Slap across the face

How many Marco Island citizens felt the collective “slap across the face” from our city council on Monday evening? After hours upon hours of meetings, comments, and flip-flops, nothing has really changed.

We haven’t witnessed the epiphany moment from our council because it appears that there are a few who have no interest in truly listening to the concerns of their constituents.

After the tremendous efforts to petition our city council on the rental ordinance by local citizens in our community, it was appalling to witness an attempt to nullify the petitioners by what appeared to be a rushed and ill-conceived motion by councilor Ken Honecker to amend one portion of the ordinance dealing only with condo and home associations.

In effect, this would have restarted the entire rental ordinance fight (requiring new readings, new votes, and putting us back in this same situation a few months down the road with a new petition) without potentially ever dealing directly with the rotten heart of the ordinance itself: an overbroad, far-reaching, and inappropriate use of city power to register, regulate, and monitor every single private property owner on this island who may rent now or in the future.

It will also lead to abuse of power and false complaints.

Condos versus homeowners. Renters versus residents. Snowbirds versus full-timers. Honecker’s motion was playing to island division, a retread of past political battles. Council shouldn’t be attempting to sow the seeds of division amongst our fellow Marco Islanders. Instead, we need to find our common sense and common ground for the benefit of our island.

Whether you feel that the rental ordinance is the byproduct of big government or small government, it most certainly is bad government and should be repealed by voters in March 2016.

Jared Grifoni

Marco Island

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