MAILBAG: Chuck Kiester, Ellen Kiernam & Ken Honnecker


Island density

The point of this letter is to provide our residents with a few facts regarding two land-use categories that will increase the overall density of the island at build-out.

At a recent meeting of the city's Planning Board about a relatively minor change to one of these categories, I found a complete misunderstanding (apparently brought about by an ethically challenged former city employee) of the effects posed by both the land use zoning categories of Mixed Use and TDR (transfer of development rights) on the city's overall residential density.

Both are currently allowed by our zoning ordinance, The Provence and The Esplanade are examples of both, respectively. The item is now scheduled to come before the city council at its meeting next week; however, given this history of deception do island residents wish to take advantage of this opportunity to express their feelings about the need to continue these categories as they will allow for an increase in the overall density of the island at build-out?

Mixed use: Allows residential condos within commercial zoning districts as a conditional use.

TDRs: Allows the transfer of residential unit credits (units allowed based on zoning and size of lot) from resident-zoned districts to other parcels to allow an increase in allowed units regardless of zoning. Although currently limited in its application this provision will result in the island's overall density since those land uses, such as churches and publicly-owned properties which will never need the credits could sell them to developers for use on other properties.

Chuck Kiester

Marco Island

Program may reduce utility bills

Lost in the confusion of the Marco Island City Council meeting of Jan. 20, was the approval of companion (irrigation) water meters. The city will buy in bulk and sell, at cost, water meters and enclosure boxes for about $150. The estimated cost to install the meter will be around $335.

The installation of a companion meter could result in significant saving on sewer charges for single-family homes that use less than 6,000 gallons internally/month. The city's current sewer charge is $5.43/1,000 gallons capped at 6,000 gallons/month. Under this program, a $3 monthly meter-reading charge will apply and there will be no sewer cap. A seasonal home owner who irrigates with 6,000 gallons or more of water per month will save $29.58/month while they are away, since they are not using water inside their home.

Any residence that uses more than 6,000/month inside the home will not save any money with this program. My wife and I use 2,000 gallons of water inside our home per month. Our savings would be $18.72/month (includes $3 reading fee). This means it would take about 27 months to recoup our original cost to install the meter.

Please go to the city's website – cityofmarcoisland.com – for more details to see if this voluntary program can reduce your monthly utility bill.

Kenneth E. Honecker, member

Marco Island City Council

Commitment, devotion and persistence

Once again it is that time of the year; hearts, flowers, candy, cards, catalouges picturing items of erotica to entice the "one you love" or, as Today sometimes refers to the "significant other."

TV shows extolling the obvious techniques, leaving nothing to the imagination or the mystique of seduction.

But what it is all about, this celebration of love to a very special person you have shared your hopes, dreams, tears and laughter with?

As I look about here on our island paradise, I see so many symbols of love that have weathered the true test of time – commitment and devotion.

The silver foxes, as they walk the beach hand in hand, perhaps not as agile as in years gone by, and gravity has rearranged their wispy waists, but the shared look at each other, the laughter at the private joke, the assistance if one is not quite up to par is an act of love.

The wife getting up at dawn to drive to a hospital to spend time with a sick mate, and sit for interminable hours at his bedside – an act of love. The husband who tends to his wife, although she does not recognize him, and he does it day in and day out – an act of love. At a church service, as one mate reaches for the hand of the other, and in worship to their creator repeat the words: "Our Father ..." – an act of love.

Oh yes, the cards, flowers and candy are nice, but commitment, devotion and persistence are truly the acts of love.

Ellen Kiernam

Marco Island