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Due to a malfunction in the city’s audio/visual equipment at Tuesday evening’s regularly scheduled council meeting, the Marco Island City Council passed on hearing from department heads’ monthly reports and instead abbreviated the planned agenda.

Council did approve a proclamation declaring Feb. 3 as Cultural Arts Day to coincide with the planned Cultural Carnivale to celebrate the arts at the Rose History Auditorium. There is no charge to attend from 6-8 p.m.

The Italian American Society also presented of a check for $2,000 for the construction of a new bocce court at Mackle Park. The court is something the group had pushed for and the donation represented funds raised for the project.

Esplanade issue close to settlement

City Attorney Alan Gabriel gave an abbreviated report on negotiations between himself and the attorney for The Esplanade properties on ongoing issues with the replacement of the Smokehouse Bay Bridge and how Esplanade 1 and Esplanade Marina Association members felt it impacted them.

Since a former city administration failed to file the appropriate easement documentation with the developer’s agreement when that paperwork was filed with Collier County, the city will now pay for those easement rights as part of an understanding with the Esplanade 1 Association.

In addition to that issue, the city attorney also said he has been negotiating an understanding with the Esplanade Marina Association and they have also reached a consideration.

The cost to the city, including attorney’s fees, would be $83,915.43 and should bring to a close a protracted disagreement between the parties.

Land development

An amendment to the Land Development Code was approved by council 7-0, which would provide for an appeals process for single-family homes for structural and site-design guideline review.

There was some discussion as to whether or not a piecemeal approach to LDC issues was the correct way to proceed. Council member Amadeo Petricca thought the code in its entirety should be looked at.

“I’d be more comfortable it we look at it in its entirety, instead of this one-off approach,” said Petricca.

City Manager review Feb. 1

City Manager Roger Hernstadt will have his annual review at the Feb. 1 council meeting. The subject was brought up by Councilman Larry Honig. He also questioned whether or not it would be appropriate to hold a similar review of the city attorney’s tenure.

Council member Ken Honecker said in the 15-year history of the city, that has never been done before. His colleagues agreed and decided to focus on a review of the manager and his accomplishments.

In other action, some council members voiced unease at holding a workshop to look at how to streamline their processes and a number of other issues because it would not be streamed live to constituents due to problems with the audio/video feed.

Others voiced concern over not having the matters better defined so the public might be more informed of what they would be discussing. As such, they moved the workshop to 1 p.m. on Feb. 1.

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