Letters to the Editor, Nov. 20

Marco Eagle

City Council theater

Anyone who believes the selection of newbie Eric Brechnitz as City Council chairman was unrehearsed will be interested to know about a bridge in Brooklyn up for sale. 

The entertainment began when Chair [Jared] Grifoni opened nominations and Councilor [Victor] Rios hit his call button and was recognized faster than pus leaves a boil.

Editorial cartoon

Rios then made a prepared statement describing a mythical “tradition” of always choosing the most experienced councilor as the next chairman. Curiously, Rios then nominated freshman councilor Brechnitz. Brechnitz received five votes, which procedurally blocked Vice Chair Charlette Roman with her multi-decades of governmental experience, from becoming chair, as normally would have happened. Why?

The answer came during the council communications segment of the meeting. Councilor Honig railed and rambled about a “vote of no confidence” taken against Grifoni seven months ago. That previous City Council, including Vice Chair Roman, voted no confidence because of questionable actions taken by Grifoni and Honig during criminal allegations against City Manager Lee Niblock. Apparently, blocking Roman’s normal accession to council chair was “pay back” against her. 

The lines seem drawn. The Honig and Grifoni duo as the loyal opposition to fellow councilors Roman and Reed, with councilors Rios and Young as-needed bit players in the production.

Chairman Brechnitz is an unknown quantity. However, it wasn’t unreasonable to expect a person of good political character to respectfully decline the offer of chairman as too premature when it obviously was. Brechnitz didn’t.     

Russ Colombo, Marco Island


An affront to a person occurred at the COMI Council Meeting (Nov. 13). My comments are not out of disrespect for Chair [Eric] Brechnitz but out of respect for Councilor [Charlette] Roman.
It is incredulous that Councilor Roman was not elected chair; her stellar performance regardless of precedent or number of votes dictated this. It is therefore a fair question to ask those that did not support her what leadership trait they though she was lacking and also inquire how you would have felt had you been so unjustly treated.
Let me respectfully suggest Brechnitz that you could have and should have refused your nomination; in that moment your character would have shown brightly.
My opinion, certainly shared by others, is that jealousy, pettiness, and vindictiveness primarily related to her vote in support of the motion of no confidence in former Chair Grifoni and egos wanting power initiated the maneuvers we witnessed. Now it truthfully bothers me to say this, but I am convinced that the grudges of the past became the payback of the present. The adage "pride goes before a fall" is worth remembering.
Perhaps as we approach a blessed holiday, those of you who are grateful for Councilor Roman's service can express that to her since our leadership did not.
What transpired is an inauspicious and shameful beginning for our new Council, yet I take comfort in what my mother always told me that "when God closes a door, He opens a window."

Regina L. Dayton, Marco Island

Dangerous situation

I am writing this as a concerned resident of Marco Island. Over the years I have seen much growth and many changes to our beautiful island. 

We now receive numerous visitors from around the world, making it difficult to have our traffic laws understood. I am referring to the crosswalks across Collier Blvd. I walk along Collier Blvd., as do the many residents and visitors of Marco, going or coming from our beautiful beach and wonderful restaurants and shops. 

In the last week, I have witnessed near misses at several crosswalks. The blinking amber lights do not stop traffic, it merely slows some of it down. This is a very dangerous situation. One lane may stop, but the other lane goes speeding through! As I said you cannot walk Collier Blvd., without seeing a potential near fatal accident.

I have spoken with other residents with the same concerns and have come to the conclusion that the system in place, along with the signage is good. However, many of us think if the lights were red blinkers, instead of amber, drivers would know that they must stop, not just slow down. 
Thank you for your help in keeping residents and visitors Safe on Marco Island.

Lucy A Zozzao, Marco Island