Comments by tnjessen

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Written on Marco Island business accused of motorcycle manufacturing, code violation:

Is there any question as to what they are doing?

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Toni Jessen

Written on Marco Island business accused of motorcycle manufacturing, code violation:

I don't know all the issues but I do believe that if a company advertises doing something that is not allowed in the codes then that company would be in violation.

If this is the case then any mention of manufacturing would need to be removed from all advertisements which would include the website.

If this is the case then the people or the city that brought the accusation forward would not be charging false accusations.

This might be something some of us need to at least consider.

Toni Jessen

Written on Marathon's Hernstadt will be Marco Island's new city manager:

in response to Ian_Curtis:

I thought the same thing. But if you look closer he is quoting Bill from something he wrote.

To Bill Harris,

In reading the comment from Ian_Curtis I see I made a very big mistake. Please accept my apologies for linking the two of you!

Toni Jessen
Marco Island

Written on Marathon's Hernstadt will be Marco Island's new city manager:

in response to Konfuzius:

What a great article:

"Even more shame on our esteemed city council. And shame on me! They almost had me convinced at last evening’s council meeting that they would finally, at long last, surprise me by hiring someone other than their clearly preferred “Mister X” (Roger Hernstadt).

They even brought it to a 4-3 vote to hire his opponent, Calvin Peck. Alas, it was not to be. Our chairman changed his vote, and following the second 4-3 vote, our chairman threatened council that they would stay all night to arrive at a charter-mandated supermajority vote of 5-2. Then, the chairman instituted another of his calls for recess. And, magically, someone convinced Calvin Peck to withdraw during that recess. I suppose council thought it was better to go home early than to hire someone other than Mister X. As Chuck Kiester said, I just want to go home, you know “Marco's Midnight.”

Poor governance, poor management, and a poor way to treat the citizens of Marco, and Calvin Peck.

I recall the Interim City Manager indicating that all city employees should “avoid even the appearance of impropriety” in his firing of Bryan Milk without due process; perhaps he and our city council should heed that advice. The last I looked, since the council gets paid by the city, they are also city employees.

Bill Harris

Marco Island"

To Mr. Bill Harris,

I like to read comments from MI residents regarding various topics as I'm sure others do too. Every blog seems to include comments from KONFUZIUS and end up with some crazy rant for the most part. I think you blew your identity with your recent sign off as Bill Harris. I don't know you but I've listened to your comments at council meetings and thought many of the things you said were true and spot on. Now that I know your true identity you've lost credibility with me. If you can't say something without putting your name next to it then don't say it at all. I'm a huge supporter of this city getting its business in order and agree there are a lot of problems. I also believe this council that you keep bashing is the best council Marco has seen in a long time. They put in a tremendous amount of hours, they are interested in what the public has to say, and certainly seem passionate in their debates. Although the meetings may not always be professional or run the way we want I feel they are giving it their all and are doing what they believe is right.

Toni Jessen
Marco Island

Written on Marco city employee suspended pending investigation into zoning change for former business partner:

in response to GorgonZola:

Aaaaah yes, marcochoosehs I can only hope you are correct with your first few sentences about more attention being paid to city employees who take advantage of their positions by holding second jobs where they are supplying insider information. Unfortunately, as for Milk, I think he has been 'sour' for a loooong time now, or as my dear wife would say, "Karma has come calling at last" -- and hoping someone will look into his longtime association with that particular business. If it walks like a duck -----
Building dept.'s B. Maher was dumped for a lot less that this (but someone had to take the blame).
Sharpen your antennae -- if a temporary city manager takes strong steps like this, you can bet there is a lot more than meets the eye here -- bound to be a fire with this much smoke. Don't expect to know the whole story ---

Very well said!

Written on Marco police conduct death investigation:

What I would like to know is why we never see a follow-up to these death investigations. Off the top of my head I can name about 8 deaths in the last year and a half and don't see a follow-up as to cause of death. Reporters aren't following up and the city probably likes it that way.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Two no-nos for Marco :

I've been here for almost 4 years and for the 1st time I have hope for better things to come. The new council has done a great job in the little time they have been in place. Yes, there is much more to accomplish but they need to be given the time to fix or undo all that is wrong which cannot be done overnight. I can see a huge difference in their genuine interest and dedication to the island. They are questioning things that need to be questioned and don't seem to be afraid to go against each other when they disagree. I hope this trend continues as I see it as very positive.

Written on Letter to the Editor: Our island is going to sink!:

in response to WMissow:

Just in case you ask. Three that I have had the opportunity to see for myself are all on canal properties.

Basements on canals....Building department states there are no basements on Marco. I've never gotten a straight answer from them on any of my questions but why would they deny there are homes with basements on the island.

Written on Some Marco Island councilors vexed about Capri fire district decision, plan full airing May 6:

in response to marcofriend:

Well, since Honig and Batte were the ones supporting Riviere with glowing high marks and such perfection, how the heck could this have possibly happened...................

Couldn't have said it better than this.

Toni Jessen
Marco Island

Written on Troubled Marco Marine Construction denied license:

I’m encouraged to see the Eagle finally reporting this but discouraged with the lack of information. The last story about this troubled company written by the Marco Eagle in 2009 failed in doing a follow-up story. Thank you Eagle for reporting the outcome of the decision yesterday but in the future please take the time to investigate what you’re reporting.
Toni Jessen Marco Island

Written on Letter to the Editor: Smoke and mirrors:

Mr. Recker - What I was trying to say at Council last night was this. Your words about the great employees of the city was very kind on your part, however questionable timing. I also attempted to say that of all the departments you spent so much of your time with you failed to mention the Building Dept. You know... the one that has been getting complaints, where inspectors were not licensed properly and was proven to be true by the DBPR. There are now questions into other licenses among this same group.I have been in front of council on several occasions telling you that much of the same that has happened in the past continues to this very day. This isn't something I've just announced I have lots to prove this yet not one member has made any attempt to contact me. Hmmmm! As for the ability to get everything off the city website is a joke. I personally can say that the new building permit system does not provide a lot of the information from the old system and because of that I must make public records request. While on that subject it should be no surprise to you that people have complained, there have been lawsuits in the past and present where the public records are not being given etc.

I see many people going through what I have which is when a citizen is attempting to inform you (council) of something they have been unsuccesful with when dealing with the city and go before you as a last resort. I se nothing but blank faces and virtually no response.

We need a new council with new ideas and open minds. This council appears to have its own agenda which is exactly what you accuse the new candidates of having.

Your wonderful write up of the city would have been a truly nice thing to do coming from a councilor, BUT your first few sentences took all that away when you tried to paint your opponents as the bad guys. The nice gesture then became a way to attack them while using employees at the same time.

Toni Jessen

Written on Guest Commentary: The making of a good candidate :

The commentary could have been written without naming names.

As for telling the candidates to do their homework and ask questions I have no doubt they have done the best they could. Trying to get information or a straight answer out of the city does not come easy. In fact for some of us it doesn't come at all.

I've met several of the candidates and see how hard they are working. It is also my belief that most have not had their hands in the pot for years on end. Out with the old and in with the new. We need new ideas, strategies, trust and transparency along with councilors that are willing to listen.

Thank goodness for all the new candidates!!!

Good Luck

Written on Firestorm: Marco Island City Council chambers packed for spur-of-the-moment meeting on inspections :

Klaus - your apology is accepted and appreciated. I never asked for the problems I've encountered I am only trying to make people aware.
People should be outraged when these things happen as taxpayers are the ones that suffer. I prevailed in rectifying the problem with the one contractor only because I pursued heavily and finally obtained all the documentation to prove I was right. I am currently in the process of doing the same with the second contractor and know I will eventually prevail. In the meantime though, it is the city building official that has made this so difficult.
You see when a building official signs off on something (whether right or wrong) his word is like gold. You have to go to great lengths to have his answer overturned. Most people don’t realize there is a process they can pursue or they walk away because the process is time consuming and a financial burden. In my situation I have the facts and documents to prove he should not have signed off on the contractors work but now I have the hurdle in getting that overturned which is and has been a financial burden and has taken me away from my family many times while they are in Illinois and I’m in Marco trying to work this.
Both of the jobs I had done have unfortunately turned into large problems which I have to deal with because I hired them. The government requires permits and inspections which would be fine if they did their jobs. When something goes wrong they look the other way and the tax payer is stuck with all of the expense and burden. Not everyone has the time or money to pursue things such as I have and would have given up long ago. They may end up with substandard work that in the end could cause harm.

Written on Firestorm: Marco Island City Council chambers packed for spur-of-the-moment meeting on inspections :

They are strong accusations but they are true and there is plenty of documentation to back it up. All documents would provide one with facts that would make most peoples head spin. I welcomed others to any and all documents I have regarding this and this goes out to you also. Funny thing is that people want to give an opinion but won't get the facts as I offered. Klaus - please give me a call and I will drive the papers over to you to look at and then I would love to have your opinion. Toni Jessen 847-962-3306. As stated in front of council and CCLB I am a voice for those citizens such as the elderly or the people not living here year round to speak up and ask for the government to do their job as they are the ones requiring permits. They need to do their jobs and do them right.

Written on Firestorm: Marco Island City Council chambers packed for spur-of-the-moment meeting on inspections :

Mr. Breeze - Kudos to you for taking a strong stand filled with pride and principles. I have no doubt there are many good contractors in the business like you and only wish that I was lucky enough to get one. When we had problems with two different contractors I went to the city and pulled all the paperwork. I thought I would look to the inspectors to find why certain things occurred or did not occur. Rather than getting help from the city I was ignored when it came to light that the work these contractors did had not been inspected.
The first contractor could not dispute my proof because they were given a choice to either fix the problem they created or go in front of the licensing board to be disciplined. They chose to rectify the situation. The city, however, continues to ignore the fact that they are liable too as they didn’t inspect the job and even stood by their so called inspection until the yard was dug up and they were proved wrong.
The second contractor is playing the denial game which has forced me to obtain legal assistance. The city, knowing they have the proof, decided to ignore & deny rather than accept liability. Their only interest is to protect the employee. While working with other contractors to fix things I discovered the city plumbing inspector used to work for the contractor that I have the problem with. Hmmmm
My husband who is in the trades (out of state) says it’s not normal for a contractor to like the inspectors, it’s just a fact. So when Riviere said he was bothered by the fact that everyone was so buddy, buddy he knew exactly what he was saying.

Written on Contractors raise the roof on Marco Island city manager's decision to move building inspectors to Naples :

Conchsoup - Due to my situation I've compared how and when inspections are done between Marco and Collier County. The two don't come close and as simple as it may be for Marco to fix things they choose not to. Accuracy, honesty, thoroughness, and integrity are too much to ask of these unscrupulous inspectors.

Written on Contractors raise the roof on Marco Island city manager's decision to move building inspectors to Naples :

Conchsoup - Again, please educate yourself in my matter if you care to pass judgement.

Your simple minded comment about a mistake of a building inspector clearly shows your mentality!

If things were as simple as you make them out to be it would be a better place, wouldn't it?

Do you always make comments about things you know nothing about? Now that's a bit crazy.

Written on Contractors raise the roof on Marco Island city manager's decision to move building inspectors to Naples :

What is truly sad is the negative comments in that this is something I never asked for. I have fellow citizens ready to correct me and crucify me for this. This is something that affects all of us. It could be you, or your kids or your neighbor that deals with something such as this. I am one to speak up when something is wrong yet others only look the other way or comment on something they no little about. I know what has happened at my home and I also know I'm not the only one. I have also found others recently that this has happened to only they are too afraid to speak out. WHY because of commentators such as the ones I directed my comments to.
I can only wonder who these anonymous people are and can't help but to think they are with the city or with the contractors that harmed me with their unethical business practices.

Written on Contractors raise the roof on Marco Island city manager's decision to move building inspectors to Naples :

Conchsoup- you only reviewed "some" of the documents and missed 90%. It has taken me over a year to deal with the various entities and you are trying to figure it all out in minutes with careless research. Please refrain until you have all facts!!

Plumbing - inspector did not go under my home and inspect as he signed off that he did. How do I know? Just pull all the documents as it is so glaring you should have no trouble seeing the issues.

Seawall - inspector said that 11 concrete blocks were installed back about 14 feet. Just look at the evidence at the city and county and lo and behold you will see my concrete blocks only consisted of 9 and they were approximately 10 feet back. HUGE difference and the job done becomes absolutely useless for its purpose.

My offer goes out to you too. Please feel free to contact the city and county for official records but make sure you request ALL of them. If you would rather I would be more than happy to supply them. I urge anyone that wants real facts to this story and many more to make the proper inquiries or my door is always open. My number is 847-962-3306 but don't call if you are anonymous.
Toni Jessen

Written on Contractors raise the roof on Marco Island city manager's decision to move building inspectors to Naples :

To: Bigdog1970 and 26yearsonmarco
Please get your facts straight!
I invite both of you to my home so that any future comments you make will be “informed” ones.
Incorrect fact – I’m not Mr. Jessen I’m Mrs. Toni Jessen (Toni with an i)
Incorrect fact - Owner/Builder permits have nothing to do with the missing/incorrect inspections of work done on my home.
The owner/builder permit you refer to is not where I had the problem; in fact, the permit was taken to correct one of the problems.
Permit #095457 plumbing permit – damage done under the home while this job was being done.
Permit #101390 seawall permit – job was signed off as being done by what was inspected. Yard completely torn up to prove it was not. City denied it until they saw the work themselves. Contractor had no choice but to admit guilt. The city immediately stopped responding once they realized their inspector did not inspect.
Documents to back my problems can be obtained through a public records request to the City of Marco Island and the Collier County Contractors Licensing Dept. or I would be happy to sit with you or send you all the relevant information.

Written on Contractors raise the roof on Marco Island city manager's decision to move building inspectors to Naples :

Cheryl Ferrera was at the council meeting and heard what I said to council at community forum. She didn't ask me for a comment on the changes that will be occuring. The Marco Eagle only prints what they want even if it means leaving important pieces out. The DBPR found probable cause against all 4 of the inspectors,a very serious charge, yet she didn't mention that either.
Toni Jessen

Written on Contractors raise the roof on Marco Island city manager's decision to move building inspectors to Naples :

Did anyone happen to watch the council meeting? Did anyone happen to hear me, Toni Jessen, a homeowner that has been harmed? Two different construction jobs and both were completely screwed up. The contractor is at fault for doing what they did but the city is at fault for passing the inspections. Well my paperwork proves otherwise, that these inspections didn't take place. Did anyone hear me say it is still going on? Apparently not everyone pays attention to what is going on.
Toni Jessen

Written on Letter to the Editor: Marco Island needs a new City Council and I’m volunteering!:

I'm backing you 100%!!!

Let us know how we can help you:)

Toni Jessen

Written on Marco Police investigate death of 34-year-old man:

To the Armstrong family: My Condolences to the family. I don't know him personally but I do know he held one of the most important jobs one could have. As a parent my heart goes out to you at this very sad time.

God bless
Toni Jessen

Written on Marco Police investigate death of 34-year-old man:

To the Eagle: Why does every other newspaper and tv station headline the news as Former Marco Fire Department Fire Inspector found dead. This should be headline news. As far as I know he was with the department as recent as last year it's not like he worked there years ago.

A man who served the community as an employee of the Marco Fire Dept. in the City of Marco Island should be headline news along with a few words from the Chief.


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

Riviere provided a perfect example of the politics in this city. He made the decision to change the speed limit but didn't think it important enough to give council a heads up. This makes all of them look bad and adds to the lack of trust by the public.

Just because one has the authority to make a decision without input from others doesn't mean it's a good idea.

How many scenarios like this shall we anticipate??? Very disappointing to say the least. Thumbs down again.

Written on What grade would you give Commissioner Georgia Hiller?:

Great to see someone in Government that is trying to ask the questions no one else will. I wish more people in government would do this and then maybe we can begin the trust that most of us don't have. Maybe the rest of the council could learn a few things.

Excellent job Georgia - don't change a thing!

Written on Letter to the Editor: Let’s ask some questions:

Maybe the city isn't legally required to provide "information" but I'm sure if they did it would eliminate the storm clouds that brew above the roof top at 50 Bald Eagle Marco.

Question - how much money is spent annually on overtime expenses within the building department.

Answer - we don't track overtime

This is just WRONG

Toni Jessen

Written on Letter to the Editor: Let’s ask some questions:

Continued email - Toni Jessen(homeowner) asking questions

Ms. Litzan,

In regards to your response I have a few additional questions.

1) No records tracking overtime for the building department.

Do the other departments track overtime? If they do, why wouldn't the building dept? If the other departments don't track overtime is there a record of total overtime for the city (lumped together)?

2) Do you have the average percentage of raises overall for all employees? Also, has there been any raise freezes since inception of the city?

3) No list exists of inspectors that are no longer employed. Does this mean if there were prior inspectors you would not have records of their employment? I believe the building department has had, for the most part, the same inspectors. Can you tell me if there have been any other inspectors, no longer employed, that were electrical, mechanical, structural, plumbing, plans examiners or officials?

4) I did review the CAFR but had a few questions, who can I speak with regarding the report?

Toni Jessen

Ms. Jessen-

The statutory obligation of the custodian of public records (City Clerk) is to provide access to, or copies of, public records, provided that the required fees are paid. However, the custodian is not required to give out information from the records. The Public Records Act does not require a city to produce an employee, such as financial officer, to answer questions regarding the financial records of the city.

Your questions are requests for “information” - not public records. If you have a request for a public record we will promptly respond to that request, as required by FS 119.

Laura Litzan
City Clerk
City of Marco Island

Written on Letter to the Editor: Let’s ask some questions:

Here is a portion of an mail to the city clerk and her response.

Ms. Litzan:
I would like to make the following public records request.
1) An annual dollar amount of overtime pay for the building department. Time period - 2005 thru current.
2) Average employee raise in the building department. Time period - 2005 to current
3) An accounting of revenues and expenses for the building department - Time period 2005 - current
4) A list of any inspectors in the building department that are no longer employed
Thank you again for your help.
Toni Jessen

Ms. Jessen
We do not keep records that track overtime pay for the building department, the average raises in the building department, or a list of inspectors no longer employed.The information regarding the revenues and expenses for the building department is contained in the CAFR, which is on the website.
Laura Litzan
City Clerk
City of Marco Island

Continued please look for next comment

Written on Letter to the Editor: Let’s ask some questions:

Mr. Schuett,

Great comments and suggestions!

Some people are asking the questions!

Unfortunately it appears the city employees aren't used to being asked questions. When asked they react as if it were their own personal information and appear to be defensive or obstructive.

The city likes to hide behind FS 119 or any other statute that allows them to deny requests.

As an example -

I will post my question to the city clerk and her response follwing this comment.

Toni Jessen

Written on City Hall renovations, updated website aim to improve customer service:

in response to Marconian:

Your statement is only of the the complete negative maybe you should return to where you came from. The men and women in the trenches or the ones you call (all the way down) get there direction from the top so if your call is not transfered to them to address your concern you cant blame them our islands general employees are some of the best and most talented in the state that is why they are here but if you notice morale and attitudes starting to dwindle from our islands general employees it may be in part of gaining more and more work load all the while not being offered raises or cost of living for about 3-4 years now. and as another above blogger posted the city continues to purchase nice to have items spending millions in total all the while telling the ones who make this island function we have no money & we are broke. so you might want to spend a little time to truly see the facts before you go blowing off at the mouth about what disappoints you. sorry if that sounds rough or crude but the truth usually is.
so in whole its not the hard working folks you see out at midnight fixing that broken pipe so you can have water or on the roadsides working or in the ditches making repairs that cause your problems that would be the political fiasco we call City council/manager that are to busy filling their days with over thinking and coming up with over the top decisions only to satisfy there own wants.

Marconian - No raises and increased workloads are happening everyday in many places. In some cases people don't even have a job. This does not EXCUSE you from treating people with respect, returning calls,providing correct answers or acting in a poor manner with islanders, co-workers etc. As an employee for a large corporation for more than 15 years I dealt with low raises, no raises and always an increased workload. I treated this as an opportunity and used it to my benefit. The one that holds up in times like these will be rewarded one day when times are better. The boss will remember the ones that did little or no complaining, treated customers with respect, completed their duties, AND always looked for ways to make their job more efficient, therefore lowering future workloads.

I know the facts more than you think I do. I'm not just spouting off aimlessly. Unfortunately, when a large percentage of employees treat people with disrespect the entire group is put in this category. There are always some very hard working, exceptionally wonderful workers with a work ethic that makes them what and who they are. Those people should know who they are and the people above them too. I truly believe the ones that can weather the storms are the ones that will stand out in the end. Good luck to you Marconian. I'm sure your job at the city is tough especially if you are one of the few good ones I talked about. Hang in there and think of the unemployed that would love to just have a job.

BTW - cust serv is provided and expected within all business and by all job titles. In fact, the city manager, or Pres. or VP is held at a higher standard (or should be). My complaints in regards to the city most definately include the top guy and the terrible customer service.

Still disappointed :(

Written on City Hall renovations, updated website aim to improve customer service:

The wording used in the article "to improve customer service". Customer service comes from the employees. A website can also serve to improve customer service.

Customer service is one of the most important in any business. The service provided from the city is terrible. Phone calls are not returned, emails are not answered, communication is horrendous starting with the top guy all the way down. As for the website it looks different but the information if anything has less now than it did just a few months ago. As a big proponent of the interenet and websites I am truly disappointed of the information that is now gone. Looks do not matter if the service and information you are seeking is not there or never answered. What steps are being taken to improve the person to person basic skills that most of us have?
Another disappointed newcomer to the island!

Written on Marco Island code board stays together, for now:

Kudos to the board for having backbone to keep Carol Glassman. I was stunned to read that coucilman Kiester asked for her resignation via newspaper. Kiester may have been allowed to ask for the resignation but to do it the way he did was simply wrong. No one should ever be treated in this way ESPECIALLY a volunteer. Even an employer would talk with the person beforehand and most would give someone another chance.

With all that said I still can't figure out how this poor woman could be judged & convicted by her vote to adjourn. It was quite clear that there is little to no communication between the city and the board. The board was obviously surprised and confused by the information they received in the 11/9 meeting. The disbanding of the board was also a surprise. Then $7,000 is spent on the atty for what most new nothing about. Simply inexcusable.

Enough spending!

New resident

Written on Marcophiles: Marco city manager talks payrolls, cutting costs and more:

I had to pay the city for 2 hours of clerical work at $24.00 per hour equaling $48.00 to get a copy of two permits less than a few months old. I was told they had to search boxes for them. My business side simply can't understand or justify this charge. No matter what the situation any type of customer information should be filed by permit number or name. Now if it's in boxes and costing me near 50 bucks for someone to search this tells me they are not very organized and maybe overtime in this area should be looked at much closer. No rocket scientist to have a good filing system whether in a drawer, box or computer. Please! I worked hard for the $50 it cost to get these copies. Toni Jessen

Written on PHOTOS: Marco council wrestles with seawalls, new fire station and bridge construction:

Lance Shearer - I find it very disheartening that you provided Marco residents with my name as a resident and stating that I had complaints about a contractor working near my house. NOT!

You need to clean your ears out, get a new profression or commit to writing with accuracy. I stood up in front of council way too long and way too emotional for you to have missed the boat. Could this possibly be a political issue or maybe too controversial?

I presented serious questions to the council members in regards to the building department, their processes and documentation or lack of. I spoke of the contractor Marco Marine Construction.

A paper needs to report responsibly and accurately.

Toni Jessen

Written on VIDEO: Local couple knows what it takes to stay in love for 70 years:

What a beautiful story! My parents too had a wonderful marriage and life together. There are very few couples like you two today. Others should learn what true love and life are all about. You are truly inspirational and thank you for sharing such a wonderful story.

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