Councilors Reed, Batte and Brown wanted to have our current interim city manager, Gill Polanco, given equal consideration for our city manager position along with the candidates provided by our search consultant. And, even the search consultant felt Mr. Polanco was a viable candidate. But, the majority of City Council decided to follow procedure and decided not to do so since Mr. Polanco had not provided a formal application to the search firm. So we have to move on and hope Mr. Polanco stays with the city in his finance director position and is groomed to become our city manager after our new hire moves on.
But, first we need to fully vet the candidates council has chosen to consider since three of them are currently unemployed and one is “shopping his resume” because of a “turbulent city government.” Now that is not surprising since politics does play a significant role in the tenure of a city manager and we surely have experience in turbulent city government ourselves. But, we need to know just what the candidate's philosophy and mode of operation are, how they differed from that of their current and/or previous employers and how they may differ with those of our City Council.
Consideration should also be given to whether a candidate from a larger city or county government would be able to adjust to having to deal with a much smaller staff and resources. Salary also needs to be considered since both factors could lead to Marco Island ending up being merely short-term employment awaiting a bigger opportunity.
We also obviously need to evaluate each candidate's experience and successes in managing a city's administrative departments, overseeing a city police department and fire department as well as a city utility operation. We should also evaluate their experience of dealing with the planning for and handling of recovery efforts of a major disaster like the hurricane we just had. In addition, we should be asking about relationships with staff since we know that has been a critical issue in our city. One way to do so would be to compare the candidates attributes to those of Mr. Polanco.
And, don't forget to attend the candidates meet and greet night. I am sure our councilors would welcome your insights.
Bill Flasche, Marco Island
Bad timing for tax changes
Interesting articles have been printed regarding the proposed tax plan changes, primarily referencing an increase in the standard deduction from $6,000 to $12,000. At the same time, the elimination of the personal exemption of $4,100 in 2017 results in only a taxpayer gain of $1,900 (if filing jointly, $3,800).
Many middle-income taxpayers will lose real estate, state income tax and sales tax deductions exceeding the described savings. But the biggest loser will be anyone who will need the casualty loss deduction this year.
This is not the time to tell the millions of survivors of hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate and the California wildfires that the casualty loss deduction is no longer available to partially offset your uninsured losses and encourage property rebuilding.
M.L. Mason, Marco Island
Knocked down, but not out, CAP back on patrol and operational
During Hurricane Irma, our CAP hangar at Marco Island Executive Airport was destroyed. The office and meeting sections of the facility still seem secure and usable. Our next step will be to secure bids for the hangar rebuild once the debris has been cleared.
Fourteen years ago, it was through the generosity of our neighbors like yourselves that the building was successfully funded and erected. The extent of this damage far exceeds our available funds. A number of our members already have stepped up with donations of their own, but without additional financial assistance, hangar reconstruction will be impossible.
Since 1981, the Marco Island Civil Air Patrol Squadron has been a valued resource to Collier County by providing Coastal Patrol surveillance, Search & Rescue and Disaster Relief expertise and participating in Air Force missions in support of Homeland Security. With your help, we will be able to continue our service to Collier County and Southwest Florida for many years to come.
As we did 14 years ago, we are looking for community support in this endeavor. We realize all of us are dealing with our own recovery expenses, but I hope you see the importance and the need to get the squadron back up to normal operations.
Please make your check payable to Marco Island Civil Air Patrol, P.O. Box 225, Marco Island, FL 34146. The Civil Air Patrol is a 501(C) (3) organization, donations normally are tax deductible for those who itemize deductions.
Thank You for your consideration.
Robert Corriveau, Major, CAP Commander, Marco Island Senior Squadron FL-376