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Make Marco great again

Dear editor, I am shocked that the Marco Island City Council voted down the possibility to change the government to a strong mayor (very sarcastic).

Electing a mayor would in fact put the power into one strong leader's hands who could be re-elected if he she does what the people want and satisfies their wishes every four years. Rios, that is the whole point. The mayor would be able to have a clear vision and make the positive changes and lead as a leader! Rios, this is what Marco needs.

Instead, council opted to conserve their powerless "power" to continue to make no progress. The council should allow a progress vote as they did for confidence on the chairman. It would surely result in no progress.

Their main job is to hire an unelected manager that will never be able to effectively lead. Good job, mission accomplished there. How many consultants, dollars and councilmen does it take to hire a city manager?

Having multiple people with different agendas "lord" over a city manager does not work. This never works! It has not in the past and it will not in the future. The city manager is a hired hand, you cannot hire a leader. The manager must capitulate to all members of the council. The manager can never be a true leader or visionary and has no history with the community to even have a Vision to lead the community. 

To lead you must have a vision and a plan.

The City Council of Marco has a history of having do nothings, and disagreeables on the council for decades. The council is something like an episode of “Seinfeld” with outlandish personalities that never seem to agree or get anything right.

Why would they ever vote themselves out? Where is the leader that has the stones to stand up and lead? Marco needs a younger leader in their 40s -50s who is willing to take this cross personally and show real leadership. The city cannot be run without a leader?

Who is in charge of Marco Island? Where does the buck stop? Is the city manager in charge? No, he must please the councilmen and woman. Is the chairman of the council in charge and a real mayor? No, he can get overruled by a vote of fellow “Seinfeld” cast members. Is the police chief in charge? No, he must please all the councilors and the manager.

So, who runs Marco Island? The answer is nobody. A ship without a captain will surely run a ground.

Finally, after how many failures got a new city manager. Do, you honestly think they got it right this time? Do you think this umpteenth manager is the one to really make a difference and not just there for the paycheck? I highly doubt it.

This governing system has never worked in the past and will not work for a future. Why would anything change? The only successful cities are those with strong leaders. Period.

Marco can hide its crime reports from the news to post that Marco Island is the best place to live. The facts remain different. The root cause it no leadership.

The current organization of Marco needs changed. Marco needs a leader to move this forward. It is no surprise the council voted this down. Why would they volunteer to give up their power?

So, Marco citizens, this is your wake-up call. Do you want change? Do you want a real leader to make a difference? Do you want to make Marco great again? 

Or do you want the same sitcom of a council cast running the "Marco Bloopers?"

I love Marco, birthed, raised a few children here. Marco holds a special place in my heart. However, a considerable factor in my family not staying and investing our lives in Marco, is there is no leadership.

There are many opportunists on Marco, but so far, not a single leader like the Mackle's that founded Marco. Mackle had a vision.

So ring ring ring, I'm calling you out to take a stand and lead Marco. Are you the one to lead?

Adam Wynns, currently on a boat in the Caribbean

Socialism for the rich

Trump-GOP economic policies, tax, deregulation, among others, are designed to transfer wealth from the bottom 99 percent to the top 1 percent.

A case in point is the environmental deregulation by Trump Republicans.

Since taking office, the Trump-GOP administration has rolled back 76 environmental regulations targeting air, water, toxic substances and safety.

Not having to comply with environmental rules will increase corporate profits, thereby benefiting stockholders. These benefits are realized at a cost arising from environmental damage.

According to a comprehensive study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association by two Harvard professors, this deregulation might lead to 82,500 deaths, 1.67 million cases of respiratory ailments in children, and approximately 117 million U.S. residents will be exposed to polluted water sources, some with deadly toxins in drinking water, leading to cancer and brain damage.

Economic costs of deaths and suffering, medical care, job losses due to sickness and child care, to name a few, are unfathomable and by any estimation will far exceed the benefits to the stockholders.

For simplicity, assume that the total costs are equal to the total benefits and that the costs are distributed evenly across the population. The 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances shows that the top 1 percent owns 40 percent of the stock. Thus, the top 1 percent will realize a net gain (benefit equals 40, cost equals 1) of 39 cents per dollar of total costs (benefits), which matches exactly the net loss for the bottom 99 percent (benefit equals 60, cost equals 99).

The net result is a transfer of wealth from the bottom 99 percent to the top 1 percent, a classic case of socialism for the rich.

Mukhtar M. Ali, Marco Island

Don’t feed feral cats

Now we have outdoor feral cats with rabies, thanks to the misguided efforts of cat lovers who insist that “trap, neuter and release” (TNR) is a humane way to handle a huge population of unwanted cats.

It is not humane for the cats, which continue to be subject to predation, disease and accidental injury. It certainly is not humane for the endangered birds, including nesting shorebirds, as well as small mammals upon which these cats prey.

And, no, offering your local “outdoor kitties” plenty of food doesn’t dampen their predatory instincts. Full bellies or not, cats pounce and kill.

Domestic cats are not indigenous to North America; they are an invasive species.

TNR is not a solution. If you must have a cat, keep it indoors.

Janice Drummond, Marco Island

Buy the Riviera golf course?

On Wednesday, a member of Riviera Golf Estates posted a letter to the editor regarding a vote of our community to purchase the Riviera Golf Course. The vote failed.

In the 18 or so months previous, there were multiple “meetings” to explain why we all (w e’r e a 55and-over community) needed to mortgage our homes to make this purchase.

Anyone who disagreed was “stupid.” Insults, character assassinations and outright libel were heaped on anyone who expressed an alternate view. The hostility was palpable.

With the vote over, our annual meeting took place on Tuesday, with board members talking about coming together again as a community and healing.

And the next morning, I see that someone in our community has decided to air our dirty laundry in a public forum. For what purpose? To help us heal, or to pick at a scab until it bleeds?

Ann Wallace, East Naples

More notice needed for hearings

The county attempted to pass a stormwater tax at a September meeting. The meeting was attended by over 300 taxpayers opposed to this additional tax. The commission voted not to tax us.

However, county staff placed items on the agenda for the November and February board meetings. The public only learns about agenda items on Thursday for a Tuesday meeting.

This prevents the public from having enough notice in advance to appear and be heard. It was clear at the September meeting that voters are not in favor of this tax. It is difficult for those opposing the stormwater tax to appear every other month for a hearing on short notice.

Is this an effort to run things past the County Commission without providing an opportunity for voter opposition?

John Hooley, East Naples

Constitutional basis to call it emergency

Those 10 Republican senators who might vote with the Democrats against President Trump’s emergency order don’t know anything about our U.S. Constitution, which was adopted by the states in 1787-88.

It states in Article IV, Section 4, “The United States shall guarantee to every state in this Union a Republican Form of Government and shall protect each of them against Invasion, and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.”

Since the Congress, one of the three branches of our federal government,

has not protected our border against the mobs rushing the border, an invasion, then it is up to the executive branch, the president, to protect those states against invasion. Perfectly constitutional. Build the wall or barrier.

Aubrey Short, East Naples

More: Letters to the Editor, Feb. 22

Remember road etiquette, please

With season upon us and more cars on our roads, it seems an opportune time for a reminder on road etiquette.

Approaching a roundabout, you must yield to traffic already on the roundabout. They have right of way, not you, even if you’re going straight ahead. If you’re on the roundabout, do not stop for those approaching from the right. Navigate a roundabout in an anticlockwise direction, indicating when you approach the exit you need.

When it rains, turn on your lights. When it’s dark, turn on your lights. Note: Daylight running lights do not usually illuminate the rear of your vehicle. If you want to avoid being rear-ended, switch on your proper lights.

You can turn right on a red, after stopping to check the way is clear, unless otherwise notified at the junction.

Watch out for pedestrians and cyclists at junctions when the crossing signs are illuminated, including for the full countdown.

Take five minutes to sync your phone with your car’s system. It will save holding your phone like a slice of pizza and could save lives. Never text when driving.

Keep the left lane for passing.

When stopping at a red, close up the distance to the car in front. Leaving a three-car gap means the last three cars in the line behind won’t get through.

Most real cars don’t handle like those in “Grand Theft Auto,” so resist the temptation to swerve at speed across lanes through heavy traffic. “Game Over” in real life means what it says.

Our roads are busy, but

if we all drive with consideration, we can help prevent needless accidents.

Greig McCallum, Naples

Way we’re fighting is worrisome

I am writing this letter because I read the article about former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaking in Naples.

I would like to have attended, but it required a coat and tie, and that is not my dress code. I’m a workingclass person who did well and now live in Naples seven months a year and Virginia Beach five months a year.

I am worried for my five children, my eight grandchildren and my seven great-grandchildren because of the way we are fighting each other in this country. President Trump is not perfect, but he is doing better than any president I have seen in my time. We need to give him credit and support him.

Nick Wright, Naples

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