Comments by GFonda

Written on Financial reality: Budget Sub-Committee prepares to deliver spending target to full City Council:

My prediction is that all "surpluses" achieved when the spending cap is based on he prior year's budeted amount will disappear if the spending cap is changed to be based on the prior year's expenditures. The incentive will be to spend up to the budgeted amount in the future to protect the cap. This will likely result in wasteful expenditures.

Written on Concerned over building inspections, construction trades pack Marco Island City Council meeting:

Please try and improve the timelines of the Eagle reporting and publication. The Sun Times had an article at least 36 hours earlier,

Written on New owners give Dolphin Tiki Bar & Grill new look :

There are available slips for boaters to use while at the Tiki and the Tiki is open to the public

Written on Election 2012: Newcomers take down incumbents in Marco Council race:

OK, lets start a fresh, clean slate and go on from here. The defeated councilors did what they thought was best for the City at that thankless job. The new councilors need to stop rah-rahing and pick up the gauntlet and bring all of us (house owners, condo owners, businesses, and visitors) of this great paradise together. Good Luck!

Written on Marco Council approves seeking bids for $8 million bridges project; moves ahead on fire boat :

Regarding the Beach Renourishment, similiar work was done about 5 or 6 years ago at the same location. None of the counselors asked what time of year that work was done; and couldn't remember if it was particularly disturbing. Is it possible that it was done just before or just after the "season" when fewer people would be affected? This time it will be during the "season" requiring 24/7 disturbance of the peaceful enjoyment of nearby resident's properry. So, do the work around timeframes that do not disturb turtles and people.

Written on Letter to Editor: Why did I write it?:

The "scarlet letter" can NOT be downloaded

Written on Marco Island City Council: Council Chair Larry Magel takes pointed comments on condo letter :

Is the Eagle going to publish the "scarlet letter" written by Mr. Magel as he promised in his response to the appropriate criticism raised during citizens forum? And just how is the "collegial" council going to function if the "bad guys" win seats? Should be entertaining! Anyone for a recall petition against Magel? And why weren't Trotter and Keister speaking up over this debacle. They had nothing to lose.

Written on Guest Commentary: MPD – New no parking zones and fines :

I am looking at the map on the City's web site and I see the streets identified in the above message. I am wondering why the side streets off of Maple are not also no parking zones similiar to all the side streets near the South Beach access. Specifically, Flamingo Circle; and Beachcomber, Arawak and Loyalty. They will now be used by beachgoers that cant park on Maple and are closer to the beach access pathway by the Maderia than all of those streets near South Beach that are identified as no parking. Is it that too little thought went into the Maple Avenue area?

Written on Marco Island City Council – Budget discussion brings on heated exchange :

Yes, BUT if the millage rate is based on the budget, doesn't there need to be clarity as to just what is exactly in the budget. Seems to me there are questions that need answers like:

1. Is there a 6% utility rate hike included or not

2. How is the extra $950,000 in additional operating expenses being funded; and why almost an additional $1 million can be justified in this economy

It was apparent that there were no answers to these questions that were agreed upon and this raises the issue of "transparency".

Additionally, the question raised by Ken Honecker relative to the cash flow problem in STRP collections versus debt payment was brushed off by the City Manager who stated - come to my office and I will explain it to you. That is NOT transparency and I think all of us are owed an explanation in open forum.

Written on Marco Island 24/7 clinic idea not likely to survive after voters' rejection :

One has to wonder at the "judgment" of Council Chairman Magel for even proposing subsidizing a major hospital complex for non-emergency care. Also, proposing a dedicated MI ambulance does NOT merit consideration without cost figures to MI taxpayers.

Written on Seawalls coming down? Marco Planning Board wrestles with marine construction issues :

So, is the issuance of sea wall construction permits still on hold as was directed by City Council? Unbelievable!!!! Note that some of the councilors do NOT live on lots with sea walls. Is this catch 22 or what!!!

Written on Marco Island City Council: Carriage issue doesn't get a vote; no rise in taxes, no change in utility rate setup :

Well, for the vast majority of lots used to "cure" or stage panels for sea walls, there have been NO problems. Marco Island was built as a waterfront community consisting of canals and bays that are contained by reinforced cement sea walls. There are hundreds of miles of them and they are now failing after 40 + years since their installation.

This island infrastructure (unlike roads) is required to be maintained/replaced by lot owners at their expense.

It is a little disturbing when some councilors who do not have to bear this sea wall responsibility/expense because they live inland can all of a sudden stop all permitting (even if for only 30 days)because of this incident in which one councilor was injured.

What on earth were they thinking in halting the issuance of permits? Someone said at the council meeting it was like "throwing the baby out with the bath water".

Written on Physicians Regional, NCH possible suitors if Marco voters approve 24/7 clinic tax:

in response to marco826:

One dollar a week to have emergency care near by sounds reasonable to me....

That's the problem - IT'S NOT EMERGENCY CARE as Marco 826 believes. Somehow the word has to go out to the voters that it's only clinical services provided NOT emergency care.

Written on Physicians Regional, NCH possible suitors if Marco voters approve 24/7 clinic tax:

Why, after several WEEKS was there no article in the Eagle addressing the "non-binding" referendum being placed on the ballot in AUGUST addressing spending $750,000 for an additional number of hours in the evening at the NCH walk-in clinic on Bald EAGLE? I believe the only way the vast majority of part time residents can be made aware of this issue is by timely reporting and thoughtful commentary about the pluses and minuses of this proposal; and this paper is not providing that. Lets see how long it takes for the EAGLE to publish this letter that was submitted June 9th.

My position is that non-emergency, after hour demand for this service is NOT supported by what was stated as statistics at the Council meeting and that it's an outrage that we would have to contribute any funds for this unneeded service. NCH will benefit financially from the fees they charge treated patients without our adding to their coffers.

Written on Marco Island Planning Board weighs regulations for beach parking :

City-owned swales near beach access points could be metered - "turning lemons into lemonade". Just a thought

Written on Horse-drawn rides approved – Marco Island Planning Board wades into carriage question :

GFonda writes:
Well, the Planning Board approved moving the petition for HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGES to the City Council; but eliminated the Bald Eagle staging area from the operation. Watching the presentation put on by the owners of the operation, there was some inconsistency as to where the pick-up and drop off points will be. At one point they spoke to being able to pick up at a person's house for a surprise anniversary; then stated that the pick-up and drop off points would be fixed. Also the routes seemed to be fixed, but left uncovered drop-off/pick-ups at the Island Country Club and the Yacht Club. Those two locations are apt to be popular reception sites (or even wedding sites). So there is some question as to whether the whole island could be used by the Company.

Operation on the island would only occur when there are firm reservations; if no reservations, then they wouldn't be doing any staging. What was not addressed is what happens if there are two reservations for the same day but hours apart. Would the horses and carriage return to the staging area to wait? Also, I found insufficient consideration being given to the HORSES. They need WATER periodically if they are used for extensive periods of time.

Just some thoughts.

Written on Letter to the Editor: No room for horse drawn carriages:

Well, the Planning Board approved moving the petition for HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGES to the City Council; but eliminated the Bald Eagle staging area from the operation. Watching the presentation put on by the owners of the operation, there was some inconsistency as to where the pick-up and drop off points will be. At one point they spoke to being able to pick up a a person's house for a surprise anniversary; then stated that the pick-up and drop off points would be fixed. Also the routes seemed to be fixed, but left uncovered drop-off/pick-ups at the Island Country Club and the Yacht Club. Those two locations are apt to be popular reception sites (or even wedding sites). So there is some question as to whether the whole island could be used by the Company.

Operation on the island would only occur when there are firm reservations; if no reservations, then they wouldn't be doing any staging. What was not addressed is what happens if there are two reservations for the same day but hours apart. Would the horses and carriage return to the staging area to wait? Also, I found insufficient consideration being given to the HORSES. They need WATER periodically if they are used for extensive periods of time.

Just some thoughts.

Written on Barely a tourist: A Florida black bear makes rare visit to Marco Island :

So, while we react to the Bear, the EAGLE has yet to write an article recapping the Council meeting held on the 4th of June which would result in a referendum to increase our taxes to provide funds to Naples Health Care facility. It's an outrage that our local paper doesn't address this issue - since many of our voters rely on the "local" newspaper on-line to keep abreast of the issues.

Written on Marco Island cultural leaders announce plans for theater :

"The hope, from local cultural leaders, to make Winterberry Drive around the Center for the Arts a cultural district. Holley's long-term hope is to add studios for artists, to bring them to work and show there."

That should fit right in with the "putt-putt" golf across the street!

Written on Overflow parking at South Marco beach has city leaders seeking solutions :

I agree that we should not encourage off-islanders to invade our beaches; BUT the beaches in Florida are public and we should not put our heads in the sand and ignore the fact as is plainly evident that non residents will come. The article is correct about the Tigertail "Beach" access. The "Beach" is a long trek from the parking lot; and there is a charge for non Collier county residents to use it. The article is incorrect in that there is NO "pull-off" to drop beachgoers next to the Madeira. That is one of several poor planning decisions made in the recent Collier Blvd construction.

I wrote a letter to the editor recently about MICA and the need to consider its future. MICA's existing parking lots are not fully used and there is significant room to expand parking in them.

As I stated before, we cannot stop off island people from using our beaches; and the volume of these beachgoers will increase.

Here are several suggestions:

1. Take over Resident's Beach and Sarazen Park parking by "eminent domaine". (It will never happen!!!)

2. Since the City owns the swales in the affected areas (by South Beach and Madeira),pave them over and install parking meters.

3. In jest, turn Marco Island into a gated community with controlled access onto and off the island at the two bridges. Therefore, only certain "acceptable" people could dip their little toes in our elite waters.

Written on Beefed up: Old Marco Pub expands seating, now serving full liquor bar:

Good luck Susan and family. I'll definitely come back when I return from my home in Key West later this year.

Written on Chief Rod under investigation in murder plot:

Not much of a story. Where are the details?

Written on Letter to the Editor: Proposal for different approach to decision making:

Key West City Council is set up by Districts and the island is slightly smaller than Marco

Written on Bike collisions with vehicles on rise on Marco; three bicycle committee members hit:

And on top of this, there is a proposal afoot for horse drawn carriages on Marco roads. I kid you not!

Written on Marco Chief takes fire-rescue boat out of service after vessel’s poor performance in powerboat explosion:

I'm just wondering if the Sheriff Department has a fire boat that could be placed at the North end of the island at their fsacility. I have a problem believing that a fire boat can get quickly on the scene if the fire is some distance away from the location of the fire boat. Goodlands comes to mind or the Marco River.

Written on Collier County delays reimbursement for exhibit designs for new Marco museum :

It's time for Marco Island to secede from Collier County and form the "calusa republic".

Written on Mixed reaction, emotions to Marco Island's speed limit change:

Just wondering if this will raise the ire of City Council members who were left uninformed similar to when the last manager was dismissed over his lack of communications to our elected leaders.

Written on Collier County agrees to hire new ambulance service:

If one calls 911, what ambulance service/company comes?

Written on Guest Commentary: MICA surveys; is anyone listening:

I wonder if it is possible for the survey to be made available to non MICA residents for their responses to be included - perhaps as a separate tabulation.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Are Marco Island councilors acting as potted plants? :

Please get back on subject. Do those of you that stand before the City Council at "community forum" think that your concerns are being addressed properly?

Written on Personnel changes announced for City of Marco Island:

I am wondering if there are any pay raises related to this realignment of the organization and personnel involved. I DO hope this is NOT being done to circumvent the "no raise" promise around which the 2012 budget was based.

Written on Marco council to weigh several tax rate options Monday:

This is sooo confusing to us resident taxpayers (God know how the non-resident taxpayers can figure it out). The property taxes should NOT be raised higher than last year - whatever the millage rate turns out to be. In fact they should be lower to compensate for the worsening economic situation Marco Island taxpayers are facing. I've never understood the rationale for tying road resurfacing to the STRP. I thought there was always a line item in the operating/capital(?) budget for road resurfacing and that the schedule of its completion be tied to the STRP zones being torn up.

Written on Loan an option for Marco to replace ‘totally obsolete’ Smokehouse bridge:

It IS a strange design appearance that was selected

Written on Should Marco Island Farmer’s Market money be used for fireworks?:

Use the Farmer's Market profit to reduce Veteran's Park debt

Written on Can the BAC make Marco Island's cul-de-sacs beautiful again?:

I believe I suggested before that the Beautification Advisory Committee publish acceptable cul-de-sac plantings for homeowners residing on the cul-de-sacs to plant and maintain themselves. I know I would.

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

As I stated over 6 months ago, the debt costs should NOT be buried in the base rate, but should see "the light of day" and be visible - preferably on our property tax bill which may be tax deductible. I also believe all property owners should pay for the debt - probably equally.

Written on Marco gets permission to allow watering three days a week, not two :

Why dont we try and sell the excess water to other communities that are short rather than dumping it in the Gulf?

Written on Marco City Council to weigh in on cul-de-sac maintenance:

It would be helpful for the beautification committee (Sydney and others) to establish several planting/landscaping designs and costs to pick from and that also would be acceptable for improving the appearance of the cul de sac on our streets. My guess is that the ones that would participate are those that actually live around the cul de sac. I would, if I knew that I was complying with an overall acceptable plan.

Written on Marco Island fights excessive force lawsuit:

If they couldn't breathe, how come they could yell non-stop? This whole episode was staged by those punks.

Written on Federal lawsuit filed against Marco police claiming excessive force during arrest:

Stef is my neighbor and one could not be a better one. I do think that because we apparently do not have facilities on the island to hold and process individuals involved in these types of incidents, that it is risky to have one police officer transport multiple actively belligerent individuals to Naples without backup; or at least put them in a "paddy wagon" where they are caged in a separate compartment. Perhaps such a vehicle is available from the Sheriff's department in which case the Sheriff should be called in to do the transport to the Sheriff's facility in Naples. From what I remember of the incident from the original press reports, Stef handled the situation as best as could be expected under the circumstances. I am a big supporteer of our local police officers who do a fine job. I am curious if the young men were in fact convicted of something - maybe underage drinking, disturbing the peace, resisting arrest, etc.

Written on Marco Island approves 15 percent tax rate increase, limits oil spill reserves:

I sent Frank the text message. But first, I tried calling all sorts of City offices including the non-emergency police line (since the meeting is held in the police building)- they all were on after hour voice messages. So, the last resort was to email Frank and hope he read the email during the meeting. There needs to be a way for us to inform someone when the audio/visuals on the meetings are not workng.

Written on Marco Island approves 15 percent tax rate increase, limits oil spill reserves:

Unfortunately, the sound was off on the TV transmission for the first hour or so of the Council meeting yesterday. I would like to know why! Anyway, it appears that during that time, the Council approved a millage rate of 1.89 and also an add on for the Veteran's Park of .11. So, the total millage rate is now 1.99. Isn't that above the statutory rate of 1.98 that the Council originally approved that could not be exceeded? I am wondering why MITA is in favor of this based on Fay's comments as reported in the Eagle.
George

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

What seems to be happening in the Marco Island Operating Budget development process is preservation of a spending cap amount. This seems backwards to me. Good efforts were made by the Budget committee and City staff to build a lean budget reflecting today's economic environment as well as funds needed to effectively operate the City with no degradation in services. Then some "Plug" amounts were added totalling in excess of $2 million in the form of Oil Spill contingency and Reserves build up, so as to preserve a spending cap, that in my opinion far exceeds our future requirements.

Written on Letter to the Editor: On the Marriott proposal ... :

Margie,

You Rock!!!!!

She has a point, in that the "parking" lot section in question is not being used as a prking lot, but rather as an apparent permanent construction/maintenance site for the hotel complete with porta potties, and construction trailors. This is NOT neighborly on the part of the Marriott to its northside neighbor who has to endure the noise, dust/dirt, and ugliness; remedial action should be taken immediately. The masonary wall the Marriott as erected for the other sections (East side) of the parking lot should be built on the north side between the "parking" area and San Marco Residences.

Written on City eyes providing travel soccer program:

"Who is John Galt?"

Written on City eyes providing travel soccer program:

What about a Little League team? or do we already have one?

Written on Marriott pursues expansion on Marco Island:

The City faces a serious shortage of parking spaces near the beach. The Easter Sunrise Service and 4th of July fireworks held on the beach are just two examples. Also, the two recently opened beach access pathways near the Marriott have no public parking facilities. I would like the City to negotiate a benefit from this Marriott proposal in the form of up to 100 (free or minimal cost/parking meters) parking spaces in the proposed Marriott garage for beachgoers. (The City would receive the revenue from these meters). After all, that is how we got the beach path from Mass Mutual.

Written on Federal grant may encourage Marco Island to spend more on new bridge:

I recommend that the first choice be reconsidered instead of the third choice based on the city survey if substantial funding is provided by non-City sources.

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