Letters to the Editor, May 22

Marco Eagle

Remove council members

The dark clouds of collusion, deception and corrupt politics promise to make the current City Council the most ineffective in Marco Island history.

The hiring of Marco City Manager Lee Niblock by the City Council without properly vetting him is not the first sign of amateur management. Documented efforts to apparently intimidate an alleged sexual harassment victim from pursuing charges against the city manager is apparently behind efforts to obstruct justice and to prevent a major lawsuit by diverting and subverting public opinion.

Editorial cartoon

As many return north, it is the attendance of year-round residents at council meetings that will bring about the required changes in our municipal government that protects employees and job candidates from acts of sexual aggression by its leaders.

We also must refocus our ineffective council on the pressing issues of a depleted budget, potential for major tax increases and a failing infrastructure.

If the council meeting of May 7 is any indication, efforts to deflect criticism by manipulating meeting commentary by other councilors and residents may well succeed. As resident after resident spoke about the need for the council leadership to resign, City Council Chairman Jared Grifoni used his position to have nonresidents offer commentary supporting himself and Councilman Larry Honig immediately following any resident who offered criticism of the council’s efforts.

All residents of Marco should be demanding the resignation of Grifoni and Honig and if that does not occur shortly, a recall of both council members should be on the upcoming ballot.

Robert Nace, Marco Island

Attend candidate forum

Our children are our country’s future. That is why it is so important for all voters to vote for Collier County School Board candidates, whether or not they have children attending school. Fifty-two percent of your property tax dollars go towards county schools.

The Coalition for Quality Public Education, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit, nonpartisan entity, is hosting a School Board candidate forum on Wednesday at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Naples, 6340 Napa Woods Way in Naples, from 5 to 7 p.m. All seven candidates are coming. They are running from Districts 1, 3, and 5. No matter which district you live in, you may vote for one candidate from each district. Once elected, School Board members represent and make decisions for the entire school district.

Our moderator will be popular local radio host Dave Elliott.

Besides C4QPE, this forum is being sponsored by the Collier NAACP and the Jewish Federation of Greater Naples. Please join us and make an informed decision when you vote. The election is Aug. 28.

Beth Povlow, Marco Island President, Coalition for Quality Public Education

Great community partner

I am writing to share with you what a wonderful community partner DaVinci’s Ristorante Italiano has been to Tommie Barfield Elementary.

Our third- to fifth-grade students participate in the Sunshine State Young Readers Award (SSYRA) program. SSYRA is a reading motivational program to inspire students to read for pleasure, increase fluency and expose them to different genres. In October, Da-Vinci’s agreed to host our celebration dinner for those students who read and successfully comprehend 15 of the SSYRA books. At the time, we were expecting about 30 students. In April when the program ended we had almost doubled the number of successful participants to 54 students! DaVinci’s didn’t hesitate and generously provided dinner, which included spaghetti and meatballs and delicious cannoli, at no cost to our school. This enabled us to afford to provide trophies to all students as well. The students all left feeling celebrated and proud.

Thank you, DaVinci’s, for supporting our students and their reading efforts.

Mary Beth Schneller, Marco Island Media specialist, Tommie Barfield Elementary

Where is America headed? Into the future

Unfortunately, we have apparently refused to learn from, remember the past or study our history. I must and willingly agree with President Trump that we over-pay for most government purchases not just limited to planes, ships, rockets, toilet seats and other government purchases across the board.

Most past administrations apparently did not use due diligence when negotiating government contracts. Many of our citizens are of the opinion that there are very generous lobbyists that fill the pockets of government and elected officials which is or could be possibly true. The fact that we may have a large stockpile of nuclear warheads might not be enough of a sufficient deterrent to prevent a surprise attack. If we look back to the morning of Dec. 7, 1941 when a surprise attack caught us off guard. Today we live in very volatile times. We need to be on-guard, alert and properly prepared at All times to perhaps avoid and possibly further deter any possible attack aimed at the U.S.A.

Wayne A. Waldack, Marco Island