MAILBAG on Vets Park: Charles Lamb, Bill Harris
Referendum language being prepared
Just thought I'd send you a copy of the resolution being used by the City Manager at the 11/2 Marco Island City Council meeting, to say he is withdrawing his request for $2.5 million for Veterans Park.
The only way he can rightly say he is doing so is if he will request the withdrawal of the submission packet from state Rep. Kathleen Passidomo. Otherwise, the packet with its veteran hook is very much in play. He may not use the $2.5 million for Veterans Park, but he obtained it with "veterans" blood on it.
BTW - I am really very disappointed that Sue Keller did not write that story. She knows the history of this issue very well and she knows her facts.
Steve's article did not get it -- his article minimized all the residents’ and veterans’ concerns over the last six weeks.
The city council will meet on Nov. 2 and the hot topic will be the Resolution 15-77.
I would respectfully request that Sue Keller be allowed to write the article on the outcome of the Resolution 15-77, which will be at the city council meeting on 11/2. She captures the essence of her articles with honesty and integrity. Sue is very well respected by residents on Marco and in the last several months, has gained the respect of the veterans on the island.
There is more to come on this issue. A referendum language is being prepared by a group of very concerned residents and veterans to deal with Veterans Park, to keep it an open space and a passive use park. We are hoping the referendum will be on the March 2016 ballot, when several of the Marco Island City Council will be up for re-election. This will be a hot issue.
Councilors should not approve this resolution with an automatic yes. They need to ask specifics of how the funds obtained from the state be used for the fire station, waste water project and storm project.
Go to the city's website for the agenda and resolution. Click here:
Case of misrepresentation
As many others have responded, the package sent to Rep. Katherine Passidomo by City Manager Roger Hernstadt, seeking funds to help build a multifunction building at what is called Veteran’s Community Park, is insulting to our veterans.
The city council chairman indicates that it is the “community’ park” (not just for veterans), yet the package sent to the legislative committee mentions the words “veteran” or ‘veterans’ over 30 times, and mentions “military” several additional times.
From everything I’ve heard and read, it’s very obvious that this multipurpose facility, in spite of what is misrepresented in the City Manager’s letter to the legislative committee:
• Is not for the benefit of the veterans or military members;
• Is not in conformance with the master plan for the former Glon property;
• Will not be “dedicated to our veterans and military service personnel” and is not what the veterans of our fair city wants or needs.
This is a blatant case of misrepresentation! This is just as bad, if not worse, than those people you see outside of Walmart, who even though they wear uniforms, are not in any military service, and are trying to collect money from people who are unaware of their false status. And most of the money collected is never seen by the veterans or military.
If the city wants a new multipurpose building, let them take the money out of one of Roger’s “bucket plans.”
Roger and the City Council promised that, with the “bucket plans,” we would not need to borrow money, and that we would have sufficient funds for our future needs and operations. With the possible exception, of course, of that never ending bottomless pit they call our water and sewer systems. Now, they want to borrow at least $5 million, because, in the words of our councilors, “money is cheap right now.”
Yet, they constantly raise the fees and money that we, the citizens, have to pay into their grandiose plans. And this attempt is just another way to pay for another office building by misusing the veteran’s name and the service and sacrifices that our military members, past, present and future have endured for all the citizens of our city, county, state and nation.
This is a disgrace! I urge everyone to write your city councilors and your congressional representatives and let them know your feelings on this egregious matter.
Veteran and Marco Island resident
State Rep. Passidomo responds
Thank you for your email. I have received many emails on the issue and have responded similarly to all so I apologize for the redundancy.
When I first became aware of the concerns of the residents of Marco about the project, I contacted the City Manager and advised that I could only support the project if it was fully vetted in public hearings. At this point, I understand that in light of the lack of support from the community, the manager is recommending the council not pursue the funding.
Rep. Kathleen Passidomo