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Letters to the Editor, Sept. 11

Marco Eagle
Editorial cartoon

Marco is facing a crisis

A crisis caused by unlawful rentals in single family housing (RSF-1 thru RSF-4) districts, neglect and abuse. From the time Marco became a city in 1997 and probably before, owners in RSF districts have been unlawfully renting out their island homes.

The city has turned a blind eye to this problem for well over 20 years. When our first set of ordinances was codified in 2001, we had laws (§30-10 & 30-81) on our books that prohibited rentals in RSF districts. This ordinance was never enforced by the city and the state exacerbated the situation by passing their own short-term rental ordinance in 2011 with a few amendments thrown in between 2011 and 2014. Some commercial special interest groups might tell you that the state’s statute pre-empts Marco ordinance(s). Not so fast. Our ordinance (§30-10 & 30-81) has been on the books since Sept. 17, 2001, predating the state’s statute by 10 years!

Our ordinance clearly spells out the allowed USES are in RSF districts. “Rental” is not mentioned as a use by right or condition, therefore it is not permitted!

The implication of our ordinance was not discussed by City Council in public during rental discussions 2008-2009 nor in 2015. No one from the city officially approached the state to review and grandfather our existing and current ordinance. Now is the time for Marco’s residents to let their city councilors know they are thinking. Petitioning the State to establishing our codes as grandfathered is the most straightforward approach to addressing this problem.

Joe Rola, Marco Island

We’re not ‘together’ against virus

We hear and read, “We’re all in this together.” However, our everyday reality suggests that phrase is little more than mere rhetoric, as

Americans demonstrate how differently we perceive the threat of our COVID- 19 pandemic.

From a motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota, with a quarter of a million people in close proximity, mainly not wearing masks, to other super-spreader events throughout our nation, clearly we are not all together in this, regardless of being physically “all in this together.”

Imagine older people being hosts of a highly contagious, deadly disease, of which they felt little to no symptoms. They could lives their lives as usual and enjoy all their normal activities without reservation or fear of self-harm. They could travel freely throughout society and congregate as they desired without restrictions, feeling immune and gleefully protected from the ravages felt by younger people with the disease.

But what if they knew they’d be decimating generations of younger people through their cavalier exposure? Would their actions be viewed as valid “survival of the fittest?

Lance McCormack, Marco Island

Vote twice and tweet?

The “law and order” president told his followers Wednesday (in Wilmington, North Carolina) to vote in person and by mail ballot, which is against the law. It is a felony to do so in Florida.

As a former Republican, I ask all Americans who believe in the Constitution and this country’s rule of law to not vote for Mr. Trump. I will be voting for Joe Biden; and yes, I will cast only one vote.

For the past few years, I have been reminded almost daily of my visit to the Marco Island McDonald’s the morning after the 2016 election. While getting my senior coffee, I observed a local group of seniors, who met there each morning, discuss Mr. Trump’s election. I overheard a lady say rather strongly to the others something to the effect of: “Well, he better stop the tweets!”

In one of his outrageous Twitter messages (this year) President Trump asserted (in June) that a 75 year-old peaceful protester who was severely injured when pushed to the ground by police in Buffalo might have been a “set up.” It was just the latest example of an out-of-control mind. For our senators, Rubio and Scott, to not seriously comment on his tweet was disgusting. Shame on them.

I’ll be at the McDonald’s on Marco for breakfast Wednesday, Nov. 4, to see whether our country has regained its moral direction.

Richard Maxwell, Marco Island

More:Letters to the Editor, Sept. 4