Downtown Naples development, Lee County politics and an unlikely topic, divorce, are featured on this week’s "Naples Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle’’ airing Sunday morning at 10 on ABC7.
Naples City Council member Doug Finlay discusses development density, the city budget and the Collier County tourist tax; Lee County Commission District 4 candidate Don Stilwell, a former county manager, says spending is the key issue for 2014; and Naples divorce attorney and how-to author Rebecca Zung discusses how Facebook has impacted U.S. divorce trends.
* Video highlights will be posted Monday at naplesnews.com/newsmakers.
Lytle: After you ran for the board in 2012 and lost to Cecil Penergrass, why are we doing this again for the seat now held by Tammy Hall?
Stilwell: I think money. It comes down to living within your means at the county. And the county in the last four years has spent over a hundred million dollars from the reserves ... property tax reserves ... and not really paid much attention to the fact they are operating with a deficit. And now all of a sudden this year the incumbent has said that she is in favor of raising the millage. She is in favor of raising the library millage by 68 percent. She’s in favor of raising the surcharge on utility fees by 50 percent, and I think that’s unconscienable
Lytle: So it’s all about the money.
Lytle: One part of your book, "Breaking Free,’’ that caught my attention was the role that Facebook and the other social media play in so many divorces these days ...
Zung: ... a huge impact ...
Lytle: ... online flirting and then getting caught.
Zung: Yes, there’s been a huge impact in the divorce industry.
The first way is how people actually find people, and you know what happens is, if there are some fissures in your relationship to begin with, you get on Facebook, you find your old college flame, or your high school sweetheart, or whatever, and you start, you know, the grass is always greener, and then something starts coming up. So that’s kind of the first way.
The second way ... is that everybody, including your neighbors, your co-workers, whatever, are now private investigators for you ... everybody is seeing what’s going on. So, they say, oh, I saw your wife with so and so at a barbecue, and blah, blah, and then that’s how things get started as well.
Lytle: If you do not favor a special assessment for development of a new park on the Gordon River, what would you prefer?
Lindsay: I would prefer that we delay the fire station. We can do both the fire station and the park by using a public service tax fund, which is a capital fund, and we simply delay the fire station for three or four years, and we focus our interest on the park.
Council apparently decided to put the park as a priority, and I’m fine with that, but I do not ... favor going out and taxing people with $160 special assessment, which, to my mind, the city has never done before. I don’t want to set that precedent. And also you have some people in smaller, less expensive properties. They’re going to be paying ... in the year that that assessment hits, they’re going to be paying a 100 percent increase in their taxes to the city. And it’s just not something that we have to do.