Mark Strain: On the Mark ... necessity should take priority over convenience
Published 07/24/2010 at 10:23 a.m.
For everything we do there is a law, code, or rule written to control it.
Mark Strain: On the Mark ... once upon a time the local economy was balanced
Published 07/18/2010 at 8:51 a.m.
Concern over the economic stability of Collier County has brought forth ideas that some believe would make things better.
Mark Strain: On the Mark ... why things go unnoticed for so long
Published 07/09/2010 at 11:54 a.m.
With the deep financial problems in the state of California it was a surprise this week to learn that the State’s assembly decided to avoid a lengthy trial and award a $20 million settlement in a highly publicized kidnapping case. ...
Mark Strain: On the Mark ... residents should weigh in on tax increases
Published 07/01/2010 at 3:04 p.m.
Last week, the Board of Collier County Commissioners voted to add an item on the ballot this fall to ask residents whether or not they want to pay up to $30 million more taxes to expand the Naples Zoo.
Mark Strain: On the Mark ... permitting errors stand, residents lose
Published 06/25/2010 at 2:46 p.m.
Several years ago numerous errors were made by county staff while permitting a shopping center at Immokalee Road and Collier Boulevard. This resulted in some unintended permits being approved, one of which was issued to Stevie Tomatoes Sports Page in ...
On the Mark: Driving and phones not a good mix
Published 06/17/2010 at 2:49 p.m.
Collier County has a lot of flashy new cameras designed to catch on film every “rolling stop” in order to generate a lot of money. It worked for a while but when the state recently ruled that right-on-red tickets based ...
On the Mark: A toxic stew about to surround Florida
Published 06/11/2010 at 7:38 a.m.
The Exxon Valdez was an oil containment ship that ran aground in the frigid waters of Alaska in 1989 and lost most of its oily cargo. Nearly 11 million gallons of oil was spilled making this incident one of the ...
Mark Strain: On the Mark ... what 'revenue neutral' may mean now
Published 06/04/2010 at 6:12 a.m.
It is not surprising to hear from our tax assessor that property values decreased last year. As should be expected, a drop in property values of nearly 12% should produce a similar drop in the tax revenues that feed local ...
Mark Strain: On the Mark ... Listen to Sarah Palin? Why?
Published 05/27/2010 at 9:58 a.m.
Ever since John McCain added Sarah Palin to his ticket for the 2008 presidential race, we have been bombarded with multiple media events surrounding this former running mate. It seems the media is intent on listening every time she speaks. ...
Mark Strain: On the Mark ... 'flexibility' to politicans means public gets hammered
Published 05/20/2010 at 9:37 a.m.
Any time our elected officials attempt to provide themselves “maximum control and flexibility” in anything, as taxpayers we know we are about to get hammered. The latest in tax creativity to come to Collier County was initiated last week in ...
Mark Strain: On the Mark ... major oil disaster was only a matter of time
Published 05/13/2010 at 8:27 a.m.
What a mess. For years, the Gulf of Mexico has been accumulating pollutant from multiple sources but all that is nothing compared to the assault taking place today. The Gulf is now the recipient of an uncontrollable oil flow. There ...
Mark Strain: On the Mark ... Dream on, politics without borders
Published 05/06/2010 at 9:07 a.m.
What would politics be like without political parties? The ramifications are wide and varied. Individuals would have to decide on and state their positions using their own ideas, voters would have to vote for what the individual actually stands for ...
Mark Strain: On the Mark - Immokalee’s diversity could be our new economy
Published 04/28/2010 at 5:32 p.m.
Over the past five years the people of Immokalee have been preparing a new plan for their community and it is slowly working its way through the approval process. Their concepts are being carefully spelled out as part of a ...
MARK STRAIN: On the Mark - Government preparedness is for the citizens
Published 04/22/2010 at 9:41 a.m.
Eyjafjallajökull. Go ahead and try and say that 10 times really fast, that is if you can figure out how to pronounce it in the first place! That is the name of the Icelandic volcano which erupted last week and ...
MARK STRAIN: On the Mark - Don’t let the economy today cloud future of beach access
Published 04/14/2010 at 6:47 p.m.
The popularity of Southwest Florida will prevail over any economic crisis given enough time. While real estate may be slow right now, the long term strategies that will reshape this area are continually on the move and will renew the ...
MARK STRAIN: On the Mark - Shorelines and how they add up
Published 04/08/2010 at 9:50 a.m.
Different interpretations of our existing regulations often lead to debate. As example, there is frequently a wide rift between what an attorney may read into a rule and how a government reviewer may read that same regulation. When this happens ...
MARK STRAIN: On the Mark - Car companies still have much to learn
Published 03/31/2010 at 6:50 p.m.
With money still tight, finding the means to buy new expensive items is not as easy as it used to be. Fixing what you have and making do with less is becoming today’s standard and rightfully so.
MARK STRAIN: On The Mark - Oil and tourism: Not a good mix
Published 03/24/2010 at 5:18 p.m.
It is surprising how quickly some Floridians are willing to reduce their standards if there’s money involved. It was easy during the boom years to initiate costly government programs, yet when the easy money is gone, instead of cutting not-so-necessary ...
MARK STRAIN: On the Mark - Cameras are Florida’s future cash cow
Published 03/17/2010 at 6:25 p.m.
It would not be out of the ordinary to hear a negative remark about Florida’s lawmakers during a Board of County Commissioners’ meeting.
Beach Rights: A test or gamesmanship?
Published 03/12/2010 at 5:29 p.m.
It was bound to happen sooner or later. Eventually a beach front property owner was going to test the law to see just how far they could push beach ownership and, as seems to be the custom lately in Collier ...
MARK STRAIN: On the Mark - Big Cypress: A good time to pause
Published 02/24/2010 at 5:06 p.m.
Whether good times or bad, pursuing the development of an area considered environmentally sensitive is most certainly challenging. There are many levels of environmental sensitivity and in Southwest Florida, any project that ventures into panther habitat can expect significant resistance.
MARK STRAIN: On the Mark - Mandate term limits for all politicians
Published 02/17/2010 at 6:55 p.m.
For many people, the election of Scott Brown to the Senate position formerly held by Ted Kennedy was seen as a reaction against the current administration in Washington.
MARK STRAIN: On the mark - Protecting swamp buggies from growth
Published 02/10/2010 at 5:19 p.m.
Permitting a sports park near existing neighborhoods is often a challenge. In Collier County, with a great number of wealthy and retired citizens who have the knowledge and wherewithal to mount a significant legal and political challenge to any uses ...
MARK STRAIN: On The Mark - Insurance: trapped by law and by policy
Published 02/03/2010 at 5:05 p.m.
Some things last only so long. After years of repairing a small appliance, replacement eventually became the only logical alternative, so off I went to the local mega store to buy a new one. Simple enough exercise, but while I ...
MARK STRAIN: On the mark - We, the people, or we, the corporations?
Published 01/28/2010 at 10:48 a.m.
“We the people of the United States…” No one with an ounce of common sense would suppose that the intent of the authors of our Constitution in 1789 was for business corporations to become synonymous with the “people” of the ...
On The Mark: Gone are the easy good old days
Published 08/04/2006 at midnight
The process of getting a permit and developing land in Collier County has become a science onto itself. Those who once benefited from the lack of specifics and details, as was the norm in the Collier permitting process, are now ...
On The Mark: Keewaydin is not the big picture
Published 07/28/2006 at midnight
Last week, the Collier County Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend that the Board of County Commissioners deny a developer's request to use the pristine barrier island of Keewaydin as a gathering place for members of a private club.
On The Mark: You should be tired of red tide
Published 07/21/2006 at midnight
Last week was another bad week for the Gulf of Mexico. The red tide has become more frequent and each time wreaks havoc on the marine environment. Marine life is not the only group of organisms affected by red tide ...
On The Mark: Medical profession has changed
Published 07/14/2006 at midnight
When everything is said and done and we are left to evaluate what issues are most important in our individual lives, we will find it is not something as inconsequential as zoning, roads or growth. It will most likely be ...
On The Mark: Help wanted for public participation
Published 07/07/2006 at midnight
Collier County has many civic associations and active citizens. They gather frequently at neighborhood meetings, attend public meetings throughout the county and work together for the betterment of their neighborhoods by addressing issues directly affecting where they live.
On The Mark: Stating the obvious will not be easy
Published 06/30/2006 at midnight
The state legislature earlier this year passed legislation that may complicate the ability of counties to extract additional public benefits from land developers during the zoning process. Collier County has a unique concurrency program and wants to retain what it ...
On The Mark: Jump from the frying pan into the fire
Published 06/23/2006 at midnight
Have you ever had a piece of Scotch tape stick to your finger and when you try to shake it off it just doesn't want to go away? That must be what this idea of charter government is like.
On The Mark: Driving with a mental condition
Published 06/16/2006 at midnight
After months of battling our tourist season traffic I had hoped that the off-season would return our area to the heat, bugs and humidity that year-rounders have come to know as the best time of the year in Southwest Florida.
On The Mark: Time for government to do the right thing
Published 06/09/2006 at midnight
As expected, the value of property in Collier County took a huge leap in 2005, which now translates into a whopping potential increase in tax revenue available for our local government and taxing districts to spend.
On The Mark: Finding water access can be dangerous
Published 06/02/2006 at midnight
Our lack of public access to the Gulf has reached a point where frustration and long waits are no longer the only concerns. Anyone heading towards Marco Island on a weekend can verify that a dangerous situation exists at the ...
On the Mark: Special standards for special areas
Published 05/26/2006 at midnight
Last week the County Commission reviewed proposed changes to our growth management plan. Several ideas were brought forward and while many were candidates for approval, commissioners were obviously divided on several.
On the Mark: NIMBYs may have good reasons
Published 05/19/2006 at midnight
Why is it every time someone disagrees with something that goes against the current political hot button, the media and politicians always portray them in a negative light? Folks just might have some very practical and reasonable reasons for their ...
Incentives alone have not worked
Published 05/10/2006 at 2:33 p.m.
Ever since we finally recognized our road system was years behind approved growth, county government has been trying to play catch up and we are still not even close. This same scenario is now playing out with affordable housing except ...
If you can’t stand the heat...
Published 05/03/2006 at 3:24 p.m.
Many times difficult decisions are difficult simply because we know they are wrong and inappropriate, yet we continue to pursue them for some propped up sense of righteousness that often has no justification. When the burden of confronting something uncomfortable ...
How to surf the Net
Published 04/26/2006 at 3:53 p.m.
On many occasions I have had the pleasure of speaking to groups and individuals about county issues that affect their lives, homes and neighborhoods. Usually the issues are the ones that negatively affect them. The more information they can find, ...
Oil is not our only dependency
Published 04/21/2006 at 11:27 a.m.
If anyone thought the only essential resources this country is dependent upon are the foreign oil supplies, last week should certainly have dispelled that concept. Like oil, labor is a commodity that the American public wastes and takes for granted ...
Whose welfare is really being served?
Published 04/12/2006 at 4:55 p.m.
We have seen many changes in local government in the past few years and the more changes we see, the more we seem to be favoring big government. In the process, citizens are losing accountability and access to the very ...
Time to consider energy solutions
Published 04/05/2006 at 4:02 p.m.
Over the past few weeks, gasoline prices jumped nearly 10 percent with predictions indicating the cost could easily reach $3 per gallon before the end of this year. Most of us realize the impacts of such increases. Everything we do ...
‘Progress’ measured by who’s profiting
Published 03/30/2006 at 9:48 a.m.
Last week, some friends who had left the area nearly two years ago returned to town to visit. As might be expected, their first reaction was to comment on the intense traffic and the many new developments built since they ...
A tale of two dissimliar roads
Published 03/22/2006 at 4:48 p.m.
If you have ever wondered how much more convenient it might be for Collier residents to have another north-south roadway link to Lee County and how much more efficient it might be for Lee County workers to have a similar ...
Forcing safety to be a top priority
Published 03/16/2006 at 4:08 p.m.
In a few short months, we will again find ourselves entering hurricane season. Part of living in southwest Florida is being forced to be prepared for encounters with the stressful situations severe storms bring. We can only hope that this ...
Common sense cure for our roads
Published 03/09/2006 at 10:53 a.m.
The realization that the public is finally fed up with the deteriorating quality of living in Collier County may be hitting home with our county commission. The past couple of Commission meetings have left developers bewildered and the public amazed ...
Eight winners looking for paradise
Published 03/02/2006 at 5:58 p.m.
It was good news to see eight people who were part of America’s everyday workforce win the lottery in Nebraska. They pooled their resources to buy 40 tickets and one of those tickets was worth $365 million, which they will ...
Density is the issue affordable or not
Published 02/23/2006 at 2 p.m.
Each week we seem to encounter a new intrusion on the lives of those of us already living here by folks who want to live here. Housing is certainly a huge focus right now and any place where more density ...
Playing the game for maximum impact
Published 02/17/2006 at 12:25 p.m.
For a brief moment last week it seemed as if the tension over the development of the Riviera Golf Estates golf course had gone away. That moment was shattered however the instant the developer opened the press conference by declaring ...