Letters to the Editor, June 26

Marco Eagle

Must we continue to wait?

Thank you to Marvin Easton for his letter of concern on Marco Island’s initiative to secure their COPCN license for ambulance transport services.  As a resident of the Naples Port Royal Community with Dr. Tober, (Collier EMS Medical Director) his interest is commendable.

However, the Our City Our Ambulance (OCOA) committee believes Mr. Easton’s efforts might be better directed helping the City of Naples as it experiences many of the same issues, with the exception that Marco is further from hospitals. 

Editorial cartoon

OCOA is confident the City of Marco Island understands the issues and is capable to make the decision to vote yes on Aug. 28 for local control of EMS. The governor and all state legislatures (except one) agreed Marco Island has the right to self-determine a local ambulance system by approving CS/HB 1395 in March.

Dr. Tober has limited Marco Island paramedics by restricting them from performing full life saving protocols. A fully integrated fire/rescue department of dual certified firefighters/paramedics improves organizational and operational efficiencies by providing maximum utilization of personnel for the benefit of patients and community. The current unreasonable limitations are the antithesis to an efficient system.

Perhaps Mr. Easton’s help is needed for Naples, Isles of Capris and East Naples. EMS data demonstrates Medic Rescue 90 and 23 experienced increased response times because these units continually move south to Marco.  Consequently, their response times exceed County standards as the County denies Marco Island a second full time ambulance. It also results in longer wait times for Marco patients to be transported to the hospital, as Marco vehicles are not licensed to transport and our patients must wait.

Gene Burson, Marco Island

Kudos to Grifoni

City Council Chairman Jared Grifoni and the Council majority are owed a well-deserved “kudos” for their recent vote to substantially reduce the local communications services tax. Chairman Grifoni submitted a white paper on the tax recently which contained his recommendation to lower the tax by approximately 60 percent over the next year and a half. Let me say that again, 60 percent reduction, wow! This is a tax we all pay monthly on our cable, cell phone, telephone, and streaming services bills (amongst others). Grifoni’s proposal would make the City of Marco Island’s tax rate the lowest municipal rate in southwest Florida. 

I am thankful for this reduction that will lessen my tax burden on a month-to-month basis. Past Councils have either raised taxes or accomplished nothing to lower the tax burden on Marco Island residents like me. Chairman Grifoni, Councilor Honig, and Councilor Rios all had comments that were spot on during the debate on the issue at the last Council meeting. It’s about time we have some true fiscal conservatives on our City Council.  

Once again, thank you Chairman Grifoni for keeping your promise to the citizens of Marco Island with your bold and successful effort to substantially lower taxes for our residents, and thank you to all the Councilors who voted in support.

Monica Pierce, Marco Island

Marco DMV employees need more training

Why is it that everyone who enters the Department of Motor Vehicles on Marco Island leaves so irritated? I know for one that when I go with papers the fine employees have told me I need, it is something else. Could it be the employees know their jobs as county employees are protected, or are they just so busy gossiping they choose not to be bothered?

I personally went on June 12, only to be told they could not help me. I, in turn, went to Naples with the same papers and was totally taken care of with no problems.

Time to retrain the employees and supervisor to ensure they do their jobs.

Steve Hunter, Marco Island