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Mrs. Biles comment "A deal is a deal. An agreement was made and should be kept." while absolutely correct on so many levels, I'm afraid ignores recent Marco Island history. Remember Jack Antaramian and his deals? I would hope the present City Council would shun the ways of the past 4 Councils, but I doubt it. The groundwork has been laid and a convention center is coming.
Bad guy: Mr. Hartman. Dumb guy: Mr. Gaston. It seems Marco Cable is running without a monthly P&L. I thought only the government could operate in such a reckless manner.
With a budget sitting there showing increased spending for next year, Gibson is talking about the fireworks. Is it totally impossible to elect someone to this Council who has a reasonable clue as to what needs to be done?
Of course they are going to build a convention center. It is called long range planning. First you get control of the City Council, then you get the City to overbuild a water/sewer system, then you get streetlights every 20 feet on Collier Blvd., then a 4 lane bridge over the Marco River, then a super bridge over Smokehouse, now you only need to get rid of some pesky neighbors. Anyone who has doubts only needs to try and remember what this Island had going for it 15 years ago, then look at it today: from the Esplanade to Cape Marco, it will be developed into Miami West and Deltona's vision will be long forgotten.
Drs. Uhler letter only confirms what is already well known and agreed to by all sides of this water/sewer issue: the greatest water usage comes from irrigation. So unless you are willing to join the brown lawn movement, (remember the City outlawed zeroscaping years ago) you simply cannot lower your water bill significantly through conservation. Better said, go ahead and flush everytime on number two. The real issue is the high cost of the STRP program and the over capacitated water treatment plant. But it is an issue created by, as Drs. Uhler have said, "our elected representatives and their minions since city-hood". Like it or not, these high costs will remain indefinitely as these past decisions cannot be undone.
What can be done, however, is to make prudent financial decisions going forward. This Mackle Park debacle, among others, comes to mind. In this regard I join the Uhlers in thanking and commending " MITA, MICA, EyeOnMarco, the MIHOA and other populist groups" who have made it their mission to avoid seeing Marco's last decade of tragic history repeated over and over again. There is no question a line needs to be drawn in the sand (pun intended). This massive and uncontrollable debt is not sustainable and Marco Island's future rests on the ability of City Council to reign in this culture of mortgage. God help us all.
I am not convinced this bridge cannot be repaired at considerably less cost. However, the designs being considered for a new bridge reveal the true motivation behind its replacement: there are those who want to continue the Disney atmosphere on Collier Blvd. as started by the myriad of streetlights installed along its route. At work here are two opposing visions of what Marco Island should be. (1) A tourist trap with all the trimmings, (2) A residential mecca with enough businesses and services to make it tourist destination as well. One only needs to examine the original height limits on buildings to see what Deltona's vision was. Now look at Cape Marco to see what we are getting. Once the Disney visionaries tax us off the Island, the Deltona dream will finally be dead.
I have no quarrel with the ban, it's just that for the second year in a row I've bought a snook permit that I can't use. I think a refund is in order.
I agree with all but #9, 10, and 12. 75% agreement with Sayre Uhler vs. less than 40% with present council. Enough said.
While I have no way of knowing whether she is right or wrong, it is refreshing to see a County Commissioner question the spending of a department head and withhold a rubber stamp until her concerns have been answered. We need more Georgia Hillers who take their responsibilities seriously.
Someone has decided that he/she wants a new building at Mackle Park and come hell or high water they will get it. Same was true of the water plant, sewers, bike paths, dog park, Marco Man, City Hall, Fire station(s), Disney lights on Collier Blvd., museum, tennis courts, soccer fields...jeeze the list is too long. Taxpayers be blasteded, you have no say just get with the program!
If multiple stations is the ideal (and I'm not saying it is on a 4x6 island) why didn't they just keep the one on Barfield and fix up the one on Elkam? Why build the big one on San Marco and Bald Eagle? I think it has to do with a complete lack of long range planning - in all aspects of City government. If a private business operated in such a knee jerk manner, they would go bankrupt. Lucky for the City they can avoid this by taxing and feeing us all into personal bankruptcy, something I believe at least some of the "decision makers" are all too familiar with.
She is getting $200K plus per year, gobs of expense money, and a vacation package that would make one wonder if she works at all. Yet there are teachers in the system who graduated from real schools with real degrees and don't make 1/4 of what she gets. This school board needs some serious updating.
Too many ludicrous proposals to even address. Can her.
Of course the best avenue would be to make other budget cuts in 2012 and 2013, but that won't happen so if ad valoreum taxes were increased to do away with the surcharges, at least it would be tax deductible.
$25.5 million for a bridge we didn't need and we don't get the pedestrian fishing walkway back, lose 3 more fishing accesses, 2 small boat launch sites, and 2 swimming sites. We lose the north view going off the Island, but we do get a youth sailing site. I frankly don't see how we came out ahead on this deal.
And for those who don't want a brown lawn but can't afford to water it, there is always "zero scape". Oh, that was outlawed years ago. Remember the guy who tried to put in astro turf? City forced him to remove it. From the policies above, it seems that the City wants homeowners to water lawns with potable water, to increase water demand and therefore water revenue. If you are going to legislate a class of users into using more water, you should also provide grey water to this class. Mr. Bergmann seems to either forget or ignore the simple fact that it is the City who creates the volume of potable water usage disparities among classes of users and therefore his plea to keep politics out of it holds no water (pun intended).
Living on Marco Island I can see a need for more museums, a philharmonic, a sports/convention center with an indoor track, raquetball courts, tennis courts and basketball courts, ice rink, indoor football and baseball parks, more dog parks, statues, art centers, a subway would be nice, more passive parks, a zoo, certainly a larger airport, more bike paths, and perhaps a university or two. I'm probably too old to see all this accomplished here. Let's see, where can I find all this? New York City! I guess I should have moved there instead.
Advice to those who want to forever change an Island Paradise: New York City awaits you!
If Marco Island needs an indoor track, I can see no reason why it doesn't need an indoor lake. There are many days when it is not ideal boating weather, and an indoor lake would alleviate that. As for ballrooms and a commercial kitchen, if that is needed I can see no reason why the Island isn't in need of a municipal convention center like McCormick Place in Chicago or the Moscone Center in San Francisco. If the Island needs more indoor basketball courts, truly it needs a New York Madison Square Garden or a San Antonio Alamodome.
This nonsense makes as much sense to me as the proposed Mackle Park Convention/Learning Center and Sportsplex.
Oh yeah, and if you add in the "temporary" 14% surcharge, which the above article excludes, you will be paying the highest rate of any of the communities to which they compare Marco Island. I wonder if I can exclude the 14% surcharge when I pay my water bill.
In reference to the water/sewer issue, the spin is that Marco Island is in the "middle of the pack". Let's look deeper. When considering base rates, Marco Island is number one for water and number seven for sewer out of the 20 communities listed. Combining base water and sewer Marco Island is the second highest, exceeded only by Sannibel. So all you conservation minded people out there, if you don't use one drop of water and add absolutely nothing to the sewer, you will be paying the second highest rate of the 20 communities listed. Now how's that spin doctors!
The only "noise" I hear is coming from City Hall. Mackle Park facility is junk...4th phase of master plan...needs to go through budget process...not until 2014. Reality: 3 phases was more than enough, stop the budget process, stop the planning; we don't need this thing and most importantly can't afford it. If this foolishness is stopped dead the noise will go away and we can go back to figuring out how we're going to pay for all the past foolishness.
According to what was estimated that it would cost each taxpayer, I should be entitled to 4 square feet. I want to name it. Unfortunately the name I would choose would not make it by the censors.
According to what was estimated that it would cost each taxpayer, I should be entitled to 4 square feet. I want to name it.
Terri DeScuillo wants an indoor track for the "kids". Kids play video games indoors. Ever hear parents use the expression "go outside and play"? I guess that should be changed to "go inside and play". I still can't fathom the need for an indoor track in southwest Florida. As for the "old folks" comment - get out any morning and look around. You'll see plenty of old folks walking, jogging, running OUTSIDE. Tourists come here and love it that they can get off the indoor treadmill up north and excercise outside here. No Ms.DeScuillo, this isn't for the kids or anybody else. This is an ego trip which you hope will culminate in getting a building named after yourself. And if you want to learn how to cook, i would suggest Johnson & Whales.
1. We don't need an indoor track, it's southwest Florida - run outside.2. We don't need indoor basketball courts, the present ones have a roof over them anyway.3. We don't need a commercial kitchen to cook hot dogs for City open houses4. We don't need classrooms, it's not going to be part of a school (or is it?)5. We don't need to compete with local clubs and businesses for wedding receptions and banquets.
Obviously staff at Dept. of Rec has spent considerable time putting this outrageous proposal together. If they did this on company time they don't have enough to do and layoffs in that dept. are more than appropriate.
Even if this thing were built for free (with Obama money), the yearly costs of this facility will fall squarely on the backs of Marco taxpayers.
As for marketing this for paid use: a marketing director will be hired and it won't bring in enough to pay his/her salary and benefits.
Who exactly is it that wants this so earnestly? Why?I've talked to over 50 people since this debacle raised its head, and not one has endorsed it. Maybe that's a small sample, but 0 out of 50 is statistically significant.
I dare the Council to allow this to go to a referendum. Double dare. Then we would see who really has a pulse on the views of Marco Islanders.
The want versus need factor again seemingly being overlooked, but in this case I can't even understand the want part. $6 million for an indoor track, basketball court, and cooking class! It's southwest Florida for goodness sake. What do we need an indoor track and basketball court for? My sons use the present basketball court and find it more than adequate. Wedding receptions at the basketball park? Whew, who makes this stuff up? Here are my recomendations: run on the beach, play basketball at the present facility, have your wedding reception at the Marriott, learn to cook in your own kitchen, and for your technology needs try Radio Shack. If this went to referendum, which I doubt the supporters will let happen, I would vote no way in a heartbeat. Not one dime, let alone $38.
On a final note, if you need to play indoors you should consider relocating to a big northern city where tracks, football fields, baseball fields etc. are all inside because it's -20 below zero outside 6 months out of the year.
In politics there are two types of people who always get it wrong: one because of greed and the other because of the lack of intuition and understanding. Fiala falls into the second group, and I'm not sure they aren't the more dangerous of the two. The County would have been better off if she had stayed in Maine following the Jackson junket.
Scott has not stated his position on the Collier project but said all proposed projects would be scrutinized for its return on taxpayers’ investment.
Good start. Now to see if he means it.
This is so wrong on so many levels I just can't put it all onto this blog. Suffice to say that for a few politicians to take our tax money that should be used for our benefit and give it to a private company for their benefit alone borders on criminal. The premise that this will create jobs is seriously flawed. It is the role of government to create an atmosphere where business (and thus job creation) can flourish. It is not the role of government (at least in the US)to hand out our money to companies so they don't have to take the investment risk themselves. This goes for all the subsidies that AJ talked about vis a vis ethanol, farm subsidies ad infinitum. I wish we had a line item veto on our tax bills. We would then be able to vote with our wallets, since they won't let us vote through referendum. I for one will be voting in the next election to make sure LaLa doesn't get another junket to Maine.
"$130,000,000 required from the taxpayers". Another $130,000,000 in matching from the State. Where did the State get the money? Taxpayers. So this is $260,000,000 of taxpayer money to create 200 jobs. $1,300,000 per job. This is insane. Give me $260,000,000 and I'll create 400 jobs - 400 guys cutting my grass at $480.00 each per week for the next 26 years. Robin Hood was an amateur.
Those of us who work hard and pay taxes should not be forced to pay for Jackson Labs relocation to Collier County. Give me roads, water, defense, etc. but leave these companies to their own devices to survive. If they are good, they will survive. Definitely not my job to subsidize them.
Sorry, missed that meeting! 15 new hydrants paid for by a change order in the STRP? Does that mean those in the STRP district get to split up the extra cost? 60 new hydrants cost $6 million = $100,000 each. 15 = $1.5 million. Who pays the extra cost added to STRP? How does that work?
Wow, not too often condo owners and single family residents are on the same page. What Mr. Herrmann is advocating is essentially what the advisory committee recommended. Council wants to spend more money on a consultant that will tell them something different. Why?
Fossil, you seem to be picking soley on business as a special interest. Big Labor Unions' forced union dues paid for Dem's election. Payback time. Ex big union lawyer appointed to NLRB by President; Harry Reid tries to ram through cardcheck bill (denies workers a secret ballot on whether or not to unionize); Obama/Reid/Pelosi try to get campaign disclosure bill (forces organizations who make campaign contributions to disclose names and addresses of donors - but exempts unions!); Obama/Reid/Pelosi push for a bill that would force all firefighters and police in the country to join union, whether they want to or not. A bill that would give all federal contracts to union companies only. I could go on but I think point is made.
The problem is the taxpayers' only recourse is to vote out the spendthrifts. But who do you choose on election day? They all say they will be fiscally responsible. I don't remember anyone running on a platform of donating $100,000.00 to the Historical Association or $60,000.00 to put a memorial in a park. I don't remember anyone saying "vote for me and I'll raise your taxes and fees". I don't remember any candidate running on a platform to put a streetlight every 30 feet on Collier Blvd. or buy Tract K. It seems that once elected most transform magically overnight. It must be so, because if not the only alternative is they harbored secret agendas during the campaign and overtly or covertly deceived the voters. I certainly hope the former is true for the benefit of my ongoing trust in people, but again, what can a poor voter do? If the past is any indication of the future, I see no salvation no matter how the next election turns out.
If you want something bad enough and can't pay for it yourself, the best coarse of action is to make sure you get people elected who will get it for you by making everyone else pay. If there are still detractors, review it until you get the results you want. This was as true with bicycle paths, bridges, Collier lights, tennis courts, ballparks, exotic tree plantings, Marco Man statue, and the City Hall palace as it is with the current water/sewer rate issue.
Mr. Foster, as you must now well be aware, science, empiracle unbiased evidence, and indeed fairness has nothing to do with it.
This is political science. It is taught in colleges and universities. It is the science of getting the wishes of the few put on the backs of the many. It is as old as civilization. It just seems that on Marco it has been elevated to an art form. As such it becomes something to be appreciated and accepted in and of itself. It becomes a first principle, and first principles are rarely dissected. They become the platform from which all further exploration and debate ensues.
Bar Harbor: State income tax rate: 6.5% Weather: It's Maine! Transportation: Dog Sleds Airport: Bush Pilots Collier Co.: State income tax rate: 0 Weather = It's SW Florida! Transportation: I75 Airport: SW Regional
We need to spend $130,000,000 to get them to come here? IQ tests all around!
Don't know where they are getting these figures. My bill looks like this:Sewer Base $22.75Sewer Usage 27.00 (don't know how I used the sewer with no one there last month)Water Base 27.90Water Usage 30.48STRP Street tax 15.15Total 123.28
So from which line(s) will my $25 savings come from?
I generally agree with Mr. Columbo's comments, but take minor exception to his "understanding" of aproval of the higher millage rate to preserve the "Cap". The Cap provision was enacted because the vast majority of voters would not approve cityhood without some type of charter provision protecting taxpayers from runnaway city spending. It appears that the Cap provision has now been turned on its head and has obviously become a use it or lose it proposition for those who insist on rampant spending. Mr. Columbo is very kind in his understanding, but I am not. Council should abide by the will and intent of the people who voted for cityhood only because of the Cap. They had no way of knowing its future use would promote more unwanted tax increases.
I am also aware of recent failed efforts to "fix" the cap, but now I become the "understanding" one because City "fixes" since 2002 have been disasterous.
I doubt that I will get my Snook Permit money back.
I'm not convinced there isn't a more cost effective solution to this issue than to spend millions of $$ for more hydrants. There are too many communities that are well served without fire hydrants every 500 feet. In a city that will form a committee to study how it charges for water use, then spent $50,000.00 to redo the committee's findings, it seems odd that a more concerted effort could not be made to find alternative solutions. Good video AJM. Looks like a good place to start.
Eliminate a police position then spend $50,000.00 on a consultant to redo what a very competent committee made up of accountants and other qualified people worked for months to accomplish for free. Unbelievable.
We want a bike lane, we want more ballparks, we want a dog park, we want a museum, we want tennis courts, we want a sewer, we want a new 4 lane bridge over the Marco River, we want a city with its own palace and police and fire dept. and council and manager and publicist, we want more street lights on Collier Blvd. we want a school, we want a bridge over a canal that would dwarf the Golden Gate, we don't want boats anchoring behind our houses, we want a nature park with bald eagles and nature trails, we want a statue people will call Marco Man. I've seen all this and more. Here is what I want: The Marco Island paradise that had an abandoned WWII radar station located on the southern tip of the beach where the Vegas style condos now sit. I want Coconut Island back. As you will note, there isn't one group on this island I haven't just made an enemy. I guess such is the plot of a simple man with simple needs.
I need some guidance here. The article talked about fining banks for not hooking up foreclosures to the sewers, and the banks refuse to pay them. If I refused, what would happen to me? It talked about code violations not being paid. If I refused what would happen to me? Seawalls falling in the canal - what would happen to me if I did that? Just curious.
As popeye would say "I can't stands no more!" Klabautermann I find your blogs extremely difficult to read and equally difficult to understand. As such, I really don't know if I agree with your comments or not. I have heard that english as a second language can be difficult, and you are surely intelligent and to be commended for attempting to communicaate in a foreign language. However, may I suggest Livemocha (excellent language program), or at least having your comments reviewed by someone literate in the language used in these blogs before you post? Thanks so much.
This is about economics, not about laying off the best or the worst. You lay off the most expensive. Assuming the dept. needs a chief, he is immune.
Estimated 153,000 linear ft. (~29 miles)of boom needed to protect Marco area. ~12 miles from Isles of Capri to Cape Romano. Sounds like enough. The question becomes where is it, and will it work. These questions are not academic exercises, they are empiracle and enough data is available to answer them. We are in for a world of hurt WHEN the oil hits us, and it would seem the true paradox will occur when years from now we lament how we could have saved the Island if we had only answered these two questions while we had the time. You may agree or disagree with people like Rodger Hall, but after talking to my friend who works for an oil cleanup company (he is now in Louisiana personally charged with cleaning up 150 miles of coastline), I doubt if we can rely on the State or Federal government to save us from this disaster. Circle the wagons Marco and remember: you can always apologize later!
Ian,Thank you. No matter if Marco gets a school or not, Lely will remain tuition free to Marco residents. Whether or not Marco school gets a charter will determine if additional funding (tuition) is needed for that school. If I have this right my mind is made up on this issue.
I have not made up my mind on this issue, but I do have question that doesn't seem to have been addressed in anything I have read. If a high school is built on Marco, do my school taxes go to that school? If they do, and I choose Lely, will I have to pay a tuition to Lely? Conversely, if my taxes go to Lely, would I have to pay a tuition to the Marco school if I choose that one? I just can't believe that my tax dollars will allow me to choose either school and I won't be responsible for any out of district tuition, regardless of my "choice". If my gut feeling is correct, the privilege of choice will come at a tuition price, depending on which way this goes. Someone please enlighten me on this!
This bridge looks like it is meant to go across Chesapeake Bay! It's only going to span less than a couple hundred feet! Good grief.
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