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New police contract

Marco Island City Council approved a new three-year contract for the police department, whose members had been operating without a contract for almost a year. Diligent work on both sides — the police union and the city administration — got the job done.

The new police contract, approved by City Council, is something all Marco Island citizens can be proud of. Starting salaries for police officers are now at parity with those in Naples. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has been collecting and publishing this information since 2005, and in every year since then — until now — Marco Island starting salaries have been about 10 percent below those in Naples. No longer. City Council was able to accomplish this without increasing taxes.

I am hopeful the new city manager and police chief can build on this impressive foundation. For example, I would like to see our police officers have the right to drive their police vehicles to and from work, as Collier County sheriff’s deputies can. There are Florida rulings that this does not create income to the officer. Of course, there would be a cost, but we should find a way. Why? Because Marco Island really is “at the end of the line” in Collier County, literally. Most officers do not live in Marco Island and have long commutes, easily 40 miles per day longer than if they worked in Naples. We should reach for ways to make it increasingly attractive for all our first responders to work here without financial sacrifice.

Larry Honig, member, Marco Island City Council

Gun reform? Do something!

Do something! Dayton, El Paso, now Odessa are you numb? If you can’t forget the 53 killed in August, the countless injuries, the human waste — then act upon it.

Our legislators are back from vacation and at their desks in Washington .D.C. This is the time to contact them about limiting access to weapons of war, such as assault-style weapons. The common thread among all these horrendous shootings is easy access to highpowered weapons. Gun reform? Yes, to ban those guns is to prevent some of these tragedies.

Background checks shared by local, state, and federal governments is another piece. So is mental health help. Time to get started!

Please show your children and grandchildren that you care enough about their future to do something now. To procrastinate longer is to deny meaning to the deaths of children at Columbine (1999), Virginia Tech (2007), Sandy Hook (2012), and Marjorie Stoneman Douglas (2018).

How much longer must we wait for our representatives to do something?

Nancy Webster, Naples

Isn’t it ironic?

I find it ironic that Trump is spending billions of taxpayer’s dollars on subsidies to appease farmers hurt by his trade war while he lambastes his Democratic opponents “as a bunch of socialists.”

Trump keeps insisting that farmers are starting to do great again, yet farm bankruptcies are rising, while sales of soybeans, pork, and wheat are plummeting. Trump really has no idea on how to do a trade. His whiplashing between hard-line and conciliatory stances with China has caused wild fluctuations in the markets. How are businesses supposed to make plans in this environment?

This is no way to make America great again.

Michael Troop, Naples

Together, we can save lives

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, but it can be prevented. I had a personal experience with this myself, when I lost my daughter to suicide in 2016.

During National Suicide Prevention Week, September 8-14, I will be urging my public officials to prioritize suicide prevention and mental health and to 'be the voice' for the millions of Americans affected by suicide each year.

To prevent suicide, we need to: 1 Invest in suicide prevention research within the National Institute of Mental Health at a level equal to the suicide problem in our country 2 Strengthen oversight for mental health parity at the state and federal levels 3 Fully fund the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255 ) and local crisis call centers 4 Make service member and veteran suicide prevention a national priority Please join me by calling your members of Congress and your state and local officials to ask them to make suicide prevention the priority it deserves to be.

Together, we can save lives.

Jennifer Ulitsch, Cape Coral

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