Letters to the Editor, Feb. 18

Marco Eagle
Editorial cartoon

Marco sidewalks should be city responsibility

The last Marco Island City Council meeting included a discussion regarding the city’s policy on sidewalk maintenance. I have never known of a city that makes some of its residents totally responsible for the sidewalks and some not.

Under the present plan, if you’re in a single-family residence, you must maintain your sidewalk. However, if you live in the Hideaway Beach area, live on any side of the street designated as a 'multi-use' path, or a section of the island also having a business on your side of the street, the city maintains the sidewalk. Additionally, the extension from Barfield to MI Academy on the north side of San Marco just got replaced with much of it being new construction, built at city taxpayer expense.

Regarding the condo owner(s) who object to having to pay for a sidewalk not on their property: How much less would your condo be worth if all the sidewalks were left to deteriorate? Why do the homeowners have to help pay to maintain the sidewalk in front of your condo?

To the resident of the Hideaway Beach area: How do you justify voting to force the homeowner outside of Hideaway to pay for their own sidewalk to be maintained, and also to chip in to pay for your sidewalk to be maintained?

The city must take over the responsibility for all sidewalks. All the costs borne by homeowners in the past were due to someone’s dumb decision to make the homeowner pay for something that should have been a responsibility of the city.

Michael Dowell, Marco Island

Blind faith as opposed to science

Teaching to believe without verifiable evidence starts almost as soon as we are born. If you can teach to believe that Christ rose from dead, that he brought dead people back to life, that archangels, heaven, purgatory, and hell were real, that there is Santa Claus and he enters houses through the chimney, and that the Sun rotates around the Earth (Galileo was arrested for contradicting such belief), it is a cakewalk to make people believe all the Trump lies. Especially the Big Lie. And that COVID vaccine is ineffective and even harmful to your body, and all the misinformation and conspiracy theories that surround us. Those who believe in religious fantasies but do not believe in Trump lies and all the conspiracy theories that surround us must not be attending the church of Fox News, Newsmax, QAnon, OANN and the like.

Some are willing to die for their blind faith like anti-vaxxers are dying at a much higher rate from COVID than those who are vaccinated. Examples are littered throughout the history. Modern day Jim Jones followers are another example.

The fundamental principle of science, in contrast to blind faith, is to believe only with verifiable evidence. It is no wonder then that those who have learned to believe without verifiable evidence like anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers are anti-science.

Mukhtar Ali, Marco Island

Naples slow-walks hotel development

As a six-year resident of Old Naples, I’ve watched with concern how slowly the Four Seasons Hotel project is going on Gulfshore Boulevard, literally dragging on since approval in 2019.

After reading two front-page stories, I now understand. It appears City Council is slow-walking the project. Having spent a career

in trading and investment, I know how important it is to deal in good faith. I’m appalled how our elected officials are treating a nationally recognized company that has dealt in good faith with City Council, promising to build what will be a five-star property, one any other city would covet. Naples has a reputation of one of country’s happiest, healthiest communities. We surely don’t want 'unwelcoming' added to that list by sending a message to other businesses or individuals considering Naples as their next home.

This project will be a boon for the local economy and in keeping with the sophisticated city Naples has become.

Plus, the developer appears to be responding to every council demand, including the 104-acre conservation easement on the property, which, I for one, think is a landmark achievement.

So, what is going on? Why is council drawing this out and insisting on making all project rulings, even stripping its own staff of simple administrative decisions?

Is City Council trying to stop the development? What is the end-game? Council needs to move on, let the old hotel clean-up begin, and most importantly, clean up its own act.

Ronald Sippel, Naples

More:Letters to the Editor, Feb. 15