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Historic day for Marco Island Citizens, Governor signs bill

Friday, March 23, was a historic day for Marco Island citizens. Governor Rick Scott signed Local Bill1395 allowing citizens to vote “yes“ or “no” for local control of ambulance service (COPCN.) This referendum will be on the Aug. 28, Primary Election Ballot.

State Representative Bob Rommel introduced the bill on Jan. 8, 2018. The bill passed through legislative committees, the Florida House and the Senate with only one no vote.

Political action committee, “Our City Our Ambulance” (OCOA) reached out to hundreds of Marco Island citizens requesting they email or call Governor Scott’s office urging him to sign the bill.  The Governor’s office remarked that they were impressed with the high volume of emails and phone calls received from the Marco Island citizens supporting this bill.

OCOA was recently organized with a mission to inform the public on the benefits of local control of ambulance service and what it will cost the taxpayers. Additionally, OCOA is actively working to inform all registered voters who are not present on Marco Island for the Aug. 28. Primary election, as to what they need to do to ensure they have an opportunity to cast their vote on this referendum. 

To support informing the public about the importance and cost for Marco Island to control its’ own ambulance service, and to promote voter awareness for the August 28, Primary Election ballot, donations may be sent to OCOA, P.O. Box 891, Marco Island, FL 34146.  

For information or to schedule a presentation contact Dr. Jerry Swiacki, OCOA Chairman at grswiacki@comcast.net.  To visit our website go to www.OurCityOurAmbulance.com.

Linda J. Turner, Marco Island

Three cheers for Tallahassee

My thanks goes out to our state legislators (Senator Passidomo and Representative Rommel) for successfully guiding House Bill (CS/HB 1395) through the Florida Legislature and to Governor Scott for his timely signing of this important legislation. Special thanks also go to Marco Island City Council Chairman Jared Grifoni for spearheading the three-prong approach.

Now the eligible Residents of Marco Island will be able to vote, during the Aug. 28, Primary Election, for the City Council Referendum proposing control of our own EMS and ambulance service. Mail-in ballots are also available from the supervisor of elections. 

Exercising “home rule” is an important right for all voting residents of Marco Island. From my perspective, approval of the Aug. 28 referendum will bolster both our city’s ambulance/paramedic medical services as well as provide better response time to our homes and then to the hospital.  The initial estimated annual cost is about $60 per $500,000 of “assessed” property value.  In my opinion a reasonable cost to help significantly broaden life-saving emergency medical transportation services.

When Marco residents do their homework, they will also recognize that it’s a “slam-dunk” to vote yes!

Len Schuman, Marco Island

Follow NRA contributions

There will be no “turning point on gun control,” as George “Rocky” Rockwell noted in his letter to the editor, despite years of massive demonstrations and protests across the country.

Why? The reason is money. Elected officials need money to get elected. They are not beholden to the people who voted them into office, but to those who have given them the money.

With regard to a turning point on gun control, millions of dollars are given through the National Rifle Association directly to elected officials or funneled through one of its favorite channels. Small example: The NRA gave $7.3 million to hundreds of schools, according to The Associated Press.

A turning point to gun control will only come when voters realize who is blocking gun control under the guise of protecting Second Amendment rights (which most voters agree is OK). This is not what the NRA is doing.

As they say, “follow the money.” The NRA will not be brought into check until voters find out how much and to whom it is giving to all candidates. Then the voters will know how their candidates voted on legislation for gun control.

If we could get the investigative press to just tell us how much each member of Congress received from the NRA, regardless of party, it would be very helpful for the voters to see how money from the NRA has to do with how your legislator votes on gun control.

I hope you, too, will bring about a turning point in gun control in the next election, more particularly by knowing how much money the NRA has given to each candidate. How can we find out?

Bob Klatt, Marco Island

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