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Marco meeting and manners

I viewed the video of the Sept. 3 City Council meeting and I read letters to the editor in the local papers every week. What has really struck me has been the recent lack of controversy in our local politics and city operations.

It was a pleasure to view a council meeting in which everyone treated each other cordially and with proper decorum. The councilors did not agree on all the issues, but they were respectful of each other’s opinions and positions.

I particularly want to acknowledge Council Chairman Erik Brechnitz for his leadership style and how efficiently and professionally the meetings are run.

It’s obviously a team effort, so I want to also acknowledge the entire council for working together on behalf of all of us who live on Marco Island. This teamwork resulted in the selection of our new city manager, Michael McNees, who in his short time here has begun to implement policies that will better serve our community and build good will among the city’s staff.

It also was very refreshing to see the swearing-in of our new police chief,

Tracy Frazzano, who emphasized the importance of family. I have been a resident of Marco Island for 30 years. Although it has grown considerably over those years, I still think of Marco Island as a small homey, family-style community. So, when Chief Frazzano mentioned the importance of family, I knew right away that she would fit right in with our great community.

Al Diaz, Marco Island

Funding of Florida schools

A recent episode of “Sunday Morning” on CBS aired titled “How we have failed our teachers.” This segment nailed what teachers have been facing in the classroom for decades.

Florida teachers experience many challenges, with the top challenge being the under funding of public education. I wrote a previous letter that included the fact that Florida is ranked 46th in teacher pay and funds per-pupil spending $4,354 below the national average. Yet, according to the Orlando Sentinel, Florida’s economy is ranked 17th in the world.

Clearly, Florida is failing to fund public education, to the detriment of its nearly 3 million students.

Florida teachers cannot strike; it’s in our state constitution. Moreover, we teachers feel a strike is not beneficial to our students; having teachers in the classroom is paramount to students receiving a solid education.

So, what teachers have been doing and will continue to do is call attention to this gross underfunding by wearing red every Wednesday. If you think funding education is important in Florida, help us spread the word by wearing red on Wednesdays.

Our students deserve a well-funded school system that values their education.

(From a Collier County Public Schools teacher and vice president of the Collier County Education Association.) 

Annette Hall, Golden Gate

Legal immigration ways few?

A letter writer recently opined that those who oppose deportation of foreigners who have been allowed to reside in the U.S for medical treatment should financially support them and fund their applications for green cards. He was referring specifically to a young woman who has been here since she was 4 years old and will not be able to receive life-saving treatment in her country of birth.

It’s a popular misconception that all illegal immigrants (or those here for medical reasons) have to do is get in line and wait their turn. However, to apply for legal status, one must have a sponsor. That sponsor can be an employer (if one has special skills that employers can’t find among Americans) or a close relative. It cannot be any well-meaning American citizen wishing to help people they feel sorry for.

Legal immigrants who become citizens may sponsor their spouses, parents and unmarried children under 21. The wait for children who are married and/ or over 21 is around 10 years. Sponsoring a sibling takes around 17 years, and it is not possible to sponsor grandparents, aunts, uncles or cousins.

The vast majority of those here illegally would gladly wait their turn for legal status, but there is no avenue for them to do so.

Nina Mold, East Naples

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