Comments by EdFoster

Written on Marco Island City Council defers utility rate decisions hoping $4.2 million deficit can be explained:

"Councilor Chuck Kiester said he was very upset about the $4.2 million deficit and the reason for it.

'Yesterday, I found out what was going on,” he said. “We were buying with no money in the bank based on future bonds.'"

Going senile, Chuck? They've been doing this from the beginning and you've known it all along. This was the financial basis that CARES used to oppose the first sewer bond in court nad the State Attorney General's office supported us!

"City Manager Jim Riviere explained the practice as “ledger loans” confirming the loans had been approved in the past. In his tenure, he said, he had not approved any “ledger loans” and had never found cross-over between general and utilities accounts."

Oh goodie, goodie! Now y'all have a name for the deception! Big improvement!

In the words of George W. Bush: "Y'all miss me yet?"

Ed Foster
Founder and First Chairman of CARES,
Citizens Advocating Responsible Environmental Solutions, Inc.

Written on Density credits, fertilizer regulations and seawalls among Marco Island City Council topics:

Ah! The truth is out! I read it in the Marco Island Eagle! Jerry Trotter is Bill Trotter's long lost son! What great copy editing!

Seriously Frank, way back when ... when the likes of John Arceri et. al. accused septic systems of being the source of nitrogen buildup in Marco waterways which would lead to deadly algae blooms and smelly fish kills, Dr. Shirley of Rookery Bay said the evidence showed that the source of nitrogen was fertilizer runoff, not leaking septic tanks. You guys really oughta consider limiting the amount of fertilizer that's used on the island but that must stomp on someone's toes. Installing an unneeded STRP to the tune of about $300,000,000 ... thereby saddling most single-family homeowners with ungodly assessments and ever increasing utility bills ... was a far simpler decision. Wow!

Ed Foster
Former Marco Resident

Written on Marco Island City Council has more questions for consultant regarding utility costs:

While living on Marco, I purposely turned off all irrigation for several months. My water usage dropped below 3,000 gallons per month. Now, in North Carolina where I rarely need to irrigate, my water usage averages less than 3,000 gallons per month.

A thought: if we can assume that average personal usage for a single-family homeowner maxes out at 3,000 gallons a month, whatever usage the meter indicates above that amount is for irrigation. Since one class of homeowners (condo dwellers) get reuse water for irrigation at a reduced rate and another class (single-family homeowners) do not and actually are the source of reuse water others get for a reduced rate, why not LOWER the rate for single-family homeowners who use over 2,500 - 3,000 gallons to the "reuse rate" (for that matter, even give them a credit for being good citizens and providing reuse water to others!) and then calculate what the resuse rate would have to be to make the system financially sound? Would be an interesting exercise and it seems fair to me at first blush. Essentially you'd have a "personal use" rate which applies to the first 2,500 - 3,000 gallons) and a "irrigation use" rate that applies to everyone equally. Just a thought!

II understand that it was not financially feasible to install reuse lines to single-family homes when the STRP was installed, but not doing so created two classes of citizens: those who had always pooped in the city potty and gotten their effluent back to water their lawns; and, those who were forced to use the city potty whether they wanted to or not and do NOT get their effluent back to water their lawns.

Ed Foster
Former Marco Resident

Written on Letter to the Editor: Now or never:

"Why can't we do this by resolution? We bought the Water/Sewer Plant that way and it was a whole lot more." Attributed to Dr. Recker.

And what did you buy? A pig in a poke! And the residents of Marco Island have been paying through the nose for this unneeded travesty ever since. 'Nuff said? Had an honest evaluation of the sewer plant been done and alternatives examined, Marco Island would not be in the financial condition it is in today. Thank your egomaniacal City Council!

Ed Foster
Former Marco Resident

Written on Two Marco Island employees accuse Councilman Wayne Waldack of sexual harassment:

May I suggest that condo owners were referred to by some as "cliff dwellers" for obvious reasons. The term "cave dwellers" was coined by the Celebrate Marco crowd, John Arceri/Monte Lazarus/Jack Patterson, high priests and chief celebrants, in a feeble attempt to denigrate the mental ability of those who opposed the STRP. I can understand the confusion because time has shown that the intelligence of the STRP supporters has proved to be far closer to their "cave dwelling" Neanderthal ancestors than to that of those they dubbed "cave dwellers."

Confusing isn't it!

Ed Foster

Written on Two Marco Island employees accuse Councilman Wayne Waldack of sexual harassment:

Recalling a councilor is not a simple matter as anyone who was involved with the recall attempt several years back will understand. (I stayed clear of that brouhaha!) However, I submit that Mr. Waldack can resign without admitting guilt to the sexual harrassment charges. He can resign simply because he understands that he has lost the confidence of the people he is supposed to represent. It is an honorable way to put an end to the predicament he finds himself in.

Ed Foster

Written on Two Marco Island employees accuse Councilman Wayne Waldack of sexual harassment:

Thanks to Avenger, that's 3 and counting! The Eagle hasn't taken Wayne's sermon on saving water off its site yet but the link to the government article which it copied is dead. I don't know whether reprinting government information that is meant for distribution is "real" plagiarism, but at least Wayne could have said he based his article on government information. It would give him more credence; no one believes anything that appears with Wayne's by-line.

And in reply to MarcoIslandWoman: I'm aware that the article that elicited this thread is about sexual harassment in the workplace, but the Eagle removed Wayne's latest plagiarized Guest Sermon without explanation so there's nowhere else to post blogs questioning Wayne's fitness to serve on City Council.

Ed Foster

Written on Two Marco Island employees accuse Councilman Wayne Waldack of sexual harassment:

islandeye1#236971,

Sure didn't take long, did it? The article was there when I posted the above blog at 10:15 this morning, an hour and 24 minutes before you couldn't find it! The original appeared in December 2009 so presumably it's in the paper's "morgue." Interestingly enough, two bloggers flagged it as plagiarism when it first appeared on-line.

One of the bloggers provided links to two websites that had carried the original (or versions thereof). Clearly, the Eagle does not check LTEs and Guest Commentaries for plagiarism, but I presume they do monitor bloggers to remove "improper" blogs. How then did they miss the accusations of plagiarism including links to the original writing? Not lookin' good for either Wayne or this Scripps newspaper! Methinks the Eagle will be mighty careful about printing anything that Marco's illustious councilman "writes."

The guy is a repeat plagiarist. Is he a repeat exploitationist? I don't know but it seems to me he has serious problems ... and so do the people of Marco Island as long as he sits on the Council!

Ed Foster

Written on Two Marco Island employees accuse Councilman Wayne Waldack of sexual harassment:

Well, I guess I got my answer to what Wayne's gonna be this week. Drumroll please! A plagiarist. Plagiarist/sexploitationist/plagiarist. Sort of like a game of ping-pong with Wayne as the ball.

The following was written by Mary Fairchild and published on: http://christianity.about.com/od/holi.... Apparently good ole Wayne picked up most of it and (ahem!) republished it under his own name in the Eagle. It appeared in print and is still on the Eagle website at: http://www.marconews.com/news/2009/de....

Check it out quick before this one disappears too!

Time for the game to end, isn't it Wayne? I'm sure with your vast surfing experience you can find a nice letter of resignation to copy and submit to Chairman Recker.

Ed Foster

Written on Two Marco Island employees accuse Councilman Wayne Waldack of sexual harassment:

ajm3s,

I'm afraid that I agree with your analysis which is why I posted my question on this blogsite. But isn't it sad if you and I are correct? I'd be happier to be wrong on this one!

The American people are losing (have lost???) faith in the media, but a free and honest press is essential to the preservation of the American way of life. And I certainly agree with you that the same ethical standards must apply to the electronic media as to the print media. It won't be long before the print media is replaced almost entirely by electronic communications. If this transition is used as an excuse to further weaken what little ethical standards remain in the press, our country will be in deep doo-doo.

Ed Foster

Written on Two Marco Island employees accuse Councilman Wayne Waldack of sexual harassment:

Dear 1Paradiselost,

Thanks for repeating the information re the true author of Wayne's publication. If you remember the Guest Commentary and the postings following it, you will recall that I identified the source of the article as the first comment following Wayne's submission. However, that is not the point I raised yesterday. What I seek is an explanation FROM THE MARCO ISLAND EAGLE why they 1) posted Mr. Waldack's piece without checking it and 2) withdrew it along with the responses it received without explanation. I think the MIE has an obligation to inform its readers of what happened and why the entire incident apparently is now being suppressed.

Ed Foster

Written on Two Marco Island employees accuse Councilman Wayne Waldack of sexual harassment:

Poor Wayne!

Last week he was a plagiarist; this week he's a sexploitationist. What's he gonna be next week? Poor guy just can't win! You'd think by now he'd have learned to keep his mouth shut and his pen and pants zipped. But he just can't help pretending to be what he's not: smart and sexy.

Ed Foster

P.S. What ever happened to his plagiarized Guest Commentary? Now you see it; now you don't. It was posted on this site for several days ... long enough to have attracted a couple dozen adverse comments. Now it's gone with no explanation. Obviously it was pulled by the Marco Island Eagle. Isn't the public owed an explanation for this highly unusual (dare I say unprecedented) behavior? As I recall, the Eagle endorsed him for the City Council. Don't they love him no more?

Written on None:

I'm sure any similarity between Mr. Waldack's Guest Commentary and the following:

http://www.beliefnet.com/Holistic-Liv...

is purely coincidental.:) Interesting that the Eagle should publish and copyright it under Wayne's name!

Oh well, perhaps Wayne had John Arceri ghost-write this for him too. Nah! To get elected, Mr. Waldack claimed a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from a school that doesn't offer a degree in Aeronautical Engineering so what's a little plagiarism to "honest Wayne" if it makes him feel more important going into the New Year. Gotta check everything that dribbles from his mouth ... or pen!

Ed Foster

Written on Letter to the Editor: This Island teacher supports a high school:

This is not my fight. I have no high-school kids and I don't even live on Marco any longer. However, I can testify to the value to a high-school education of quality with teachers who care for their students rather than their own interests. I can also testify to the value (or lack thereof) of a large school that emphasizes diversity. I went to a private high school that emphasized quality education rather than diversity. There were a total of about 400 students, all male, in the entire school (hardly an example of diversity) ... about 100 in my graduating class. Some of you may have heard of the Science Talent Search (God help us, PBS features it each year!) which sought to reward the 40 students in the nation thought to be the most promising future scientists. Then it was supported by Westinghouse; now it is the Intel STS. Thanks to one teacher in this class of 100, we placed 3 semi-finalists and 2 finalists ... 5% of those in the nation! I was one of those finalists thanks to the dedication of 1 man: the Reverend Mister Walter J. C. Grant, S.J.. We called him "Waldo." He was the inspiration of my life ... a man who taught us the areas of science in which we would be tested but had not been included in our standard curriculum. One of the STS finalists in our year (Roald Hoffman) won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, joining the other 6 STS finalists who have won the Nobel in one area of science or another. Another was blown up by anti-Vietnam-War crazies in his University laboratory in the mid-West. This is what one person, in one school, striving for exceptionalism can do. Think on it!

Ed Foster
Formar Marco Resident

Written on Guest Commentary: Sewer rates — The great divide:

I guess people are the same everywhere and so easily forget the past especially when the same idiocies are repeated over and over until even those who opposed them originally finally accept the basic concept and argue only on the fringes. Example: everyone tacitly accepts that a flat income tax rate is "regressive" and therefore is "bad." They only argue how "progressive" the tax rate should be, i.e., they argue whether to increase the tax rate on those making over $200,000 per year. How can a flat tax RATE be "regressive"? A flat tax RATE is actually "progressive" since those who make more pay more! It's just not progressive enough to satisfy the looters.

Now to the subject of Mr. Biles' commentary and Mr. Issler's rebuttal. Mr. Biles says that the environmental damage caused by septic systems was not "scientifically documented." True enough. In fact, the scientific evidence is quite the opposite. Properly managed septic systems are environmentally safer on a flat sand-and-muck island such as Marco than a central gravity-operated sewer system which requires an inordinate number of lift stations and a sewer plant situated on the Gulf in a hurricane zone! (I hasten to add that this is not true everywhere, for example, where I live in Western North Carolina. The soil here is hard-packed clay, won't "perc" and the terrain is mountainous which means a sewer system can be designed with minimum use of lift stations. Nonetheless, we generally experience at least one "spill" a year!) But of course, some people still believe the earth is flat and will never accept the evidence that managed on-site wastewater treatment can be environmentally safer than central sewerage.

Yes, I know I'm beating a dead horse, buy my point is that having tacitly accepted central sewerage, the argument has now devolved into whether single-family homeowners should pay more for the service that many of them did not want because some mysterious force suggests that it is more expensive to service single-family houses than condominiums. Perhaps that is true as Mr. Issler contends; perhaps not. I do not have access to the figures to prove the point either way and I doubt Mr. Issler does either. BUT THIS MISSES THE POINT! The cost to service single-family houses would be ZERO had central sewers not been installed and the Chamber of Commerce and cliff dwellers would now have to pay for the whole shebang!

Ed Foster
Former Marco Resident

Written on Guest Commentary: CARS’ response to City Council vote:

islandeye:

That's my point: the council is elected to make decisions. So let them make the decision based upon the information the UAB (that the council appointed) provided. If the council hires a consultant to make the decision for them, they're dodging their responsibility and just looking for cover. Any decision they make will make some people happy and others angry ... but they chose to run for office and now they must pay the piper.

Ed Foster

Written on Guest Commentary: CARS’ response to City Council vote:

I've said it before and I'll say it again. The consultant's definition of a consultant is someone from out of town, preferably with a leather briefcase, who is hired to tell management (in this case the City Council) what they told him/her they want to hear. The consultant converts their desires into a "detailed plan," then closes his/her briefcase and leaves town before the plan is executed.

This serves two valuable purposes: should the plan fail, council absolves itself of responsibility because it followed the advice of an "expensive expert." (That's how Marco got the STRP.) The consultant is not to blame because he/she did not actually execute the plan; the council did! Now everyone is happy ... except those who have to pick up the pieces!

Anyone sensitive to their employer's desires and can convert those desires into a detailed plan will be a successful consultant. It's really very simple!

If the City Council requires a consultant to evaluate the plans offered by a select committee that the Council itself appointed, they should resign! Clearly they are incompetent to make the kind of decisions they were elected to make.

Ed Foster
Former Marco Resident

Written on Letter to the Editor: STRP, the positives and negatives:

islandeye:

You wrote what you wrote. You did call Bedford "Chicken Little." (See my blog of 8/13, 3:57 PM) Grow up, admit your mistake and apologize for it rather than trying to rewrite the rules of English grammar. The more you deny what you said, the more you sound like E. Glenn Tucker who, even after admitting he lied to Marco residents, refused to apologize. Of course, Tucker got City Hall named after him; maybe the council will name a lift station after you. Would that be the "islandeye" lift station or will you reveal your name?

Ed Foster

Written on No change for utility rate structure, for now:

Having been one for a good part of my life, I have found that the tongue-in-cheek definitiion of a consultant is true more often than not. A consultant is someone from out of town, usually with a leather briefcase, who is hired to tell those who hired him what they had previously told him they wanted to hear. The consultant then leaves town and the client/town is left to handle the aftermath. I didn't fit the definition but most of those I knew did.

Ed Foster

Written on Letter to the Editor: STRP, the positives and negatives:

islandeye1#236971:

Now I understand why they call you "islandidiot." You'd rather admit that you can't write English, than own up to the fact that you called Bedford Biles "Chicken Little." Your lame excuse that you were referring to the article and not the author is absurd!

You said: "The fact remains the article above supposedly written by Chicken Little Biles is just hashed over rhetoric that is one-sided and serves no useful purpose." "Chicken Little" modifies "Biles," not "article." If you don't know the rudiments of English grammar, consider whether you should continue to blog. But from your writings, I believe you know English grammar and meant exactly what you said. Now you won't admit to it! By the way, on what grounds do you say Bedford didn't write the article? Are you omniscient?

I was far from being a city wrecker. I loved Marco! I spoke the truth; everything I posted on CARES' website was backed by links to academic and government studies. Did you care to check? That's more than can be said for CM Moss and Councilor Tucker both of whom accused citizens of planting tons of asbestos under the sands of Veterans Park, or Public Utility Director Joel who published scientifically inaccurate pollution data on the City website for all the world to see! It's more than can be said for ex-Councilman Arceri who whipped his Celebrate Marco crowd into such a frenzy that they called for their opponents to be shot. (Did you ever hear of CARES members acting in like manner?) It's more than can be said for Mr. Arceri when he duped condo owners into believing that their utility rates would go up if they didn't elect sycophants who would continue the STRP. (They did as they were told ... and their rates are going up! Next time they may not be so gullible.)

Who was trying to save the city and who to wreck it when CARES demanded that Quality Enterprises 1) pay for all asbestos cleanup costs in Veterans' Park and along Collier Blvd.; 2) indemnify the City against all future asbestos-related litigation; and, 3) donate $300,000 into a fund to develop Veterans' Park only to find CM Moss arguing against every demand CARES made. CM Moss actually argued on behalf of QE and against the city! Who was the wrecker and who the saviour? These actions occurred during the Clean Air suit mediation; read the record!

Try remembering the facts, islandeye, whoever you are. You might just learn from them!

Ed Foster

P.S. I am not privy to Mr. Putnam's finances but I never heard him complain that the world had done him wrong ... certain Marco politicians who can't keep their hands out of his back pocket (and everyone else's back pocket!) ... yes, but not the world. John Putnam stands behind his words and deeds and signs his blogs which you do not. As far as I know, he has never declared bankruptcy as have many of your past and present city councilors!

Written on Letter to the Editor: STRP, the positives and negatives:

islandeye:

I was doing fine with your 10:02 PM posting on August 12 until I got to your addressing Bedford Biles as Chicken Little Biles. Anyone who steps out of an airplane with over a hundred pounds of high explosive strapped on his back ... BEHIND ENEMY LINES ... is no Chicken Little, sir! I don't know who you are and I don't want to know who you are. I do not care to associate with anyone who would call a war hero decorated by the French and American governments "Chicken Little." You're not my kind of American!

After this, you dare to call John Putnam on the carpet for "name calling"?

And your main point -- that Marco residents should not be reminded of past mistakes -- is the mark of an ignorant man. As the philosopher George Santayame said: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Ed Foster
Former Marco Resident and
Proud friend of Bedford Biles!

Written on The Farmer File: A no-brainer in Marco Island politics:

Don,

Don't tell me that there's a modicum of intelligence within your feeble brain! Where was it when the island needed it?

Ed Foster

Written on Marco Island looks to increase taxes by 20 percent, beef up reserves:

Blogsmog:

For the record, CARES did not initiate the recall petition. Roger Hall initiated it and backed it with his own money. He deserves the credit, not me, although Diane and I signed his petition as private citizens.

You are correct that "Instead of these elected officials (Minozzi, Tucker and Trotter) letting it go to vote, they ran to their buddies in the court system to have it thrown out."

You also are correct that the people of Marco "haven't even BEGUN to feel the reprocussions of that travisty. ...how the hell are we paying for this STRP project with so many foreclosed homes on the isle?"

To that I'll add: How will the people of Marco feel when their beaches are closed and visitors flee from pollution caused by overflowing lift stations and sewage plant failures? The STRP is a double disaster: not only a financial disaster but an environmental disaster waiting to happen. Central sewerage has no place on a flat low-lying barrier island in a hurricane zone ... especially when the sewer plant is situated directly on a canal leading to the Gulf and at a whopping 11 foot elevation!

As I said in responding to a previous article, the discount provided for paying the STRP "up front" in no way compensates for the "opportunity cost" of the money so fronted. When the council "got creative" in producing financing options like postponing payment entirely for 20 years, the die was cast. One of the sitting council members at the time was an accountant but she didn't forsee the implications of that stupidity and those who should have known better (Moss/Harrison/Arceri et. al.) never warned the people of the probable outcome. With most of the construction costs having to be "bonded" and the bond interest and repayment schedule having to be covered by the rate structure, utility rates were destined to rise inexorably. And they have! Everyone is now paying to fund the construction costs for those who wisely chose to postpone paying for 20 years. The city can only hope that those people will move or die soon so that their delayed payment is triggered. Delightful, isn't it! Even then, it's not clear that the city will get its money because there may be back taxes due and mortgage liens on the property. Banks who have foreclosed on a property and are taking a bath themselves may not be too anxious to pay an existing STRP lien. Arguably the city's claim may have priority over a mortgage but the city may have to go to court to establish that pre-eminence and I wouldn't count on Florida courts to decide anything equitably.

Ed Foster
Former Marco Resident & Chairman of CARES at the time.

Written on City plagued by debt; audit reveals potential cash flow problems:

Marcofriend:

'Fraid you're right about the death spiral, but it's not a matter of increasing taxes. Bonds floated to fund a utility are REVENUE bonds, not general obligation (GO) bonds and are backed by the utility's ability to raise rates. That's why they must pay a higher interest rate; they're not backed by the taxing power of the government ... municipal or otherwise. Cape Coral's utility bonds have been downgraded because their council is skeered to raise their utility rates which is the only thing backing the bonds. This has forced Cape Coral to stop expanding their water/sewer system ... a wise move!

Although I'm no longer on Marco (thank God!), I believe the city still has to float bonds to cover installing the STRP in the "estates" area because the Council has its head in the sand and refuses to stop building. That will be very interesting as the city's auditor warns about approaching bankruptcy. Sure will help the rating agencies decide how to rate Marco bonds! Marco/Naples ranks 13th in the nation's foreclosure derby, and people are revolting. I could mention who bears much of the responsibility for this but the time isn't right.

Ed Foster

Written on City plagued by debt; audit reveals potential cash flow problems:

"Never done a cash flow analysis"! Let's have a big round of applause for Bill (sweep it under the rug) Harrison. Is he still being paid as the city's financial consultant?

Kudos also to the council for its "creative financing options": pay up front and get a small deduction; pay with interest over 20 years; or (best yet!) nothing down and pay the balloon in 20 years (if you're stil alive, if not, your heirs will pay it when they sell your house).

Who were the suckers? Those who paid up front because their deduction was pretty small, they ignored the "opportunity cost" of the money they had fronted, and now they're seeing their rates grow by leaps and bounds to pay for bonds that OTHERS took out because they did NOT pay up front! Moss/Harrison/Arceri never warned you of that possibility, did they? Of course, they didn't tell you that the STRP was totally unneeded to begin with. Oh well, that's sewage under the road!

Mr. Arceri once told me that he intended to pay up front. Hope he did. Mr. Sewer deserves a little pain for perpetrating the STRP fraud on a credulous public.

Oh, and I'm sure Ms. Bliss believes that the city has a first lien on your property to pay off your STRP debt if you deferred payment. Is that first lien, or first lien after city and county back taxes? And where exactly does your mortgage holder fit into the equation especially if your mortgage pre-existed your STRP obligation? There are so many entities with their hand in your pocket, I can't be sure. Besides, I'd remind Ms. Bliss that GM's senior bondholders also thought they had first claim on GM's assets ... until President Obama decided that the unions come first!

Ain't nuthin' certain in our country but death and taxes! Long live John Boyd!

Ed Foster

Written on Marco taxpayers not seeing immediate benefits from employee cuts, consolidations:

islandeye1#236971:

"Do you really think the voters on Marco are that dumb to elect scoundrels like that?"

No, Marco voters are not dumb, but just like voters everywhere they can be duped. Most do not pay attention to what is going on. They're too busy earning a living or enjoying their retirement. Nothing wrong with that ... but that's why Americans are so easy to fool. They're basicallly good trusting people and good trusting people are easily duped. Look at how easily the American people were convinced that, despite his obvious inexperience, Obama was the saviour of America. And look at how the condo dwellers on Marco who had paid no attention to the STRP debate while it was going on and knew that "sewers were best" just as their ancestors "knew" that the world was flat!, were convinced by John Arceri, et. al., that the anti-STRP candidates had to be defeated or the condo water and sewer rates would sky rocket in spite of Butch Neylon providing clear evidence to the contrary. Well, they elected their candidates and ... their water and sewer rates have sky rocketed just as Neylon predicted!

Ed Foster

Written on Utility breaks away from Public Works:

Rony is easily excited. He's an excitable kind of guy. He's excited to be promoted to a position so near the door.

Ed Foster

Written on Marco Island signs EPA settlement agreement over handling of asbestos :

Sailingby:

Huh?

When I said I was pleased that the City was not fined, I was not exonerating the former City Managers, the former City Councils, or the former and present Public Utilities Director. If they could have been fined personally, I would have cheered but that was not going to happen! Had the City been fined, YOU and every taxpayer on the island would have had to pick up the tab. Most taxpayers had nothing to do with these violations of the Clean Air Act. Many supported CARES in its effort to have the mess cleaned up promptly and properly. The EPA alleged six violations of the Clean Air Act, all of which are true. But the citizens did not commit these violations ... QE did and so they must pay. No purpose is served by fining the City. I only wish the EPA had fined QE far more because they admitted to these violations in sworn testimony taken by deposition in 2006. What ever happened to the transcripts of those depositions?

Ed Foster

Written on Marco Island signs EPA settlement agreement over handling of asbestos :

I am extremely pleased that the City was not fined and that Quality Enterprises was and that QE effectively pleaded guilty to the six counts of violating the Clean Air Act that the EPA finally charged them with. They accepted the fine (although I think it should have been MUCH larger) and whether or not they admitted guilt during the negotiations with the EPA is incidental. Should anyone care to read the depositions taken by C.A.R.E.S., Inc. in this case, they will find that QE had already admitted to being guilty of the first five counts back in 2006. It took another 3 1/2 years and the continual prodding of Dr. Mario Sanchez to force this issue to a conclusion. I thank him for that! I hope Marco's Public Utilities Department has learned from this and will disqualify Quality Enterprises from ever doing work on Marco Island again.

Ed Foster
Former Marco Resident &
Former Chairman of C.A.R.E.S., Inc.

Written on Steve Thompson lands Tennessee job about a month after being fired from Marco city manager job :

Mr. Issler:

Being chosen by your peers "as one of the top City Managers in the Country" is not necessarily a sign of competence especially when your "peers" are politically motivated. Their "peers" chose Nancy Pelosi to be third in line for the Presidency and Harry Reid to be cadaver-in-chief of the United States Senate. I doubt that the majority of U.S. citizens would agree with their choices.

Ed Foster

Written on Letter to the Editor: We are losing our freedom of speech:

Under Obama, the word "rapist" has become politically unacceptable. A "rapist" is now to be called an "unwanted penetrator."

Read ATLAS SHRUGGED.

Ed Foster

Written on Marco Island to continue negotiations with EPA on alleged asbestos violations:

Wow, Issler! You really are certifiable! For a moment, I thought you still had a few neurons synapsing in your brain when you said you hoped that any fine would be paid by QE "as they are the ones that acted irresponsibly." I agree! That's what CARES wanted when we brought the Clean Air Act suit in Federal Court, but Bill Moss insisted that the City pay for the cleanup and fought us tooth and nail in the mediation to insulate QE from any financial damage. Got any idea why? Did your "research" come up any reasons?

Then you blew it completely when you went on to say "As we all know, there was 256 feet removed from the ground, here on Marco." Are you sure that wasn't 256 feet and 1 inch? You blithering idiot! No one knows for sure how much pipe was removed, crushed, dumped into Collier as fill and onto Veterans Park because there are no records! QE admits to having records of only 4 dump loads of asbestos-containing pipe deposited in the Naples landfill because they never told the landfill what was in all those other dumptrucks that were flying over the bridge. 256 feet of pipe? Precisely 4 feet less than the trigger for fines! Believe that and Arceri will sell you the Brooklyn Bridge. I know he owns it because I've seen the deed that was executed when he bought it from Bill Moss!

Ed Foster

Written on Marco Island to continue negotiations with EPA on alleged asbestos violations:

kosherdeli,

It would be very nice to have an "all-clear" letter from the EPA but don't hold your breath waiting for one and don't blame your current council if they can't obtain one. The park was cleaned up THREE times by a certified asbestos cleanup firm. Each time they certified that there was no more asbestos in the park ... but some remained and kept rising to the surface requiring yet another cleanup. (Anyone who believes that a couple of old men could move, plant, and bury tons of asbestos three feet underground, at night, without anyone seeing them is certifiable! Thanks to your last council, you recently named your City Hall after a self-confessed certifiable liar who claimed to have pictures of Marco residents doing so ... and finally confessed that no such pictures existed!)

Asbestos has no half life. Whatever remains in Veterans Park (and along Collier Boulevard) is there forever. Your past councils, aided and abetted by your past two City Managers and their "staffs," with the approval of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Jon Iglehart, Director, Lisa Douglass, Ombudsman, Sherrill Culiver, asbestos inspector, permitted Quality Enterprises to serve as the prime mover and cause this disaster. Some council members acted through ignorance, others through arrogance, and others possibly with evil intent.

The toothpaste is out of the tube and you can't put it back. Marco Island is stuck with the consequences of what these people have done. If you can separate those of evil intent from the ignorant and s-----, the evil doers should be punished. Clearly, those who were responsible to protect the public and could rightfully be presumed to have the knowledge to do so are guilty of misfeasance if not malfeasance. The list starts with Quality Enterprises, followed by the city staff responsible for the project, the FDEP inspectors, and the City Managers who aided and abetted in a cover-up.

That said, the best approach now is to leave the stuff buried. Don't disturb the sleeping dragon. As long as it is ALL buried and REMAINS buried, it is not harmful to anyone. But don't forget that some asbestos likely remains under the surface. Treat Collier Boulevard and Veterans' Park as low-level hazardous-waste dumps and take adequate measures (continuous watering, etc.) when digging there for any reason in the future.

Ed Foster
Former Marco Resident &
Former Chairman, C.A.R.E.S., Inc.

Written on Marco Island interim city manager eliminates community development director:

Love the headline and first paragraph. Sounds like the interim city manager shot a dog and the headline ranks up there with "Dead Man Found in Cemetery!"

Seriously, Marco needs to control its spending and if a position is not properly filled or unnecessary, the person must go and the position eliminated. I can think of several others in City employ who fit that description and should be sent packing. The City of Marco Island was not created to be a Welfare Agency taking money from its residents and giving it to hangers-on. No one has a "right" to a job, only a "right" to seek a job for which they are qualified at a salary mutually agreed upon by the employer and the employee.

The Declaration of Independence upon which this country was founded gives everyone only THREE "rights": the right to LIFE, LIBERTY, and the PURSUIT of happiness. It does not give everyone the "right" to a job, to healthcare, to food, to shelter or anything else as necessary as those items are. Food, healthcare, shelter, etc. are what one works to obtain and obtains them by free negotiation with those who can provide them via the medium of money. To make these necessities "rights" forces someone else to be enslaved to provide them. Doctors must be forced to treat any patient, any time, with little or no recompense if everyone has a "right" to healthcare. Farmers must feed everyone without regard to freely negotiated compensation if everyone has a "right" to food.

Everyonen has the right to BUY healthcare, food, shelter, etc. by negotiating an arms-length relationship between the provider and the consumer. Expandng the "rights" of citizens beyond the three mentioned in the Declaration of Independence enslaves others and denies them their "right" to "liberty" and the "pursuit of happiness." Socialism is inherently un-American.

Ed Foster

Written on Bill Green: City manager firing ... I have some questions:

Issler:

I'm getting old. Exactly when did I appoint you my psychoanalyst? And exactly when and by whom were you appointed as the judge of who are "people of importance"? Your hubris is exceeded only by your stupidity!

Ed Foster

Written on Guest Commentary: Embattled City Manager Steve Thompson says 'let’s get the answers right':

Oh gosh, gee-willikers, Issler. You tell me how many feet of pipe were removed. Is there any way to tell precisely? Are you so naive as to believe what Quality Enterprises tells you? How many pipe were in that pile on Site A? How many feet of pipe were in the 3+ feet of crap that had to be excavated on Site C? How many feet of pipe were lying on the ground along Collier Boulevard. I have pictures ... real pictures, not Tucker pictures ... of many 10-foot lengths of AC pipe along Collier and that's only what was lying on the surface on one day.

Issler, you're a great researcher as we all know. Try this on for size: the Clean Air Act requires that asbestos-certified personnel be present whenever asbestos-containing material is removed. During depositions, QE's foreman testified that QE had no asbestos-certified personnel on the site and that he, being a police officer a few weeks earlier, know absolutely nothing about asbestos. They admitted their guilt and you defend them. Moss defended them. Moss used your tax dollars and mine to protect them. These are facts. These are in sworn depositions. Does that mean nothing to you? Does Daniels sworn deposition that he knew there was asbestos pipe present but was "unconcerned" mean nothing to you. Does Daniels' sworn deposition that he never met Godfrey Davies or Butch Neylon mean nothing to you? Does Daniels sworn deposition that he wasn't sure exactly who Terri DiSciullo was and had never walked Collier Boulevard with her, Godfrey and Butch mean nothing to you? Good God man, she had just given him the Employee of the Month Award! Now, who is telling the truth here?

Ed Foster

Written on Bill Green: City manager firing ... I have some questions:

You have made a point, Bill, but the performance of the CM is ALWAYS subject to review, and from newspaper reports, it was apparent that the Chairman wanted a review and wanted it now. That is his prerogative ... as it is Mr. Thompson's prerogative to challenge the decision to fire him. The City Manager has been secretive when the Council Chair has asked for openness. He kept information from the council which is not his right. He reports to the council. The council is the Board of Directors of the city; the CM is its CEO. When the CEO fails to keep the Board informed, he should be fired ... and he was. If I were the CM, I would not pursue this issue. He may not like what true government in the sunshine will reveal about his actions. He was fired from his last job for similar reasons. It's his modus operandus and probably the reason Bill Moss recommended him.

Ed Foster

Written on Guest Commentary: Embattled City Manager Steve Thompson says 'let’s get the answers right':

Mr. Thompson seems to be one of Obama's understudies. It ain't my fault; I inherited it. But who did he inherit the asbestos mess from? His buddy Bill Moss who recommended him for the job and then scurried over the bridge. Ever since, Stevie has been covering for Willy and handling EPA inquiries as if they were of no importance ... until the EPA mentioned $37,500 a day in potential fines. Then, his back to the wall, he brings the problem to the council while saying that there is no asbestos on the island and everything is just ducky. Steve, asbestos has no half-life. It's on the island forever and it is insidious. It can take decades for the health problems to show and the class-action suits to begin. Furthermore, QE essentially pleaded guilty to Clean Air Act violations when they testified under oath at the CARES-suit deposition that they had no one on site who knew how to handle asbestos. That, in itself, is a violation of the Clean Air Act. Read the law! City employee Mike Daniels also knew there was asbestos under Collier Boulevard and declared himself "unconcerned." That brings the City into the picture. If I were you, Steve, I'd get my butt across the bridge before you take the fall for Moss and crew.

Ed Foster

Written on Marco Island City Council fires City Manager Steve Thompson:

Monte,

Avenger beat me to it. Naming City Hall after your lying friend was NOT on the agenda in January. The agenda item was a discussion of whether to name buildings, rooms, etc. after anyone, and if so, to discuss groundrules for doing so. As planned (and don't try to convince me you weren't aware of it in advance), Gibson jumped the gun and Popover was primed to second the illegal motion and push it through because no one had the guts to speak ill of the dead. If not speaking ill of the dead is your criteria for proper behavior, I assume you praise Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and a host of other famous people.

Ed Foster

Written on Live blog: Marco City Council fires City Manager Steve Thompson:

ajm3s:

If you check the records, I think you will find that Mr. Thompson was dismissed from his last CM position so this makes dismissal number TWO for poor Steve. Pretty soon he'll have to find a new line of work. Perhaps he can run for POTUS.

Ed Foster

Written on Marco Island City Council fires City Manager Steve Thompson:

Popoff, you are a hypocrite. You blame Recker for not announcing a discussion on whether to fire the City Manager and winning a vote to do so, suggesting that the vote was rigged. That is EXACTLY what you did when you permitted the council bartender to propose naming City Hall for an admitted liar and maligner of Marco citizens, a man who had done more to foster dissent on Marco Island and more harm to the island than any councilor before or since with the possible exception of John Arceri. You seconded the bartender's motion and forced it to an immediate vote after accepting prepared accolades from your cronies in the audience while demanding that the only citizen to comment factually and negatively on the motion return to his seat without finishing his objection. What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Go drown in the sauce YOU created.

To those who say that Batte and Magel had no grounds to vote to fire the CM because they were elected to the council recently, I say: just when do you propose that they assume the duties and responsibilities they took on when they were sworn into office? After a year, two years, three years, the day before they're up for re-election? These are grown men who have lived on the island and know as much about Steve Thompson's antics, obfuscations, maneuvering and cover ups for Wee Willy's past sins to walk in and fire Thompson on day one!

And as for those crocodile tears about wasting money firing a CM: The CM blew your tax dollars giving a "constructive discharge" to Harrison (for which he did not qualify) and then hired him back as a consultant so he is making as much as he ever did while continuing to screw up the books so the auditors cannot complete their job. In light of Thompson's errors, he deserved to be fired months if not years ago. How can you keep a CM who exceeds his spending authority and keeps half the council in the dark?

I like Dana Souza. He did a lot for the city when he served as parks and rec director the position he fills now in Greenville, SC. However, his experience as a parks and rec director does not necessarily qualify him to be CM. But he does have guts and seems to be a far more honest human being than the last two jokers that held the post on Marco. That may balance his lack of experience and make him the finest CM Marco has ever had. Nonetheless, I submit that the council has a duty to cast a wider net and interview other candidates before deciding on Dana just because he is a known quantity.

Ed Foster

Written on EPA: Marco Island, company violated Clean Air Act by improperly handling asbestos :

Fossil,

You are correct. It's no laughing matter. I apologize.

liberator100:

Get real. For that matter, get a life!

Ed Foster

Written on Marco sells $58 million in bonds in one day:

Mr. Issler,

There is no mention of the EPA's possible litigation and/or fines against the City in the bond prospectus. If City officials knew of the EPA's 6 findings of violations and failed to disclose these in the prospectus and to advise the bond underwriter and rating agencies accordingly, Bernie Madoff's residence hall may have a few new inhabitants. Furthermore, an interest rate over 5% for tax-exempt 30-year bonds doesn't strike me as any bargain for the city in this interest-rate environment. 30-year fixed-rate mortgages go for that these days and they're taxable!

Ed Foster

Written on EPA: Marco Island, company violated Clean Air Act by improperly handling asbestos :

Perhaps Mr. Issler would be willing to sacrifice both lungs so they can be analyzed in the cause of scientific accuracy. (He's always been on the forefront of research.) As a by-product, Marco Island and this blogsite would be henceforth and forevermore free of his BS.

Ed Foster

Written on Letter to the Editor: Election -- Bullet point:

Issler,

Glad to hear you're not contemplating a run for City Council. You made my day!

I guess I'm glad to hear you support Dr. Recker "110%" since I'm a fan of his but I'm not sure how you can support him more than 100%. I guess you mean that you support everything he says and does and also support an extra 10% of YOUR ideas you THINK he should say and do. I'm confused. Must come from all that "research" you claim to do.

Ed Foster

Written on Letter to the Editor: Election -- Bullet point:

Issler,

What planet do you live on? The figures on the county website tell the story. The only way you, Arceri, Patterson, Lazarus and Granda could get ANYONE elected was to put up only ONE candidate and convince your friends to vote ONLY for that candidate. Had the 1100+ bullet votes been diluted by voting in addition for ANY other candidate ... even one of yours had you chosen to put up more than Magan ... Magan would not have won. Look at the numbers, you research hound, compare the voting for City Council with that for the amendments, and the truth of my contention is obvious.

Politics is dirty business and Marco's is as bad as Chicago's, but don't think Marcoites are idiots. The ONLY way you got one of "yours" on the council was to put up only one and press people NOT to vote for the other two slots. The key was convincing people NOT to vote for others. Some might consider that honorable; I do not!

Ed Foster

Written on Letter To The Editor: Newly elected councilman offers thanks; asks to hear from you:

Mr. Magel,

Congratulations on your winning a seat on the City Council. I sincerely wish you much success and hope that you will represent all of the people on the island. I agree with viirtually everything you said in your LTE with one exception: you need not feel humbled by winning 61% of the votes cast because, sir, according to the County Website, you did NOT win 61% of the votes cast but 26.30%. 14,237 votes were cast in all; 3,745 (26.30%) for you, 3,535 (24.82%) for Joe Batte, 3,482 (24.45%) for Chuck Kiester and 3,475 (24.40%) for Ted Forcht. All numbers come from the Collier Votes website and the bar charts accompanying the election results are most illuminating. The difference between your win and Ted Forcht's loss amounts to less than 2% (1.9% to be precise). I'd call that a pretty "tight" election especially since many voters cast only one vote ... for you ... and therefore did not count in any of your competitor's totals. Essentially you won your seat by a perfectly legal (but (in my opinion less than honorable) strategy, i.e., convincing your supporters to NOT vote for any candidate but yourself.

When you compare these percentages to those on the amendments, e.g., 85.08% against giving the councilors raises, 14.91% for giving raises, 80.62% against messing with the cap (which I am told you supported) 19.37% for using 2008 as a baseline, you can see just how tight the race for council seats was. I suggest you keep these figures in mind while serving on the council and reconsider your claim of winning 61% of the votes. Don't know who told you that you won by that margin but it sure sounds like more of Marco's fuzzy math that got the city into so much financial difficulties. Since I have been told you are a financial expert, I humbly suggest that it might be wise to do your own calculations in the future rather than accept someone else's.

Ed Foster

P.S. I assume you accepted someone else's calculations in your haste to write an LTE thanking people for your win. I'd hate to think you did this math yourself!

Written on PHOTOS/DOCS/BLOG: It's official, Kiester wins in Marco ballot recount:

jgrif33 & ed34145:

Yes I have a life ... a very good one surrounded by some of the nicest, kindest, most honest and generous people I have ever met.

Example: we had a major snow/ice storm in Western NC on Friday as you well know. I was out digging yesterday afternoon so I could get out in time for Diane's operation. I was maybe 2/3 done when 3 guys with a small loader came along and started digging from the top of the drive. They got stuck and had to be pulled out so they dug by hand. I asked them how much I owed them. "Not a thing! We heard your wife was in the hospital and you needed to get out!"

I have friends on Marco and that is why I keep blogging, but I didn't know these guys. Nonetheless, they helped me. Could you see John Arceri, Monte Lazarus, Jack Patterson or Ed Issler doing that? I can't!

Ed Foster

Written on Two new Marco council members elected, recount pits two incumbents:

Issler:

You are incredible! What 61%? No one polled half that number of votes. I have no problem with Larry Magel polling the most votes. This is politics and all's fair in love, war and politics. Magel's whole strategy was to have his supporters vote ONLY for him and, of course, that strategy works ... if you only want to elect one councilor! Had his supporters done what any thinking human being who cares more about the island than about their ego would do and vote for the three candidates they thought best (even if they preferred Magel to any of the others), two of those votes would have gone to Batte & Forcht, Batte & Kiester, or Kiester & Forcht. Any way you cut it, Batte, Forcht & Kiester would have polled many more votes ... possibly (even likely!) enough to have defeated Magel. That was the strategy concocted by Patterson and Arceri. Hopefully Mr. Magel will prove to be his own man and not meekly follow those who ponied up $20,000 and a strategy to put him ... but ONLY him ... into office. It makes no difference to me. I don't live on your sandbar any longer, but good Lord man, where is your brain? Your candidate probabaly (likely!) would have lost if his supporters needed to win two seats rather than one!

Ed Foster

Written on PHOTOS/DOCS/BLOG: It's official, Kiester wins in Marco ballot recount:

Issler:

You are incredible! What 61%? No one polled half that number of votes. I have no problem with Larry Magel polling the most votes. This is politics and all's fair in love, war and politics. Magel's whole strategy was to have his supporters vote ONLY for him and, of course, that strategy works ... if you only want to elect one councilor! Had his supporters done what any thinking human being who cares more about the island than about their ego would do and vote for the three candidates they thought best (even if they preferred Magel to any of the others), two of those votes would have gone to Batte & Forcht, Batte & Kiester, or Kiester & Forcht. Any way you cut it, Batte, Forcht & Kiester would have polled many more votes ... possibly (even likely!) enough to have defeated Magel. That was the strategy concocted by Patterson and Arceri. Hopefully Mr. Magel will prove to be his own man and not meekly follow those who ponied up $20,000 and a strategy to put him ... but ONLY him ... into office. It makes no difference to me. I don't live on your sandbar any longer, but good Lord man, where is your brain? Your candidate probabaly (likely!) would have lost if his supporters needed to win two seats rather than one!

Ed Foster

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