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School Board candidates professional

After attending the Collier County School Board candidate forum at the Marco Island Historical Society on May 10, I want to congratulate candidates Jen Mitchell and Roy Terry for their strong performances. Both won the straw poll conducted at the end of the evening by wide margins. In the race for District 3, Mitchell received 52 votes, Victor Dotres 23 votes and Kathy Ryan six votes. In the race for District 5, Terry received 46 votes, Mary Ellen Cash 21 votes and Darlene Alvarez 14 votes.

Mitchell and Terry earned their wins by demonstrating deep understanding of the Collier County Public Schools system. They shared their great pride in its tremendous achievements and offered honest appraisals of the challenges it faces moving forward. They also showed that they are calm, professional and collaborative, traits that will serve them well as members of a board team.

Jory Westberry, a 42-year educator and retired principal of Tommie Barfield Elementary on Marco Island, gave an equally strong performance. She is currently running unopposed for the District 1 board seat.

It is worth noting that this forum was sponsored by the Florida Citizens Alliance. Keith Flaugh opened the event with a list of what’s wrong with Collier County Public Schools and attendees received a pamphlet implying that CCPS is failing most of its students. We can all celebrate the fact that the evening’s winners do not share Flaugh’s disdain for our schools.

Carol Polinsky, Marco Island

Give locals discounts

This is a suggestion to the managers of the JW Marriott and Hilton hotels on Marco Island: Provide discounted rates at your restaurants to Marco Island residents with driver’s licenses showing permanent Marco Island addresses.

This is done in Key West.

I wish I had thought of this at the time approvals for the projects were requested from the City Council several years ago.

George Fonda, Marco Island

Referendum questions need answers

Many “community leaders” are saying “your life may depend on how you vote for this referendum” regarding having the fire department take over ambulance service on Marco Island.

Presentation of the “pros” has been a good idea. Now it is time for the many unanswered questions: Why? What are the justifications? What are the costs? Are we ready? Are we able?

The Marco City Council has not informed the taxpayers of these costs, but have only focused on the wording of the referendum.

Where can we find this referendum as it will appear on the ballot?

As I write, there are additional questions being posed in an editorial in the May 27 Naples Daily News.

Why has the City Council been advised by the city attorney not to appear to be taking sides, but to just stick with the wording of the referendum?

Many folks are squeezed financially as they struggle with deductibles, repairs, etc., as a result of Hurricane Irma, and will not take kindly to additional financial burdens put upon them.

Many voters/taxpayers are not savvy users of websites. Please, this information must be available in all formats.

Virginia Bingle, Marco Island

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