Letters to the Editor, Oct. 30

Marco Eagle
Editorial cartoon

Know the rules

There was a time in this country when every American knew verbatim the Constitution of these united States. I say united States because in that day (and when the document was originally written) united was an adjective not a noun.

It identified the 13 separate countries aka states united in a cause and form of republic governance bound together by a Constitution. In that day, these united States called their government a Constitutional Republic. Technically, this country is still bound by our founding documents and is still a Constitutional Republic. Unfortunately, the general populace refers to the country as a democracy and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Our united States is on a terrible precipice fighting for its very survival.

Whether Republican, Democrat, Libertarian or Independent, knowing the rules is critical to understand for making the best decision during this election. How can one evaluate any and all of the candidates running for office without making emotionally biased decisions? I’d like to think it’s relatively simple while requiring a great deal of personal responsibility and accountability. 

To vote responsibly, each American should be intimately familiar with the entirety of the Constitution for these united States, the Amendments thereto, the individual State Constitution and the Amendments unto that document. If voters haven’t read and do not know their own governing rules, how can the same voters evaluate any candidate in any party? In truth, uneducated voters aren’t voters at all.

Rather, these are “customers” being sold a “bill of goods” based upon emotional context. To be an accountable voter, each American should obtain, read, study and reflect upon each Article and Amendment.  The saying that knowledge is power is only a half-truth. Knowledge acted upon is power.

Over the course of the past decade, I’ve conducted a very unofficial survey of people I know asking a few simple questions: “When was the last time you read the Constitution or any of the amendments? Do you know how the First Amendment limits the Federal Government?  What are the three branches of American government?”  I am regularly disappointed by the lack of knowledge and more so by the lack of passion to correct that lack of knowledge exhibited by those without it.  I cannot help to wonder how leaders can be held to moral and ethical standards of governance if those who mean to be ruled by these leaders don’t know what is allowed or disallowed.

It is with all this in mind that I believe our City of Marco Island needs leadership that know the rules.  It is with all this in mind that leads me to believe Jared Grifoni, Becky Irwin and Richard Blonna are the three best choices for the City of Marco Island. Having spent time speaking to each one, these consummate professionals know the rules.  These peers encourage others to hold them accountable. It’s our responsibility to know the rules and to vote for candidates that can morally and ethically apply the rules.  Grifoni, Irwin and Blonna are a clear choice for the local preservation of the American Dream.

Al Wagner, Marco Island

My favorite candidate is Joe Rola

In this political season, it seems that everyone has their favorite candidate, and I am no exception.

I’ve chosen Joe Rola. I’ve known Joe since 2008, when he was one of the original members of Marco Island Homeowners, an organization that transitioned into Marco Island Property Owners. Joe was the treasurer and information officer.

Both Joe and Ed Issler exposed the illegal reuse of retired density from the Golon/Veterans’ Park Land Development code at a time when members of city administration and City Council wanted to transfer retired density to a private developer to support another high-rise hotel on Park Avenue.

Joe was an avid supporter of efforts to remove density transfers from our code of ordinances and to “officially” retire density associated with all city property, including all parks.

Over the last five years, Joe has been a member of our island Planning Board. He reads and understands the laws that you and I depend upon to preserve “our small-town tropical Island Paradise.”

Joe understands what it takes to preserve a low intensity quality of life that could be lost forever if we are fooled into believing that “all progress is good”, and “you can’t stop progress”. Joe knows the difference between helter-skelter development and development based upon a well thought out, coordinated set of incremental changes within a framework of a low intensity, sustainable vision.

I’m voting for Joe Rola for City Council.

Virginia Bingle, Marco Island

More:Letters to the Editor, Oct. 27