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Joe Rola announces candidacy

My fellow Island residents my name is Joe Rola and I’ve recently submitted my candidate papers to run for election to one of the four open four-year terms on the Marco Island City Council this November.

My wife, Barbara, and I have been blessed with 37 years of married life, 4 children and 10 grandchildren. My wife and I have long been enjoying our retirement here on Marco. Barb and I have been property owners on the island for 20 years and full time residents since 2005.

My formal education consists of a B.E.E degree from Villanova University with graduate work in computer engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. The majority of my career has been as a defense contractor working in the field of program management. My various work assignments required some of the highest government security clearances.

During my time on Marco Island, I have applied my skills to supporting two of Marco Island’s resident advocacy groups, Marco Island Homeowners and Marco Island Property Owners, as one of their original founding members, fulfilling roles of vice chairman and treasurer. I was also the editor and publisher of their Constant Contact e-newsletter.

I have been a contributing member of our island’s Planning Board during the last four years. My time on the planning board has allowed me to develop a hands-on familiarity with our Land Development Code as well as other sections of the City Charter and City Codes as they apply to the quality of life on our island.

In answer to your question, “Why are you running for City Council?” I would call your attention to two facts. The island is approaching build out and we are in the process of updating our comprehensive plan, 11 years after the last update in 2009. The island desperately needs resident participation in these processes. As a pre-cursor to the eventual comprehensive plan, I was one of 70 participants in our strategic planning meeting in May, 2019. I heard your comments, loud and clear. You were asking for control of island density/intensity and more concentration on the natural beauty of our island Paradise, more green space, the completion of Veterans’ Community Park and efforts to stop the impairment of our waterways.

As a potential councilor, I have no special interests or financial gain other than to foster an appreciation for conserving our island’s natural ambiance and small town character, while supporting the best interests of our community. It all begins with you electing the right City Council members who will work diligently to get it right.

If you trust me with your vote and elect me, I promise to do my part to keep your trust. I need and respectfully request your support.

Joe Rola, Marco Island

Tigertail Tony. Soon to be a legend

Shame on Collier County Parks & Recreation management.  The last vestige of any recreation at TigerTail is now gone.  The usurious county increasing fees have literally driven Tony Smith out of business. No more beach rentals or concessions. Once the pristine jewel of Marco is rapidly becoming an avian septic eyesore. Humans not welcome.

If you have visited Tigertail 20 or more years ago you may remember it when there were pure white sandy beaches, clear fresh gulf waters and a one of a kind tropical setting for the entire family.  Once an asset – now a detriment to local property values.  There used to be turtle nests there. Really!

While not directly under the authority of Marco Island, the city has done nothing to aid and assist in the protection of this asset to all Marco Island residents.  Collier County's greed for more revenue is now the death nail for Tony Smith.

Beach re-nourishment everywhere for multiple years except Tigertail Beach. Every extreme high tide or rain event leaves the beach in standing water for days/weeks. Now 50 percent of the beach is covered with sharp shells left over from the South Beach renewal.

The beach is no longer raked.  Seaweed and bird droppings accumulate until the odor dries up.

Now we know why there has been a sign in/out at the guard shack stating "no refunds!"

Thank you Tony for years of fun at Tigertail. We will miss you.

Mark & JoAnn Brandau, Marco Island

More: Letters to the Editor, May 29

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