Letters, Marco Eagle, Sept. 20

Naples Daily News

The Hernstadt plan

Flooded streets. Flooded swales. Flooded crosswalks near school. Sinking roads. Flooded bike path.

Solution: Partner with Small Bros. Marco LLC. Spend $250,000 of taxpayer money for a retention pond design in Veterans Memorial Park. Co-sign the presentation petition on behalf of Marco Island. Approve $1,000,000 loan to Small Bros. funded by taxpayer money. Quadruple the size of the proposed retention pond in Veterans Memorial Park. Use city water truck to suck up the flood waters. Drive truck to Veterans Park and pump effluent into retention pond.

Let’s vote!

Bob Rowe

Marco Island

Here we go again


For months, the city has been negotiating with a developer to build a hotel (165 Rooms) near Veteran’s Community Park, where by, the city will transfer 131 density credits (developer has 34 density credits) to the developer and in turn, the developer will develop Veteran’s Community Park. As a councilor, I was not aware of the negotiation, and was shocked when I read this in the local newspaper. The first thought that can into my mind was, here we go again; a back room deal is being made and the transparency we speak of is lacking.

This is a public park and it belongs to the taxpayers of Marco Island. We ask for the citizens input for development of the park and then we pull the rug out from under their feet. The developer’s design of the park is more of an amenity to the hotel than it is for the benefit of the citizen

The current process by the city manager to form this alliance is being done without the support of the voters as well as current city councilmen. There are many questions that have to be answered. Based on the facts that are available, I cannot support this project.

I am seeking your support for re-election to the Marco Island City Council. If I am re-elected, my goal is to continue my financial and executive experience to work on your behalf to control city spending on essential and non-essential projects. I believe that fiscal responsibility, transparency, honesty, fairness and quality of life are essential to the people of Marco Island.

Amadeo Petricca

Marco Island

Build out the park, but not in secret

My wife and I live directly across the canal from Veterans Community Park. When you’re in the park, you might see us in our family room or grilling on the lanai or chilling on our dock. We have a front-row seat at the Seafood Festival and all the other wonderful events. It’s a real pleasure to live near the park, where we can open our storm doors and let the music flood our house. I would love to see the park built out – but not in secret, and not until the community is brought into the discussion the proper way.

Many months ago, I asked my colleagues on City Council to allow me to present a plan for park development, and they agreed to let me do so, but it has not yet happened. I also asked – and my colleagues on City Council approved – that we spend money to get a qualified city planner to review the 2009 park master plan and update it to reflect improvements constructed by our veterans’ organizations and also to provide professional planning on how the park might fit into the city’s overall development.

So it was with great surprise that I read in the paper that Marco Island has been negotiating with a developer to build a gigantic hotel near the park – that requires city property in order to be constructed – without first bringing it up with City Council, which is legally in control of all of the city properties. This is amazing, and it’s unacceptable.

The negotiations involve the city selling some of our “density credits” that specify how many people can occupy a certain amount of space. There is a major disagreement about whether the city has any density credits from the park to sell in the first place. So that’s an unknown. But even if we assume there are credits to sell, the next question is, what are they worth? We don’t know! The city’s plan – not approved, not reviewed, and not even discussed by City Council, nor ever disclosed to or discussed with the citizens of Marco Island prior to the deal being cut – is to sell the density credits for what the developer is willing to pay for them.

This is obviously wrong. It’s like selling your house for what a buyer says it’s worth, regardless of what your appraiser says.

It was only last summer that the city was on the verge of putting a government building in Veterans Community Park, under a ruse that veterans would somehow be served, all in the vain attempt to get a building, paid for in part by the State of Florida. I thought we had learned our lesson then, but apparently not. Here we go again – secret negotiations, with zero attention to what the citizens who voted for the purchase of this property want, just to “get something done in the park.”

Marco Island deserves better much than this. We deserve what I proposed, and council approved, which is an update to the 2009 Park Master Plan before we proceed. The community deserves full, open, and deliberate discussions about how and when we want our park to evolve. Input is also needed regarding if we want to sell this density to fund park improvements or would our citizens prefer that the density be eliminated (as some thought had happened).

Larry Honig

Marco Island


Recently, two former Marco Island Property Owners (MIPO) board members submitted a letter to the editor regarding the Veterans’ Community Park development rights.

This notice is to clarify that the opinions they expressed were their personal opinions, and that they do not currently serve as MIPO Board Members.

For the record, at this point in time, the MIPO board of directors does not yet have an opinion on this matter.  It is MIPO Board policy to obtain as much complete and factual information as possible before taking a stand on any issue.  We will closely follow all future meetings and presentations.

Theresa Rejrat

Interim chair, Marco Island Property Owners