Marco Island City Council selects Folley to fill Young's vacancy

Greg Folley speaks during a Marco Island City Council meeting on June 1, 2020.

Marco Island City Council selected Greg Folley on Monday as its new member following the resignation of former Councilor Sam Young.

Folley said he looks forward to serving the community by "holding the line on tax liability" and achieving "maximum value for tax payers' dollars." 

"I'm excited about the opportunity to make a contribution and [...] I look forward to serving the city," he said.

Council members voted 4-2 on secret ballots to select Folley following a tie with Joseph Rola, a member of the city's planning board. The third finalist was Phares Heindl, a past member and chairperson of the city's waterways advisory committee.

Unlike the other two finalists, Folley has not been a member of a city board or committee. 

"Coming to a new role [...] I like to listen carefully, ask questions and question some more," he said. "I found out that is the most effective way to come up to speed and learn about a new opportunity."

Folley wrote to the Marco Eagle on May 18 that his 40-plus years experience as an attorney and business executive for Caterpillar Inc. made him the ideal candidate. He served as chief human resources officer and chief innovation officer.

"I think my experience in such a variety of areas is highly unusual and will provide a unique perspective in helping the city to successfully address the issues facing it in the years to come," he wrote.

Folley wrote he wanted to be city councilor to contribute to the city he loves.

"I will do so with the recognition that government exists to serve the citizens it represents and protect their rights and liberties, first and foremost," he wrote.

Folley also wrote that one of his priorities is to support "smart growth" while protecting the beaches, waterways and public spaces.

"I want to assure that we deliver maximum value for our citizens, [...] that all money spent drives real benefit for our city and its residents, and in a manner that minimizes the tax burden," he wrote.

Marco Island City Councilor Greg Folley is sworn in during a meeting on June 1, 2020.

In case you missed it:Marco Island selects finalists for City Council seat following Young's resignation

On May 18, City Council selected three finalists to fill the vacancy. The applicants who were not selected were Richard Blonna and Ronald Goldstein.

Last week councilors individually interviewed each finalist.

Section 3.05(3) of the city charter provides a process for filling a City Council vacancy, according to the city. If the remainder of the unexpired term exceeds 28 months, the remaining council members must appoint a person to fill the vacancy by a majority vote within 60 days.

Young's term would have expired Nov. 8, 2022 but the charter only allows the selected finalist to hold the position until the general election on Nov. 3, according to city clerk Laura Litzan.

Folley said he intends to run as a candidate in November. "My intention [...] is to run for election for that additional two-year term that Councilor Young was elected for," he said.

On April 23, Young resigned effective immediately. He said his reason to vacate the seat are "personal in nature."

"It was an honor to have served the community of Marco Island, and I trust my votes and actions have been consistent with all those that voted me in office," he wrote. "I will be watching from a distance."

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