Letters to the Editor, April 27
Creative accounting to pay for roadway repairs?
This is a follow up to my previous letter to the editor. I researched the source of the $1 million Mr. Grifoni reallocated to the roadway repair and maintenance budget for FY 2018 while following through with his promise not to raise the millage rate.
Mr. Grifoni worked with the finance director to locate surplus funds in the water and wastewater utility funds. There were a few utility capital projects that came in under budget; those were the funds transferred to the general fund.
How is it possible that utility would have surplus funds when the utility has $100 plus million dollars of debt! In addition to that, the utility rates were increased by 2.3 percent for FY 2018! Aren’t the utility rate payers also tax payers?
Had you increased the millage rate $0.10 per $1,000 of taxable value, resulting in the $1 million needed to repave the roads, making it more transparent and fiscally responsible!
Amadeo Petricca, Marco Island
Lives matter and so do dollars
While another ambulance will improve saving lives, it is not the solution. The solution to rapid response and saving lives is motorcycles, equipped with the necessary drugs, lifesaving equipment and operated by paramedics with the necessary training and certifications, in order to stabilize patients, while waiting for the ambulance, should transport to a hospital be necessary.
Ambulances are often dispatched when in fact they are not necessary, thus they are not available for those urgently needing transport to a hospital. Marco Island is increasingly congested with traffic, especially during season and when accidents, heavy rains and flooding create delays.
Israel uses motorcycles and they have a 90 second response time. Several U.S. cities are currently experimenting with using motorcycles including Miami. Collier County currently gets $3.8 million of Marco Island taxpayer dollars to provide ambulance service. Marco Island residents need to demand Collier County provide another full-time ambulance.
While we’re all for saving lives, are we looking forward to hundreds or perhaps a thousand plus dollars added to our property tax bill, for an ambulance when motorcycles are the less expensive, faster more efficient way to save lives?
Not only should we be using motorcycles to stabilize individuals, we should be petitioning the state to keep our emergency rescue dollars on Marco Island to cover the cost of our ambulance/motorcycle rescue services and not relying on Collier County.
Michaelon Wright, Marco Island
In the April 3 edition of the Marco Eagle letters section, Mr. Soldano bemoans the character of modern politicians compared to those of the founding era of the United States.
While the political achievements of that earlier era speak for themselves, the "dignity and proper decorum" of those men is a myth. There are many examples, but a most illustrative one involves Thomas Jefferson's attempts to slander and defame John Adams by hiring John Callender to ridicule Adams personally. From Callender's perspective, his arrest for publishing these articles, combined with his opinion that Jefferson had failed to pay him the agreed sum for his writing, led him to publish the story of Jefferson's relationship with his slave Sally Hemmings. The modern era often resonates with echoes of the past!
None of this is to disagree with Mr. Soldano's basic assertion, but the USA is unwilling to tackle the issue of money in politics, and so it goes.
Andrew Tyler, Marco island
Make Golden Gate course municipal
Most folks would say nothing. We have numerous public parks, beaches, libraries, pool facilities, tennis and pickle ball courts, etc., but no municipal golf course.
It’s time! Collier County golf courses are mostly all private and membership, where available, is very expensive. These courses increase their golf rates during season (October thru April), severely limiting play by local resident golfers who even put the clubs away. Out of season (May through September), PGA cards or similar programs can be purchased, allowing play at more reasonable rates for us residents. That sounds pretty good, but it is only good for five months of the year.
Think municipal, where residents can play yeararound for reasonable rates at “their” club. We see a municipal course as a big win for Collier County residents. The Golden Gate Golf Course is a perfect fit as it is up for sale. The course has a wonderful history. Years ago, such celebrities as Bing Crosby and other such “names” played the course. We know that the surrounding communities do not support the course being utilized for more housing development. Think municipal.
We hope that Collier County commissioners can see the need and get behind making this a reality. Let’s not miss this opportunity, similar to the loss several years ago when the Hibiscus Golf and Tennis Club was passed over.
Ron Cummings and Bob Morgan, Naples