Letters to the Editor, Sept. 20

Marco Eagle
Editorial cartoon

Within the public true power lies

As November approaches most of us will begin to decide our Thanksgiving plans, but more importantly we will consider expressions of gratitude to family, friends, and especially to God.

I suggest we offer thanks to those city councilors we deem true public servants. It clearly will be an individual choice but allow me to earnestly encourage you to remember the words "public office is a public trust" in doing so.

In November our councilors will select a new chair who should be an individual who will advance the public interest as opposed to personal interest. Our chair should be an individual not tainted by public corruption otherwise public trust is eroded. Our chair should be an individual who understands that just power held is derived from the consent of the governed and that she or he are accountable for conduct displayed.

My belief is Councilor Roman who was unfairly overlooked last year is this individual. Please ask what justifiable reason exists for any of our former chairs to hold a second term especially if a review of their accomplishments or lack thereof is conducted. Remember compliance with Sunshine Laws means there cannot be deals made secretly this year as it appeared occurred last year. The reality is if Councilor Roman is not offered this position there will be no plausible explanation other than she was willfully blocked and that truth will be self-evident.

Within the public true power lies, and Marco Islanders will recognize this travesty.

Regina L. Dayton, Marco Island

Golden Gate golf course

It has been a while since the Golden Gate Civic Association and residents launched a campaign to save the Golden Gate Country Club. The goal was to ensure it would remain a full 18-hole championship golf course and preserve this beautiful green space for all Collier County residents.

Our sincere thanks goes to Commissioner Donna Fiala for proposing the county buy the property and continue to operate it just the way it is. We are also grateful to the other commissioners who supported the recent purchase by Collier County.

So much talk and alternative ideas for the land use have transpired since Fiala’s motion that I fear we have forgotten the original purpose of the campaign and are willing to accept whatever. The latest idea of an 18-hole golf course on 100 acres may appeal to some. But I think the money the county would have to spend to reconfigure the Golden Gate course into a 100-acre, 18-hole layout would be more than enough to buy 20 or more acres somewhere else for the VA nursing home or other purposes. I am all for a VA nursing home but not at the expense of bastardizing the Golden Gate course. It is too priceless a gem.

Mike Drapcho, Golden Gate

A vote to keep golf in Golden Gate

I would like to extend my congratulations and appreciation to Collier County for purchasing the Golden Gate golf course. I hope that the future plans for the property will include the preservation and improvement of the course.

There are very few golf courses that the public can afford to play in Collier County. The Golden Gate course is one of the oldest and nicest layouts in Collier County. If the course is maintained in good condition, there would be a very high demand to play it.

Over the past few years, the previous owner let the course’s condition deteriorate. They did make an effort in the last two years to improve the condition, and the play has increased greatly. If the condition continues to improve, the number of plays would increase to a point that would make it a real asset to the county.

I am amazed when I see so many parks in the county that require maintenance and upkeep and very few people visit them. The golf course will generate income and attract travelers from all over. I know this firsthand. Several groups from the Miami area come to the Golden Gate golf course every year for their outings because of the reasonable greens fees.

Thanks again, Collier County.

J. Goulding, Naples golfer

Pretenders at Collier farmers markets?

I have been growing food here for almost 10 years and am appalled at the notion that what we have here could or should even be called farmers markets.

The fact is there are only a handful of actual farmers in this county, if we are to maintain the integrity of what it means to actually be a farmer as someone who grows food.

Yet, our markets are saturated with people and vendors who do not grow the produce they sell, but rather buy the food off distribution trucks that come to Immokalee and then resell this produce to consumers that frequent these markets.

I have always maintained that ultimately it is the consumers’ responsibility to ask questions pertaining to the products they purchase. However, I wonder how many customers actually realize that what they are buying from these vendors is no different than what they would potentially buy at the grocery store.

There is a laundry list of other issues that are going unnoticed at these markets, as well. Real farmers are even being denied entry into markets because market managers say they have “too much produce.” How is this possible at a farmers market?

Real farmers and customers are being negatively affected by this situation.

Kenneth Alaimo, East Naples