Letters to the Editor, April 13

Marco Eagle

The life you save

The other day I went to a town hall meeting regarding the ambulance service on Marco Island. I learned several important things.

The governor recently signed a bill allowing Marco Island residents to decide whether we want Marco Island to have control of our ambulance service. At the present time, Collier Country has total control of our ambulance and emergency medical service. Marco Island ambulances are not allowed to carry several drugs that are considered lifesaving.

Editorial cartoon

Dr. Jerry Swiacki informed us that there is a “golden hour” for life saving drugs to work. Collier County decides which drugs Marco Island ambulances can carry and Marco Island ambulances cannot carry most of these drugs. Only Collier County ambulances can carry them. If you have a stroke, seizure or heart attack, paramedics on Marco Island ambulances can only administer IV with saline until Collier County ambulance arrives.

Only Collier County ambulance can take you to a hospital. Several residents in the audience described how their love ones died due to this policy of control. Under Home Rule, Marco Island controls its police and fire departments.

We have an opportunity on an Aug. 28 referendum to decide whether we want to take control of our ambulances. I urge all residents to vote yes. This is important. If you are going up north please request an absentee balance. Whatever you decide please vote.

Herb Jermanok, Marco Island

What’s up with the money

What’s up with the money? To address: What’s up with the roads?

[In an April 10 guest commentary in the Marco Eagle] Mr. Grifoni mentioned that that he led the charge to reallocate over one million extra dollars into this year’s roadway repair and maintenance budget while following through on his promise not to raise the millage rate.

What general fund accounts did you reallocate funds from, to transfer to the roadway repair and maintenance budget account? Respectfully submitted.

Amadeo Petricca, Marco Island

Support MIA

Dear School Board members: It is with a sad heart that I write this letter, for it seems to me that since the very inception of the Marco Island Academy, you have been fighting it every step of the way and for the life of me, I cannot understand why? Here is what I have observed over the years:

1. At some point, you must have been pro charter schools and pro Marco Island schools because you provided the land and the funds necessary to build the Marco Island Charter Middle School. I have to assume that this middle school was in direct competition with the Manatee Middle School, yet that did not seem to be an issue for you at the time. 

2. Upon the application for MIA, you fought it as hard as you possibly could and looked at it as a direct threat to Lely High School. You provided nothing to help get it established and went even further to make the process as difficult as possible. I know this first hand because I attended every school board meeting during this time to show my support. You even went so far as to deny it its rightful home on the Tract K. To spite the Marco Island citizens who desired their own high school (so that their children would not have to travel at minimum 16 miles each way), you sided with angry neighbors of Tract K who hid behind the facade of environmental eagle concerns. 

3. We are not a wealthy family; we work extremely hard for what we have, oftentimes working more than one job. We choose to live on Marco Island and for that choice we are burdened with higher taxes, but because we feel this area is the best choice for our children, we accept the higher cost of living. Somehow, I feel you perceive Marco Island as only affluent, wealthy residents. Part of the approximately $51 million that comes from Marco Island to fund your annual budget comes from hard working busboys, dishwashers, servers, hair dressers, landscapers, first responders, etc. These are all good families who work extremely hard and feel like we have paid more than our fair share. Maybe you can take a modest 10 percent from that $51 million over the course of the next two years and help fund a permanent structure for our children. 

4. MIA is rated as one of the best schools in the country. Instead of fighting it, maybe you should study it. What this group has accomplished is nothing short of amazing. For starters, the administration and students work out of trailers; have no auditorium, no gym, no lunch room, and they function with the bare minimum of necessities. Yet, in spite of all this, they are ranked in the top two percent of the nation for most challenging high schools according to The Washington Post. And they were the only school last year in the district with a 100 percent graduation rate!

It is time for you to step up and treat all the children of Collier County fairly. Help the children in the geographic area including Goodland, Isles of Capri, East Naples and Marco Island by providing a permanent, safe structure.

Come election time, your choices will not be forgotten.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Darrin Palumbo, extremely proud father of a 4.2 GPA MIA student and of a MICMS 8th grader who will be attending MIA next year