Marco Island City Council approved a resolution Monday to create a non-profit to help fund city-owned parks.

The Marco Island Community Parks Foundation's board will consist of seven voting members including six who will be appointed by City Council, chairperson Erik Brechnitz said.

The remaining member of the board will automatically be the chairperson of the Parks and Recreation Committee. 

A debate ensued on how many members the board should have and how they should be selected but ultimately it did not result in amendments to the resolution or to the organization's articles of incorporation.

Brechnitz said councilors can nominate people to the board but City Council will ultimately decide who is selected.

"My intent was to have the entire council vote on each candidate as opposed to rubber stamping one councilor's recommendation," Brechnitz said.

Brechnitz said this is different to advisory committees' selection process where each councilor selects one member who is then approved by City Council with little or no debate. 

From December: City Council may soon approve non-profit to help fund Marco parks

"The people that are going to be on this board is people who can raise money and [...] have experience in developing activities," Brechnitz said.

City Council approved the resolution 6-1 with the opposing vote of councilor Sam Young.

The foundation will offer people the opportunity to make tax-free donations for the renovation of Veterans' Community Park, Brechnitz said in a City Council meeting last month. 

"It allows the Parks and Rec committee to go out and solicit large donations," Brechnitz said. "We have no other way to collect those donations."

Brechnitz said it will also allow donors to make tax-free gifts from an IRA.

The non-profit will be responsible for raising funds for city parks maintenance, capital improvements and technological and safety enhancements, according to the articles of incorporation.

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