Letters to the Editor, Aug. 5
David v Goliath
Dear Marco registered voters: Please take a moment and think about why you moved to Marco Island, and we became our own city.
You moved here, bought here for the great community that is Marco Island. For safety, peace, quiet, schools, beaches, solitude, great friends and neighbors and neighborhoods, churches, synagogues, retirement and community involvement.
We became a city so as a community, we, as a group of voters, could control our own destiny. But all of the above could possibly change as we are being invaded by special interest groups from all over the state spending advertising money trying to defeat the rental registration program on the August ballot.
The vacation rental industry on Marco Island has derailed the dreams and enjoyment of many residents here on Marco.
You have probably seen the ‘no’ vote SUV driving around town with the Wisconsin License plates. Or the ‘no’ vote Facebook and print ads paid for by state realtor organizations or Florida Vacation Renters Association.
They even have an ad that they emailed with a group of landlords and realtors holding hands giving the impression that they care about the Marco community. Based on what I hear from many people, the only thing they care about is defeating the will of the people, by using lies, deception and lots and lots of money.
The Rental Registration Program, as proposed, involves no taxes and is financed by fees paid for by the landlords. This is contained in the ordinance. The program only affects homes that are being used as short-term rentals and does not affect owner occupied homes, condos, or homes rented for more than 30 days at a time.
Please read the ordinance at final_marco_rental_ordinance_3-24-22-final_technical_sufficiency_002.pdf (cityofmarcoisland.com).
Vote yes on the rental registration program ordinance. If you have any questions, please contact us at takebackmarco@gmail,com
Ed Issler, Marco Island
Intelligent, kind school leadership
From the time I entered Tommie Barfield as a kindergartener to my graduation from Lely High School in 2017, I was blessed to have support from many excellent teachers and administrators who encouraged me to be curious, creative and compassionate.
One particular Collier County Public Schools administrator who had an impact on me was Dr. Jory Westberry. When I had a hard time in elementary school, she’d pull me out of class for “special projects” that helped boost my confidence.
Even as principal of an entire elementary school, she made 8-year-old me feel seen.
She’s continued to see students in need of support as a CCPS School Board member.
Her competency and dedication to high-quality, inclusive education brought stability to the school board and earned her accolades from colleagues, parents and students like me. Her values of equity and kindness come through in both her personal actions and policy decisions.
Alongside her fellow incumbents, Roy Terry and Jen Mitchell, I voted for Dr. Jory Westberry in hopes that her policies will create future leaders as intelligent and kind as her.
Rosie Poling, Marco Island
Appalled by GOP school endorsements
I applaud the paper’s coverage of the Collier School Board elections. Strong governance of our school district is essential.
School board candidates represent one district, but voters in the entire county vote for all members. The primary election is so important because whoever receives a majority vote wins the election.
However, I am appalled that the flyer I received from the Collier Republican Executive Committee endorsing three candidates for School Board suggests representation of me or my fellow Republicans.
As a registered Republican for over 40 years in Collier County, I can tell you I strongly disagree with your recommendations as I believe they will bring discord and instability to our school system.
A little research by voters into these candidates will verify my stance. Do we want a board member who has pending legal action or whose organization has been cut off by a sponsoring college due to questionable practices?
With the only A rated district in Southwest Florida, it makes sense instead to keep the high-quality incumbent board members in office. They have worked with parents, the community, and employees to ensure success for our students.
Certainly, voters should explore the candidates’ qualifications for themselves, but it is unlikely that the other candidates, especially those with a history of discord, can claim the success and experience of our incumbents.
In the August primary, vote for these incumbent School Board members: Jen Mitchell, Roy Terry and Jory Westberry to continue the high level of performance for Collier schools.
Martha McKee, Naples