Ditch politics, fix road

If city of Marco Island residents had to drive through a foot of salt water to leave their residences on the occasion of an unusually high tide, there most certainly would be an outcry and demands that the problem be fixed ASAP.

The fact that County Road 892, known as Goodland Road, is entirely within the city limits of Marco Island as far as Angler Drive should indicate whose responsibility it is to bring that section of road up to standards that are enjoyed by everyone else in Marco.

We homeowners in Goodland pay property taxes along with everyone else and most of us do the bulk of our shopping and spending in Marco Island. Collier County and the city of Marco Island have kicked this can down the road long enough.

Put the politics aside and come up with a plan to make our road passable in all conditions.

Ben Olson, Goodland

Her cat has lawyer

People who are squeamish about seeing a dog in a shopping cart or restaurant booster seat should realize that a human’s mouth and backside have more disgusting, disease-spreading germs than any dog’s.

We love our pets. Those who don’t understand our devotion are sorely outnumbered and overmatched. Believe it or not, my cat has her own lawyer.

Meegan McDonnell, Marco Island

Social programs and socialism

Comrades, thanks for the call to wake up.

After your repeated suggestion to wake up, I admit to being a democratic socialist. I receive Social Security, Medicare and a pension.

Is this who you are? I know, you were born in the U.S. and are a red-blooded (socialist term?), patriotic Christian who paid into these entitlement programs. But does that mean you are not a socialist?

Will you continue to accept these social programs with one hand and throw stones with the other? Did you just wake up?

Mickey Walsh, East Naples and Boston

Ads are waste of money

Advertising Florida is like advertising heat: “Hey, we got some. Come and get it.” It’s not rocket science.

Paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to Pitbull and Emeril Lagasse is not advertising Florida; it is advertising Pitbull and Emeril.

Paying someone hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire Pitbull and Emeril is a waste of taxpayer money and not advertising Florida either.

Consider the recent ads during the Chubb Classic PGA Tour Champions event at TwinEagles. The ads showed TwinEagles and advertised TwinEagles, or they advertised (vaguely) Naples and Marco using Tiburon. These are mindless, meaningless ads that the taxpayers have to fund, in addition to the salaries of the idiots who decide to spend our money this way, legislators and governors included.

A good use for these funds would be the highways that funnel visitors down here. How about free orange juice at all the stops. Do something positive with the money — don’t throw it away for a few seconds of advertising!

Let’s eliminate waste of public funds on stupidity.

Bobby Pitts, Ave Maria

Good bills

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) applauds Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, and Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Clearwater, for pushing forward with both Senate Bill 340 and House Bill 221 to protect Floridians.

The number of Floridians using transportation network companies (TNC), such as Uber or Lyft, has certainly exploded in recent years.

Yet, despite that growth, questions surrounding consumer protections and regulations, specifically regarding insurance coverage, remain. So before you request a driver, it is important to be aware of the insurance implications.

Many TNC drivers believe their personal auto insurance policy will cover them. However, this is almost never the case; most personal auto insurance policies exclude coverage when a vehicle is being used for hire. Should an accident occur, this exclusion could leave the driver and passengers at risk of paying medical and repair costs.

Across the nation, states are tackling these issues associated with TNCs. Uber, Lyft, auto insurers and national trade groups,

like PCI, are reaching agreements on legislation that closes these insurance gaps, ensuring there are safe transportation options that protect drivers, passengers and the public.

Brandes and Sprowls are getting it right with SB 340 and HB 221. Florida needs ride-sharing legislation that takes a single, unified approach to protecting the public and drivers.

We at PCI encourage lawmakers to join in supporting this cohesive approach that gives both drivers and passengers the confidence and protections they need.

TNC is a popular form of transportation that’s here to stay and model legislation has already passed in 40 states. It’s time for Florida to do the same. Let’s strike the right balance between protecting consumers and supporting innovation.

Logan McFaddin PCI regional manager, state government relations

Focus on local issues

I was pleased to see that newly elected state Rep. Byron Donalds recognizes the double standard of the Sunshine Law as it applies to elected officials.

State legislators do not have to comply with the law that forbids communication between local elected officials who serve on the same governing board outside of a public meeting.

However, I was greatly disappointed in his introduction of House Bill 843 as his solution to the inequity. After all, transparency in government was one of the issues he campaigned on.

As a recently retired elected official, I recognize the importance of the Sunshine Law in resolving problems and crafting policies. It forces communication to be open and transparent and allows members of the public to weigh in on issues before a decision is made.

Collier County has suffered in the past from elected officials who allegedly did not comply with the law (Google Stadium Naples or Superintendent Ray Baker).

Although operating in the “sunshine” is sometimes frustrating and time-consuming, it is the right way to govern.

Each fall, legislative priorities are carefully drawn up by locally elected boards and presented to state legislators before the legislative session begins. As of yet, I have seen none of these priorities addressed in the bills Donalds has introduced or supported. It would behoove him to focus on these local issues rather than the Sunshine Law. That is why he was elected.

Julie Sprague, Naples

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