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'Yes' to COPCN, but how much will it cost?

The City Council had on its Feb. 5 agenda a resolution for discussion only. This is a draft of a notice of ballot special election (i.e. referendum question) and coincides with the primary election to be held on Aug. 28, 2018.

Here is the language of the referendum question as drafted:

“Should the City of Marco Island provide locally controlled and enhannced paramedic and emergency medical ambulance transportation services through the Marco Island Fire Rescue Department allowing the Marco Island Fire Rescue Department to provide pre-hospital and inter-facility advanced (EMS) and basic life support transportation (ambulance) services and provide appropriate funding for these services?”

Answer: Yes or No

The ballot language made NO reference to funding sources. I am assuming the expenditure will be under the general fund spending cap.  

To make an informed decision voters need to know costs and how residents are going to pay for these services.

Maria Lamb, Marco Island

Disgraceful behavior

Recently the Coalition for Quality Public Education (C4QPE) held an educational workshop at the Collier County Headquarters Library on Orange Blossom Drive.

As usual, our workshops are open to the public. The format is explained at the start. First, we hear from the speakers. Following are questions and answers. All questions must be written on 3-by-5 cards, which are distributed initially to all, with more readily available.

At the workshop, we had two speakers from the NAACP and two from Collier County Public Schools administration. In the audience was Collier School Board Member Kelly Lichter as well as three men accompanying her, all four sitting together.

After the presentations, a C4QPE board member read the questions from the collected cards. Occasionally, one of the above four audience members would shout out. Each time they were advised that we did not entertain shouted remarks from the floor and we offered more cards. Eventually, Lichter began screaming from the floor, becoming louder with each admonition. Asked to leave, she refused. She began to unremittingly scream that those on the stage were liars. Finally and fortunately, after several minutes, the president of the Collier County NAACP took the microphone and calmly gave facts that disproved Lichter’s outbursts. Thankfully, she quieted.

Lichter is an elected public official. She has an even greater obligation to respect decorum and model good behavior for the children of Collier County. Any student who displayed such behavior at school would be suspended. Any audience member exhibiting such behavior at a School Board meeting would be escorted out by security.

Her disruptive, inappropriate behavior, often also on display at school board meetings, was disgraceful.

Beth Povlow, Marco Island

President, Coalition for Quality Public Education

Lack of crucial information in trial

In the story headlined “Jury sees bloody evidence, crime scene photos in trial of Marco woman accused of killing boyfriend,” there is a complete lack of evidence or detail provided throughout the whole article, leaving the public unaware of major facts.

Based on the grounds that jurors were suspected of doing outside research, the article failed to mention the possibility of a mistrial. While none of the jurors confessed, there were fingers pointed at unknown jurors. Ultimately the judge decided to proceed with the trial.

Despite this, there are still many other questions left unanswered: What caused the self-inflicted wound? How was she able to overpower him? And most importantly, why? A seemingly loving relationship gone sour, or was an affair cause for the murder?

Defendant Lisa Troemner was thought to have brought a knife to bed, but only later during an argument decided to use it. This brings up the question of premeditation.

Other reports on the case clear up some factors, claiming that the self-inflicted wound was an attempt to kill herself after allegedly killing her boyfriend. She was able to push him off the bed and stab him before he got up. Troemner’s own claims were that the couple had gotten into increasingly aggressive fights, many of them even being physical.
Without these important details, it leaves readers blindsided.

Troemner’s defense attorney, Donald Day, even states, “There’s a lot of witnesses. There are a lot of technical issues, a lot of medical issues ... a lot of evidence issues. So it’s just a little unusual from that perspective.”

Not having all the information of the case leaves a citizen uninformed and defeats the purpose of freedom of the press.

Anastasiya Vydra, Naples

Faulty economics

To dispute Anton Selkowitz’s statement that the tax cut bill “raises taxes on the poor,” Norman Stern’s Dec. 23 letter cites an alleged fact: “The poor pay no taxes at all.”

Congress’ nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that in 2019 taxes will be raised by $1.68 billion for those earning less than $20,000. By any standard, families earning less than $20,000 are poor. Stern’s so-called fact is hogwash.

Stern goes on to make an even more outrageous claim that jobs are not created by “the poor or the middle class” but by “the rich.” He further states, “When taxes are lowered on business owners, the money ‘saved’ is invariably spent on business expansion, which creates jobs.” Stern repeats these claims in his Jan. 4 letter.

Businesses hire people, but hiring is not job creation. Businesses also lay off people. If hiring is job creation, then laying off is job killing.

In reality, businesses are neither job creators nor job killers. For instance, McDonald’s hires people to serve its customers and lays off people due to a lack of customers. Consumer demand is the driving force for job creation or loss.

The poor and the middle class constitute the majority of consumers. These consumers, not businesses, are job creators. Businesses invest only when it is profitable. Investment is profitable only if there is consumer demand for the products produced by businesses.

Give all the tax breaks you like, but no business will expand unless its product can be sold. Such tax breaks create no jobs, but fatten the shareholders’ pocketbooks. Stern’s “Basic Economics” is, at best, faulty economics.

Mukhtar M. Ali, Marco Island

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