Letters to the Editor, Oct. 9
Respected friend, Keith Dameron, recently wrote an letter to the editor expressing his opinions on several topics. I’m moved to make a few remarks.
Keith states that “only 440 votes” defeated the ambulance proposal. This camouflages the reality that 3,245 voters wisely did not want our dysfunctional Marco administration to replace the ambulance service provided by Collier County.
Keith laments that “only” 5,590, or one third of Marco’s 16,500 residents, voted and rhetorically asks “Where were the other two thirds?” Statistically, the average Marco voter turnouts have been roughly four thousand. That makes this ambulance voter turnout above average.
Keith criticizes City Council for clarifying the pros and cons of having our own second ambulance. Keith, that’s their job.
Keith correctly states, “If the intent was to let the voters decide [the ambulance issue], then let the voters decide.” But then says: “I … feel strongly that our city government has a responsibility to keep this issue alive.”
Apparently, refusing to accept the results of a legitimate vote is fashionable these days.
Keith wrote that “ … the selection of our new city manager should be the responsibility of the post November election councilors.” Our city charter provides that the selection of a city mananger is the unconditional responsibility of the City Council, no “ands, ifs or buts.” However, this indecisive City Council has left the city manager’s office vacant for the past eight months whilst debating how to hire one. Keith’s wish might sadly come true by the default of incompetence.
Russ Colombo, Marco Island
Ex-employee harassed residents
Recently an ex-employee of Marco Island government has indirectly harassed Marco Island residents.
To get back at city government, he submitted complaints of code violations of sidewalks.
Normally, a single person would notice a sidewalk that could potentially cause a trip or fall. That person could then request the city to inspect the sidewalk for a code violation. A violation could be a simple grind of the cement to level the offending joint. However, it could entail a complete replacement costing $5,000.
So a single person has used this procedure to harass families to cause problems for the city of Marco Island.
Scott Coverley, Marco Island
Damaging our city
I watched with disappointment the performance of Howard Reed at the City Council meeting of Oct. 4 as he was the swing vote in, once again and for the past year, defeating every attempt the majority of our City Council had to try and hire a new city manager.
Since it takes five votes to hire a manager, Reed, with a new sense of power, was driven by extreme egotism to use that power to obstruct progress. The fact that he is doing irreparable damage to our city is of no concern.
My disappointment is even greater when I know how much many of us worked to get Reed elected to City Council in 2016. Reed was a terrible candidate and would never have won without having the support of many of us and the other candidates running with him and who are now on City Council with him.
Reed heard at the Oct. 3 candidate debate that many of the 250 residents present had clearly stressed the importance of hiring a city manager as soon as possible. Despite this feedback, he refused to approve any of the candidates up for consideration – even as a temporary manager.
My real concern is what is the real motivation of Reed’s actions. In my opinion, his actions are driven by a strong desire to make City Council look inept and dysfunctional. In this way he can hope that only candidates who run on a platform of a dysfunctional City Council will win and give him a chance to have some support on the new city council in November.
Connecting the dots is pretty easy. Howard is a huge supporter of candidate Swiacki. One just needs to see the signs on his home lawn or the comments he has made recently. One also needs to see that Swiacki’s one major message as a candidate is “how well has this dysfunctional council worked for Marco island” and his major campaign theme is the need to “Restore Confidence and Trust in City Council.” Dots connected.
Reed is hurting our city badly. The last thing the city needs is more members of City Council that think and act like Reed and support Reed. Reed’s career as a member of city council has only 24 more months to go. Hopefully, if we elect the right candidates in November, he will spend these last few months as a non-factor in City business.
John Arceri, Marco Island
As a resident of Marco Island I always vote and do follow what our elected officials do. My husband Jeff and I moved here to enjoy the “small town” feel and piece of Paradise that Marco Island is.
Over the last few years I have seen the growth of the city, which is, obviously, inevitable, but I am for trying to keep as much of our beautiful island small town feel and green spaces.
About two years ago I was horrified when a developer was trying to build a hotel using Veterans Park as part of the plan. I feared that it would be approved and will become another step to further destroy our paradise.
Then I watched how Councilor Victor Rios lead the charge and, against all odds, he convinced the other councilors to put forward legislation to make Veterans Community Park a real park, not just in name only.
It was Councilor Rios perseverance that worked hard to make sure the proper ordinances were put in place so that our Veterans Community Park would never become part of a development. He also diligently and with the same dedication pushed legislation to eliminate density credit transfers which were being used for the advantage of some and to the detriment of the citizens. All in all, it took about a year to get the protection to the park and our beautiful island in place since, for whatever reason, it needed to be approved at the state level. Nevertheless, Councilor Rios was persistent making sure that the city attorney follow up with the state for eventual approval of his sponsored ordinances.
I found out that Councilor Rios is running for re-election and not only I plan to vote for him, but I encourage my fellow Marco Island taxpayers to also vote for him. There is no one more dedicated, honest and hardworking person working for the betterment of our cherished “Paradise.”
Tracey Pollack, Marco Island
Stop finger pointing, clean up mess
Recently, three of us walked the beach south of the Naples Pier. What a
disheartening sight as we saw many dead fish, many different types of dead crabs, a number of dead starfish and a dead lobster. The water was discolored, the color of weak coffee and a ton of sediment was on the sand.
I have lived in Naples over 20 years and have never seen such carnage to our beautiful Gulf.
The politicians on both sides of the aisle must be held accountable and without
further delay, or we are going to have a cesspool instead of a beautiful Gulf
which we have always treasured and loved. No matter what the cost, the Gulf
has to be cleaned of the Red Tide and algae or we will no longer be a seaside
community. The politicians and other agencies can no longer point the finger
at someone else, they have to point it at themselves, step up to the plate and do
the right thing. The survival of Fort Myers and Naples depends on them and it has to be done now or we will have a dead Gulf in the next couple of years.
Jim Yoder, Naples
Elitism keeping out municipal golf courses
Why has Collier County not had a municipal golf course in the last 90 years? I believe I have a one word answer: Oligarchy, defined as a power structure that allows a few businesses, families, or individuals to rule. Books and news articles have used this word to identify names of those who have supported Russian President Vladimir Putin and others government leaders around the world today and throughout history.
While other counties and cities over the United States and the world have had municipal golf courses for their common people, Collier County has had none.
For over many years our county commissioners have denied proposals to fund and add municipal golf courses to Parks and Recreation. Obviously, this has been the case since Collier County was named. Shame on them.
Collier has over 75 country club and private golf courses and many wonderful public parks for recreation and sports facilities, including a recently opened wonderful new $9.2 million aquatic center. Where did this money and approval come from?
In the past three years, I have clipped many items published in Naples Daily News. To the many common people who have written about the need for affordable golf in Collier County, I believe the only way that Collier will have one will only come when the oligarchies want one.
Edward Tappen, Naples