Marco Island selects new planning board member following Finkle's death

Marco Island planning board meets Aug. 2, 2019. From left to right: Harry "Mike" Finkle, David Vergo, Edgar "Ed" Issler, Ron Goldstein, Claire Babrowski, Jason Bailey and Joe Rola.

Marco Island City Council confirmed Tom E. Swartz as the newest planning board member following the death of former member Harry "Mike" Finkle.

City Council Chairperson Erik Brechnitz nominated Swartz, who was confirmed without debate Monday.

Swartz, a Marco resident for more than 15 years, has served in several Island Country Club committees and is a third generation owner of a construction company based in Decatur, Illinois, according to his board application.

In Decatur, Swartz served in the board of appeals, and became chairman of several councils at the National Association of Home Builders. He is also past president of Rotary Club in Decatur. 

Swartz did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Finkle died unexpectedly Feb. 11 at Naples Community Hospital, according to his obituary. His term at the board was set to expire in 2023.

Council confirms Cummings to beautification committee

City Council also confirmed Mary B. Cummings as member of the beautification advisory committee.

Brechnitz nominated Cummings, who was confirmed without debate the same day as Swartz, following the resignation of former member Maria Bachich.

Cummings, a two-year Marco resident, is a member of San Marco Catholic Church's Council of Catholic Women and volunteers with Our Daily Bread food pantry. She is also a former teacher and Girl Scout leader.

Visiting her family on Marco Island since 1992, Cummings wrote in her application she loves her new home.

"Marco Island is paradise not only because of the beautiful natural resources and wonderful climate, but also because of the generous and welcoming community," she wrote.

Cummings wrote the committee has been instrumental in "keeping a healthy balance in our ecosystems."

"We have the obligation to support and promote the goal of beautiful and beneficial surroundings while maintaining good stewardship practices," she wrote. 

Cummings wrote to the Eagle she is looking forward to work with fellow members.

"I am looking forward to joining this group and helping the committee continue to support Marco Islanders in maintaining the beauty and health of our shared piece of paradise," she wrote May 7.

Omar Rodríguez Ortiz is a community reporter for Naples Daily News and Marco Eagle. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram as @Omar_fromPR, and on Facebook. Support his work by subscribing to Naples Daily News.