Letters to the Editor, August 17

Marco Eagle

The oops factor

Still have questions? Then, vote no on COPCN ballot, Aug. 28.

Do not be swayed by half-truths flooding our local newspapers, told by the very few trying to gain power and control. And, do not be intimidated by your employer. That voting box is yours alone.

The reality is, COPCN is not ready, is not able.

Editorial cartoon

Excerpts from the Willoughby Report of 2017 confirm that Marco Fire and Rescue employees are unhappy with working conditions, deeming some of their work place equipment so in need of repairs/replacement, it borders on compromising safety to both staff and the community as a whole. 

Fewer than 25 percent of city employees say the city leaders are doing a good job.

These problems are a reality. We are not ready to take on additional challenges.  

Are you willing to be part of the oops factor?  

Willing to "understand" they were in a learning curve, perfecting their technique at your expense?

Let us not take on unnecessary and dangerous endeavors by suggesting we can run a first-class ambulance service equal to what the county currently provides.  We cannot.  We are not ready.

Virginia Bingle, Marco Island

Ask yourself why

Dear Voters of Marco Island: Ask yourself why (and who) a group of citizens would spend over $6,000 sending post cards to each home of registered voters and would spend the money on yard signs. Both promoting “Our City, Our Ambulance” (quoted right off the card and sign). 

Your vote should be based on what solution will save the most lives and provide Marco Island Citizens with the best EMS solution possible, not what is ours or not (how childish)!

Most of the money and support is coming from businesses and people that support the Chamber. It is the same group of people that supported constructing a high-rise hotel next to Veterans Park. Anything that makes it easier to sell property and boost business revenue without regard to the actual residents or our taxes, or the quality of our EMS.

That is the only reason for this political campaign on this issue.  After all, Collier County has grown over five-fold since Marco Island became a city and we have not seen a degradation of our EMS and/or our ambulance response time.

Let me set your mind at ease. No matter what happens in the county or neighboring cities, the ambulance services (EMS) provided to Marco Island by Collier County is defined as a “level of service” and is documented in our comprehensive plan and our municipal codes. This “level of service” is monitored by the State of Florida and cannot change, irrespective of what happens outside of Marco Island (check it for yourself)  So don’t be “scared” into thinking otherwise. In fact, Collier County has offered a second, staffed, ambulance unit to Marco Island on a 24 by 7 by 365 days a year basis for $500,000. So we would have two full-time ambulance units all year long instead of only one unit during off season. And research will show there is some question as to whether we even need this second unit with a unit on the Isle of Capri.

And to those voters that have “Vote Yes on COPCN” signs in your yard, you obviously are not aware of the importance of a medical director to the success of any EMS program.  The medical director oversees the entire operation and success of ambulance response, paramedic training, ambulance and personnel deployment, drug disbursements, and ultimately is responsible for the saving of lives, which is what this is all about. And to those that have these signs, and to anyone determining how they will vote on this issue, you only need to refer to the proposed Marco Island Budget for EMS where there is a slot for a part-time medical director at a salary of $50,000 per year.  Do you, the voters, want to assign the success, or failure, of EMS and the saving of lives, up to a part time doctor who may or may not be familiar with EMS operations (earning all of $50,000 per year)?

Please research this issue and do not be influenced by cards, signs and those that will be out, in force, at the voting locations.  Please make your decision based on facts, not influencers.  The issue of saving lives is too important! Since the Marco Island EMS Budget includes between $700,000-$900,00 in transport fees reimbursements, check out this article:


Ed Issler, Marco Island