Letters to the Editor, Oct. 12

Marco Eagle

Disappointed in failure to hire city manager

Councilors, after the vote at the Oct. 4, council meeting, I feel compelled to communicate my disappointment and disbelief that our City Council failed to hire a temporary city manager.

Clearly I have been a critic of the past processes which Councilor Reed referred to, yet in my opinion those actions and words should have had no influence on the decision to select one of the current three candidates. In reviewing the voting record of our councilors all but Councilor Brown who was excused voted in favor of the motion to seek assistance from the FCCMA Senior Advisor Program which was proposed by Vice-Chair Roman.

Editorial cartoon

It seems to me that if Councilor Batte and Councilor Reed felt strongly about the need to wait until after the election to proceed this would have been the appropriate time to make that position known. Mr. Parker expended hours of his time and provided invaluable suggestions to assist us, and the three candidates were not only able but willing to deal with the challenges our city faces. Vice-Chair Roman offered a compromise that allowed our city to move forward with no expense to our citizens until the newly seated council could determine the best path to recruit a permanent city manager. We have lost an opportunity to have an impartial and qualified individual assess problems already acknowledged with the building department, police department, staff performance, etc. and offer solutions for improvement while Mr. Polanco transitioned back to to the role he has publicly stated he prefers as finance director.

I hope my fellow citizens will email City Council or speak at the Oct 15, council meeting if they hold similar views.

I will also implore my Councilors to search their consciences as to the motivation for their vote and seek a means by which this fiasco can be rectified.

Regina L. Dayton, Marco Island

Ready for a change

Lawns are covered in a rainbow of signs; vicious emails fill your inbox; new anonymous websites pop-up like weeds, it must be election season on Marco Island. Five candidates are fighting it out for three Marco Island City Council seats. Combined, they have raised over $84,000 to win a $6,000/year job.

Erik Brechnitz is Larry Honig’s planning board appointee. Victor Rios is seeking re-election. Sam Young is Victor Rios’ waterways advisory committee appointee.  These three candidates represent a continuation of the “slate” that was elected in 2016. 

Jim Richards is actively involved in philanthropy on the island. Jerry Swiacki is an environmentalist and founding member of the Marco Island Eagle Sanctuary. These two candidates are the outsiders with no connection to the current council.

The voters of Marco Island have a simple question to answer. If you like the current scandal ridden dysfunctional Marco council place your vote for Brechnitz, Rios and Young. If you are ready for a change than cast your vote for Richards and Swiacki.

Kenneth Honecker, Marco Island

Why I am running for City Council?

Because, I am committed to Marco Island and there are unfinished business and I believe I can make a difference.

In my four years on City Council I initiated or helped:

  • Pass ordinances to make Veterans Community Park a “real” Park   and avoid commercial development.
  • Eliminate density credit transfers to control growth and keep green spaces.
  • Eliminate the use of plastic straws (replaced with bio-degradable ones just as effective) and its impact on our environment
  • Proposed legislation to protect burrowing owls and gopher tortoise habitats
  • Approve the “School Resource Officers Program” to protect our schools.
  • Keep commercial parking away from residential areas.
  • Increase the council’s involvement in better storm water management to improve the cleanliness of our waterways and beaches. 

There is unfinished business; namely:

  • Hire a qualified city manager.
  • Assure water quality issues are finally addressed.
  • Improve swale efficiencies. 
  • Assure we maintain “green spaces.” 
  • Assure our beaches are properly maintained.
  • Solve the parking problems. 
  • Improve communications with our citizens/taxpayers.
  • Improve our city staff morale.
  • Help to finally achieve the Veterans Community Park improvements as desired by our citizens.
  • Work with the rest of Council to address our high water and sewer rates.
  • Improved relationships with the county.

Typically, candidates make promises during the campaign that they cannot or won’t keep. I am proud that I have fulfilled my promises, that I have a verifiable track record of performance. Unlike other candidates who “promise” I have “walked the walk and talked the talk” and, simply put, have “made promises and kept promises”

I humbly ask Marco Island voters to re-elect me so that I can complete the critical tasks outlined above.

Victor N. Rios, Marco Island