarco writes:

"..we are in the midst of a puppet city council." Who holds the puppet strings?

WMissow writes:

Soundman,

The Smokehouse Bridge appears to be a safety issue, or we have been told that it is. I do not believe that a referendum is needed when health and safety issues are involved.

The Mackle Park issue is a rather small interest group issue, does not appear to be health and safety related (unless, of course, council gets to spin it that way) and should be put up for referendum.

2themoon writes:

That guy Hoenig literally has to exhale...dude is going to explode..

WMissow writes:

in response to WizeOlMarco:

"..we are in the midst of a puppet city council." Who holds the puppet strings?

"Only his hairdresser knows for sure"!

ajm3s writes:

in response to Hascle:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

From my expectations regardless of interpretation, I thought this meeting was advertized as a discussion of the likelihood of moving forward under a host of options which I thought included NO expansion, which would be placed on a referendum as Mr. Honecker, Mr. Patricca, Mr. Sacher and Mr. Batte all expressed in campaign or public forums.

I was hoping for a robust discussion not a commitment or motion to get into the details of a contract for an expansion, when 4 sitting council members voiced their support of a referendum that I thought was a basic yes/no for spending x amount of dollars of any expansion.

What is really interesting, I believe the call for a referendum was citizen initiated, yet the discussion at that meeting was "to move the ball forward". Well lets move the ball forward and simply ask if the folks want to expand the community center. Period... and let them cast a vote for or against capital expansion.

But as Hascle has stated, "it is a done deal" and that is NOT what 4 council members agreed to unless they have changed their position.

So lets ask them to comment publicly because I did not hear a single word regard8hg a referendum!

Or maybe I do not understand this council procedure and we must have a detailed contract to vote on rather than a basic yes/no for expansion, or other options that were discussed.

26yearsonmarco writes:

in response to WMissow:

Soundman,

The Smokehouse Bridge appears to be a safety issue, or we have been told that it is. I do not believe that a referendum is needed when health and safety issues are involved.

The Mackle Park issue is a rather small interest group issue, does not appear to be health and safety related (unless, of course, council gets to spin it that way) and should be put up for referendum.

The Smokehouse Bridge is just another example of how our previous Council spent money without any concern for "We the People".

The Bridge was not declared unsafe, but is in need of repairs, but from what I understand the "Monument to Stupidity" will be built anyway at a cost three time as much as the Jolly Bridge, and shut down Collier Blvd. for who knows how long.

As Confusius once said: "When Rape is Inevitable, Lay Down and Enjoy It"

liberator100 writes:

Referendum or nothing! Wake up Marco Island. This is not the final cost. Don't let Brian Milk and some members of the council fool you!

26yearsonmarco writes:

I thought the Council members who are in the foreclosure process, and spending our money recklessly, were voted out, but now I see another problem involving a Big Spender, who works for “We the People".

http://apps2.collierclerk.com/CorPubl...

26yearsonmarco writes:

Correction: I meant WAS in foreclosure.

RayPray writes:

in response to 26yearsonmarco:

The Smokehouse Bridge is just another example of how our previous Council spent money without any concern for "We the People".

The Bridge was not declared unsafe, but is in need of repairs, but from what I understand the "Monument to Stupidity" will be built anyway at a cost three time as much as the Jolly Bridge, and shut down Collier Blvd. for who knows how long.

As Confusius once said: "When Rape is Inevitable, Lay Down and Enjoy It"

"As Confusius once said: "When Rape is Inevitable, Lay Down and Enjoy It""

>>> If YOU THE PEOPLE think Confucius ever said such a gormless thing, then You the People are a irredeemable moron.

"Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance."

>>> That's what Confucius really said about You the People....

ajm3s writes:

in response to liberator100:

Referendum or nothing! Wake up Marco Island. This is not the final cost. Don't let Brian Milk and some members of the council fool you!

Excellent!

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