Letters to the Editor, June 14

Marco Eagle

Council heroes on short-term rentals

At the last City Council meeting, an interesting segment regarding short-term rentals, (STR), arose. It mimicked old Hollywood melodramas:

A small, quiet residential town (Marco) is beset by profiteering mercenaries who construct alluring houses within single family residential zones. They then rent the houses to tourist vacationers as STRs.

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Understandably, festive vacationers tend to transform family neighborhoods into kaleidoscopes of loud, peace-disturbing merrymakings. 

Two white-hatted resident heroes, (played by activists Ed Issler and Christine Dowel), lead a movement to curb lawless STRs. Observing all required legalities, they and their followers reach the point wherein council can permit the STR problem be resolved by a townspeople vote. But wait!

Enter three black-hat opponents, a lawyer/entrepreneur, a realtor and a stress reducer specialist [?], (played respectively by councilors Grifoni, Irwin and Blonna). Each black-hat tries to prevent the proposed public vote. Presumably, STRs are too profitable to be regulated. They argue long and hard against having the proposed public vote.

Enter our unassuming superhero, (played by councilor Joe Rola). Steely eyed and fearless, our super-hero ends the contest of interests with a firm, formal motion to decide the townspeople’s wishes.  Seconded, his official motion cannot be denied. Thus, City Council action is forced!

Suspenseful drum roll.

The 7-member Council votes 4-3 approving a Marco STR vote in August, exactly as had been requested.  Three sullen, defeated black-hats fade in anguish. The townspeople openly rejoice!

The end … (for now?).

Well-deserved credits go to Councilors Rola, Brechnitz, Folley and Babrowsi, with appreciation.

Russ Colombo, Marco Island

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Re-elect incumbents to Collier school board

I recently attended a school board candidate forum at the Naples Grow church, where all of the candidates were in attendance.

Above the candidates was a huge well-lit sign sponsored by Underground Education which asked the audience to join them in becoming “a part of the growing community of families that are taking their kids out of the public education system.”

All of those running in opposition to the incumbents agreed with this sentiment as well as firing Superintendent Dr. Kamela Patton (who not only was recently chosen Superintendent of the Year for Florida but also last year Superintendent of the Year for the United States). Are these people crazy? Why are they running for a seat on the Collier County School Board?

Vote for the incumbents Jory Westberry, Jen Mitchell, and Roy Terry who care about our children and excellent public education!

Beth Povlow, Marco Island

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