Comments by Seawaller

Written on Letter to the Editor: Killing the golden goose:

Hence the conundrum. Thousands visit Marco because it is not (yet) like other overbuilt vacation destinations. They specifically come for its' relatively small, quiet feel and natural beauty. But the more that come, the more is built to accommodate them. Then more come. Soon no one comes because it is just like all the other cheesey tourist traps; overcrowded and a hassle to navigate. Unfortunately it seems the very thing people love about the Island could be destroyed by those very same people. A true Catch 22. Yes Barbara, the goose that lays the golden egg could very well be killed.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Expansion insight:

"And, after buying more land/property follow the zoning and land use codes AS THEY EXIST." WiseOlMarco, this is the absolute crux of the issue.

As the good Dr. Fay Biles so eloquently pointed out, many bought where they did in reliance upon the various restrictions that were in place.

Do not create circumventing PUDs, do not grant variances, do not attempt to change the rules which protect the many to benefit the few.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Changing Marco Island forever:

Ditto. Been saying this for years.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Big problems with big business:

"Unplanned change will inevitably lead to chaos." Thank you.

Written on Waterways committee hears spirited comments on public docking at the Esplanade:

"Part of a 1998 development agreement between the county and the Esplanade set aside 20 floating boat slips or 25 percent of all available slips, whichever was greater, for public temporary docking."

This is just another example of developers' promises to secure approval for their projects then conveniently abandoning them.

Remember Antaramian's proposed amphitheater gift to the City? City didn't want it. He came back with $100,000.00. City said that wouldn't look right. Antaramian gets Esplanade, City gets nothing.

Then there is Cape Marco. Oh boy, that was a good story.

Then Marriott/Madiera, now Marriott again and Rose Marina.

Let's not forget the STRP that was needed to support all this development. All the public got out of that was a $17000.00 + bill and higher water rates.

Kudos to Mr. Herman Diebler for pointing out one of the many injustices imposed upon the residents of this community.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Agree, disagree:

in response to lauralbi1:

To quote one of the blogs above, "Keep the development of the Island in accordance with the Mackle Brothers vision."
I think you will find the Deed Restrictions are being complied with at the Marriott. The Deed Restrictions are what express what the Mackle Brothers desired. All the other items, density, parking, height, zoning are items that were imposed by the County and then the City.
You do understand that the Marriott is compliant with density (with the new request). I also believe that Marriott will be compliant with parking WITHOUT violating the terms of the 2001 PUD.
So, based on this, I guess I Disagree with the LTE.
Ed Issler

Again, it makes no difference who imposed the deed restrictions or who imposed the other items: density, parking, height, zoning. The reality is they are in place and many of us relied on this reality when purchasing property here over a quarter of a century ago.

Through the years time and time again we have witnessed all kinds of concessions, some of which ajm3s outlined but I could add many more. I just think maybe enough is enough.

If the Marriott intends to be in compliance as you suggest, great! No need to change anything and no need to get approval from anyone. Look, I'm only saying develop all you want as long as it is within the confines of present restrictions.

Do not create circumventing PUDs, do not grant variances, do not attempt to change the rules which protect the many to benefit the few.

Understand also I am not singling out the Marriott. This should apply equally to all who are petitioning the City to carve out yet another favor for their personal benefit.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Agree, disagree:

I for one could care less what the Mackle Brothers did or did not envision for this island. What I am most concerned with is the continuing applications for variances, LDC code amendments and conditional use allowances as well as the apparent disregard for PUD agreements (which in and of themselves represent changes to existing rules). Rules for development were put into place to protect those who invested in the island for what it was, as well as provide a roadmap for what it will be.

This incessant effort to change these rules to accommodate individual aspirations should be met with disdain by the stewarts of our island.

If we are to continually change the rules to allow whatever comes along, then why not just get rid of them and allow the ensuing free for all to transpire? At least then we can count on one rule to be upheld: that there are no rules. We can then plan our exit from what was once an Island Paradise.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Marriott expansion goes with Mackle Brother’s vision:

The PUD Agreement of 2001 in my mind is the overriding consideration here. What good are agreements if they are to be broken? What good are promises if they are not kept? How can one retain credibility if one cannot be trusted to keep his word? How can anyone defend the Marriott when they act in this fashion? What the Mackle brothers did or did not envision is very tangental to the fact that the Marriott should be required to keep their agreements.

As General Robert E. Lee once said: "A gentleman shall not lie, cheat, or steal, nor tolerate anyone who does". I wonder what the General would say about the Marriott actions.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Future of Marco is now:

Why is Marriott so opposed to incorporating lower level parking into their expansion plans for the west side of Collier Blvd? Mission Plaza has it. This reneging on their PUD agreement is just a flat out effort to dump their excess cars on their neighbors. I am not against their expansion, but do not agree that they should be allowed to break the agreement that there be no second level parking on the east side of Collier.

The road to becoming another Miami is paved with small stones. Antaramian got his way and placed many. Marriott wants to go at it too. Bondie and tikihut want more business on the island and I can understand their thinking, but seriously compromising the aesthetics of this island is not going to do it. People who choose to come to Marco do so because of the way it is (was). If you try to compete with Miami on their terms you will lose.

Please understand that this is not just about a single parking garage. Over the years height restrictions have been lifted and concessions made to accomodate higher density, making the STRP and water debacle necessary. It is about literally drawing a line in the sand and saying enough is enough. Develop all you want, but do it under the present guidelines and restrictions.

I have been here for 25 years and am not against progress. However, this knee jerk propensity to grant all sorts of exceptions in progress' name needs to stop somewhere.

It should stop here.

Written on Obama wins Senate panel's backing on Syria strike :

So if Obama goes ahead and sends cruise missles into Syria not knowing exactly where the chemical weapons are stored, he may just land one on a chemical stockpile. Experts agree that at best only 30% of the chemicals would be incinerated (need a minimum of 2100 degrees) with the rest being dispersed over an extremely large area. He could gas more Al Queda than Assad ever dreamt of doing. Sounds like a plan to me.

Written on Letter to the Editor: A city has authority:

The issue being pressed by Mr. Kramer is not the merits (or lack thereof) of the putt putt but rather the authority of MICA to review requests that vary from the stated deed restrictions. Mr. Savage may very well be correct that the City made the right decision to accept this location but there is no evidence to suggest that MICA would not have come to the same conclusion had an application been presented to them.

If, as Mr. Savage suggests, the vote for Cityhood nullified MICA's role in this process I don't recall that being communicated to the electorate at the time of the vote. However, MICA's ultimate legitimacy will now be decided by the courts.

Unfortunately, a compromise cannot now be reached by Mr. Kramer submitting an application and MICA aproving it. This would end the court action and summarily the challenge to MICA's legitimacy. I do not believe Mr. Kramer values the Putt Putt over ending MICA's role in the future development of this Island.

Written on Letter to the Editor: New Smokehouse bridges needed now:

Agreed. The bridge needs to be replaced. However, the proposed replacements all looked like they were meant to span the Mississippi River and the associated cost quotes equally ridiculous. A 60 foot wide opening with even a 20 foot clearance can be done for less than half the cost of these grandiose elaborate structures.

Written on Letter: What a bargain:

186 days X 8 hours per day = 1488 hours. $50,000 divided by 1488 hours = $33.60 per hour. Add in pension and hospitalization. Union forklift operators can expect to make this much. So is it enough to attract the best and brightest to teach our children? I don't know the answer to that. But the premise was that the present cost of education is a bargain. I guess it would be if we were able to attract the best and brightest to teach.

Written on Longshoremen contract extended; strike likely averted at Gulf, East Coast ports:

$50.00 per hour = $104,000.00 per year. Add $15,000.00 royalties = $119,000.00 per year. Now add the hospitalization insurance, 401K contributions, and overtime. This for a group who never worked particularly hard in school and at best know how to operate a crane. Compare that to teachers entrusted with our children and our future. Just sayin,...

Written on Former Marco police lieutenant receives final warning after sending inappropriate photos :

Beucler returned to the police department as a senior community services officer. Given his past behavior I'm sure the female community will welcome his service. Maybe we better define "service".

Written on Letter to the Editor: Us against them?:

Judy's been reading Dr. Seuss:

"until the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew
Whether this one was that one or that one was this one. Or which one was what one or what one was who.
The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches.
And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches".

Written on What's hot? What's not! Marco Island City Council budget subcommittee gets first peek at capital requests for 2013 :

Outwith theoldies is 100% right with the statement "I guess its all about the 'ME'". ME wants a new Mackle Park, ME wants a dog park, ME wants a museum, ME wants more bike paths, ME wants a makeover at Plummer Park, ME wants Marco Man in front of a new City Hall, ME wants you to pay for it.

Written on Letter to the Editor: The making of a good candidate - Part II:

" they formed a committee consisting of myself, (John Arceri) Councilman Glenn Tucker and City Manager, Bill Moss".
That says it all. We're still paying for their shenanigans. Those were the days before few on this Island paid much attention to what these three guys were up to. Glad to see some candidates come forward willing to represent those of us who should have been more involved back in the day but were too busy trying to make a life here. Arceri can write as many letters to the editor as he wishes, but I doubt he can convince very many we are better off because of his "stewardship".

Written on Guest Commentary: In response to John Arceri - You are right, I'm not a 'good candidate' ; I'm an excellent candidate! :

Those pesky public records keep getting in the way of good spins on history. However, over the last 12 or so years the most dastardly of deeds were hatched well away from the public forum so public records shouldn't be able to wreck all the good spins.

Written on Drought damage to crops starting to show up in higher food prices locally :

So the government pays farmers to grow corn for ethanol production, which not only drives up the price of corn for both human and animal food, but forces us to buy ethanol treatment so our boats and small engines aren't destroyed. Get the government out of the corn subsidy business and let the farmers grow corn for food. End of problem.

Written on Florida officials: Collier net-fishing criminal case has statewide implications :

"He chalked that violation up to getting greedy: 'We were young. We learned our lesson,' he said."

And he doesn't think 6500 lbs of mullet in essentially one haul is getting greedy?

If more people were to think like him our fisheries would be doomed.

Written on The big picture – Marco Island Budget Sub-Committee prepares report, proposes millage rate :

Just a dollar down and a dollar a week, you can get everything you seek for just a dollar down and a dollar a week. Then they paved paradise and put up a parking lot, with a pink hotel, a boutique and a swinging hot spot. Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got till it's gone.

Council keeps telling me what I need. What I really need is for them to stop telling me what I need.

Hat tip to Woodie Guthrie and Joni Mitchell.

Written on Court upholds health care mandate:

So we may now call the individual mandate a tax. Social Security is a tax, Medicare a tax, Medicaid a tax, Food Stamps a tax. Just remember those that dream up these taxes and enact them into law specifically exempt themselves from paying them. So on page 113 of the "Obamacare" TAX, the President, Congress, and indeed the Supreme Court are all exempted from paying it. Indeed in the case of Social Security they collected enough tax that it should never be in dire straits - they just robbed it to pay for other government programs. They'll do the same with the Obamacare tax.

Consider this: In a perfect Obama/Pelosi/Reid world everyone who worked would send all their money to the government, which in turn would take its cut and redistribute the balance to everyone (regardless of whether or not they worked) as government would see fit. I fail to see the incentive to work very hard under this scenario. I also fail to see the point in me working to provide health insurance to my 45 employees when all I have to do is pay the fine/tax/whatever and the government will take care of it.

In short, everything this regime is doing just incents me to go on the dole (depression term).

To cite a more pointed example: The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and food stamps ever. They have distributed internal memos encouraging local offices to have parties to get more people signed up.

Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks "Please Do Not Feed the Animals." Their stated reason for the policy is because the animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.

This ends today's lesson.

Written on Crunching the numbers – Marco Island Budget Sub-Committee delves into city's operating budgets :

A "Taj Mahal" is only such if it is built all at once. If it is built in stages it is "a new center".

"Thousands of voters on this island would rather see a new center than a new (Smokehouse Bay) bridge"

The Police budget "seeks an overall spend of $4.5 million, up from $4.2. In line with Hunter's philosophy, the department is seeking to become more efficient".

For the Fire Dept. a proposed ambulance requested by Fire Chief Mike Murphy, "that would put the city into the ambulance business for the first time in our history."

"it's a good thing that the city's elected leaders are taking seriously their responsibility to carefully husband the city's funds."

The title of this article should be: A Sarcastic Look at Crunching the Numbers.

Written on Guest Commentary: Fair share ... Marco Island City Council fails to properly vet water, sewer capacity charge :

Well done. However you have two major obstacles: (1) finding anyone on Council who can actually understand what you have accomplished here, and (2) overcoming the predisposition on the part of the majority of Council to protect the current preferred classes of customers (Sneeches with stars).

Written on Gator bites off hand of Everglades airboat captain:

I also took my kids on an airboat ride years ago and the guide actually grabbed small gators and lifted them out of the water. That's when I decided I needed to learn how to operate that boat because I doubted the guide would make it back in one piece.

Written on What's hot? What's not! Marco Island City Council budget subcommittee gets first peek at capital requests for 2013 :

Frank Recker: "Any city worth its salt should have adequate recreation facilities for its citizens."

Define adequate. The current facility serves the citizens well. Sure it would be nice to have a new multi-million dollar facility, but nice to have, need, and adequate are all key words that should be used appropriately in any discussion of huge capital expenditures given the current economic conditions.

Written on What's hot? What's not! Marco Island City Council budget subcommittee gets first peek at capital requests for 2013 :

" A good business plan on how the building would be funded should be voted on through referendum to end the recent turmoil, he said."

The referendum should be about whether to even build a new community center, not a referendum on how to pay for it. Notice the "turmoil" question has been reframed by council, now admitting the building of the new center is a done deal and glossed over by advocating a referendum to let the taxpayers vote on how to pay for it.

If it wasn't built it would cost the taxpayers nothing. Give us that option in a referendum.

Written on Marco Island's TBE tennis courts to close for lack of repairs;funding considerations for new community center at Mackle Park heard:

Absolutely insane. Despite public rebuke and a call for referendum, this Mackle Park debacle continues on its merry way. Yet, true to form, they choose to abandon something that is already there and relatively inexpensive to refurbish and would last for years to come. Aaaaargh!

Written on Letter to the Editor: Visitors not welcome:

Sorry Mary, while some would have you believe otherwise, Deltona never designed Marco as a tourist destination. It was never meant to have 15+ story condos. The parking problems for the beaches are due to one thing, density. Public fishing piers were never envisioned or built, except for under the Jolly bridge which Wilma took out. Caxambas has a dock to fish on. I don't know if anyone ever thought about putting bathrooms at the bridges. You could rent a boat though. Some are trying hard to remake this small island into what you want, but so far they have only succeeded in ruining it for everybody. As for the friendliness of the people, people are people and I can't speak to that complaint. The Keys are a great tourist destination and they work hard at it. Enjoy them.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Utility rates: Why?:

Unfortunately, to do as Ken asks would essentially undermine the "class system" of rate charges. It was never nor shall it ever be the intention of this Council to charge everyone the same for the gallons they use. There are those who benefit greatly by this class system and they control the Council. At the present time, under this Council, "completing the rate design the right way" just won't happen. Contacting Council and demanding the same will be an exercise in futility.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Time to abandon the fireworks?:

I like the old "bombs bursting in air" and "rockets red glare" thing. - F. Scott Fitgerald

Written on Guest Commentary: Let’s get the real facts, our citizens deserve it:

Here are the facts:

Single Family Residence using 1.667 thousands gal/month goes from $69.20 to $75.99 (+9.8%)

Condo with its own meter using 1.667 thousands gal/month goes from $64.79 to $47.22 (-27.10%)

Condo with master meter using 1.667 thousands gal/month goes from $46.17 to $47.02 (+.06%)

This is quite a difference among people all using the same water volume.

Suggested reading: Dr. Seuss's "The Sneeches".

Spin that at your next meeting appearance.

Written on On The Hook: Grouper travesty:

I agree Capt. Bill. Now how about the snook? Each year I buy a snook permit and they never open the season. They even raised it to $10, still no season. Shouldn't I get a refund?

Written on Letter to the Editor: Marco Island not a day trip destination:

Build a parking lot and they will come. Can't say the same about the museum though.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Problematic protocol:

Your comments wouldn't have made a difference. This is what they were going to do from day one.

Written on Marco Island City Council moves forward with M-54 rate design and .405 debt distribution ratio:

This was preordained. They finally got the study they wanted to begin with.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Let’s just be fair with water rates:

I agree with the letter to the editor and totally discount lauralbi1's response. If LCEC needs a new truck or a facility upgrade or electric aquisition costs go up and they need to raise prices do they charge a single family home more than a condo? A city debt is a city debt. Period. Usage is usage. Period. Stop with the smoke and mirrors.

Written on Public workshop offers first view of Marco Island's water and sewer rates:

Consider this: with STRP the capital cost (installing the pipes, plant capacity etc.) for each district was equally applied to all users. With the water rate structures being considered now the capital costs (plant aquisition, expansion etc.) are being built into the rates each class of customer pays. So why are capital expenditure allocations between the two programs different?

The answer is simple. When STRP went in it only affected one class of residents with no unified voice and certainly no representation on the council. The rate structure debate affects all classes and some have more unified voices and more representation on Council.

So if you define fair and equitable as everyone should share the burden of an over priced and overbuilt water infrastructure equally, and everyone should pay the same rate per unit for what they use, you will lose. This is all about who has the most influence with Council.

An argument could be made that the purpose of STRP was not environmental, but rather an attempt to expand the contribution base of an over priced, antiquated system used by some classes of users on the Island. What wasn't foreseen by the perpetrators, however, was this was not enough.

Now back to square one. How does the original influential user class mitigate their losses?
Smoke and mirrors of course. COS studies, M1's, M54"s, accept the first principles (see ajm3s comments above) make it look complicated and at all costs make sure you secure your preferred status.

I suppose there is nothing wrong with anyone's desire to preserve a preferred status. As one blogger on here often states: Council reflects the will of the taxpayers on Marco Island.

I for one can only hope for the day when Dr. Seuss's vision in the "Sneetches" comes true on the Island:

"until neither the Plain nor the Star-Bellies knew
whether this one was that one... or that one was this one
or which one was what one... or what one was who."

Written on Marco Island Fire Pension Board wants questions answered before paying disability claim:

Social security disability is granted no matter how you become disabled. But Workers Compensation and payments from the pension fund for exiting the restroom? OSHA needs to examine that restroom door and see if it is unsafe. Next Comp will kick in when someone is injured playing pool while on duty. This is, ajm3's, unbelievable.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Grandfather swales in:

Rock swales clog drains, according to Mr. Pinter. How about all the mulch in the City medians? Point your garden hose at the mulched median, then the rock swale, and see which ends up in the street first. I Agree with AJM3S; this is about what some view as more aesthetic. Although I have a background in geology, it really doesn't take a scientist to refute Mr. Pinter's missive and discern what is really going on here.

Written on Marco Island homeowners could face new swale landscaping requirements:

STRP all over again - SWALE TREATMENT REPLACEMENT PROGRAM. While I don't have a dog in this hunt (my swale is grass), I am tired of a small group of people telling everyone else what they need to spend their money on to further their own "vision" of what this Island should be. Mackle Park is still in the budget out to 2016 to the tune of $5,625,000.00. Also out to 2016 is $2,500,000.00 to develop a special event area. $2,500,000.00 to put up a band shell. Another $1,000,000.00 to further develop Veterans Park. $700,000.00 more into bike paths. $300,000.00 to renovate Leigh Plummer Park. The list goes on and on ad infinitum.

Do we all really need all this stuff? Who makes this stuff up? Whoever it is, they need a reality check. Then they need to go far away.

Written on With new committee, Marco Island's big flag project and city are united:

For those who don't know yet, the estimated cost of this flag is $350,000.00. That would be almost 9 years of fireworks. A 50 ft. commercial pole will run about $3,400.00 with one 10x15 flag included. So that leaves $346,000.00 to install it. Wow.

Written on What are the assets and liabilities of elected city leaders in Naples, Marco, Bonita?:

I wonder why the County Commissioners have to give dollar amounts, but not City Councilors. When a guy puts down "stocks and bonds" under intangible assets, I wonder how that reveals if he has an interest in something that comes before Council. In fact, I wonder if this financial disclosure really serves any purpose whatsoever. If taken at face value, it would appear that more than one Councilor would qualify for food stamps! What a useless exercise.

Written on Marco police developing special training for officer fired, rehired :

"Had the employer, concluding that (Derrig's) behavior was rapidly declining, meted out increasingly harsh penalties and warnings, (Derrig) may well have heeded those messages and changed his ways," Humphries wrote.

This is the only way to beat the unions in arbitration. You must dish out increasingly harsh punishments and document each incident. As far as "changing his ways", usually this doesn't happen. Once a documented trail of misbehavior and punishments is established, termination usually sticks. Unions are then not anxious to take it to arbitration, and if they do even the union backed arbitrators have a hard time reinstating the offender. The training referred to in the article should be for management.

Written on Arts Advisory Committee keeps the flame alive; asks Marco Island City Council to do the same:

Here we go again. ANOTHER group who wants my tax dollars to support their hobby. Look, I have no problem with someone wanting to play a banjo next to a gothic painting, just don't ask me to pay for it. I also doubt it would be supported by 51% of the taxpayers. Shouldn't it take a majority to impose upon themselves a tax for art?

Written on Bottoms up: Naples-Marco 2nd for heavy drinkers in 2010:

Beer is a gift from God to prove how much he loves us. - Benjamin Franklin

Written on Letter to the Editor: Marco Island’s future! Really?:

"Improvements" seems to be defined differently by different people. I know that what some have described as "improvements" over the past 8 years I would certainly define as idiotic waste.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Response to a guest commentary by Vip Grover – The economics behind the fireworks on Marco Island:

Exactly. A community event that should be paid for through fundraisers. The Chamber of Commerce should spearhead this effort.