Letters to the Editor, Aug. 9

Marco Eagle
Editorial cartoon

Yes, or no?

Fellow Marco Islanders: I’m a full-time 26-year resident who has “had it” with all the propaganda being peddled to us regarding our upcoming short-term rental, (STR), regulation vote. 

Yep, I know it’s an important “Big-Bucks” vs Residents issue that can impact our island’s future and yep, all the expensive “Vote No!” publicity and scare tactics from off-island vacation rental companies and local realtors was to be expected. After all, our Marco Island is a marketable, highly profitable item for them. 

But what shocked me was the offensive actions of two Marco Island city councilors, namely Jared Grifoni and Becky Irwin. Incredibly, these two elected individuals, (entrepreneur and realtor respectively), openly urged Marco Islanders to vote “No” on regulating short term rentals among single family communities … and they regurgitated the profiteer’s propaganda! 

To my mind, Grifoni and Irwin have now served notice that: They will prioritize personal, realtor and commercial interests over those of Marco Island’s residents and

they don’t know that in the USA, “We the People” tell elected officials what we want done; it’s not the other way around. 

Plentiful facts and figures are available, (plus plain common sense), enabling informed Marco residents to vote responsibly on regulating “weekend” rentals in the middle of single-family residential zones … that’s as obvious as regulating speed limits on our streets. Nonetheless, the shameless, self-serving lobbying of “Councilors” Grifoni and Irwin now guarantee this Marco resident’s not only “yes,” but “hell yes!” vote.

Thanks much for hearing me out.

Russ Colombo, Marco Island

Party! Party! Party!

I am a full-time resident who lives next to a year-round mostly weekly short-term rental home in our single-family neighborhood. There are approximately 20 homes in our immediate neighborhood of which there are eight STRs.

The rental house is 3 bedrooms 2 baths. I get around 300 new neighbors each year.  Impossible you say? Let’s do the math. Forty weeks rented per year (usually more) with at least four adults and three kids on average. That’s seven people times 40 weeks is 280-plus adults and kids every year.

Absentee landlord owners add 3-4 pullout couches and magically turn a three-bedroom home into a six-plus bedroom home. At capacity, where do 12 adults and six-plus kids sleep? Where do 5-6 cars park? How much noise do they make at all hours?

I call the police at least once a month. The current noise ordinance is a joke. I can plainly hear the voices and music be it county western or rock or rap or Spanish so that my lanai becomes a country western bar or disco or cantina. Excessively loud music knows no cultural bounds.

Every week new people. Party! Party! Party! This isn’t some one’s grandkids coming to visit once in a while.  Every week we wonder will it be better or worse than last week? Will we have to call the police again?

This is no way to live in one’s golden years. Vote yes on the STR ordinance and let’s get some control over this.

Melanie Sweeney, Marco Island

Small-minded beach parking policy

Is it legal or ethical for Residents’ Beach on Marco Island to be hoarding beach parking in the off-season? I’m counting 50-150 empty spaces per day depending on time/day of the week.

Reviews for South Beach Parking and Turtle Lot Parking are loaded with complaints that these public beach parking lots are way too small, even in July. Golf courses welcome the public during the off-season; why isn’t Residents’ Beach? Why do they hate our brothers and sisters also known as tourists?

Seems incredibly small-minded to me. Shouldn’t we be sharing paradise? Shouldn’t we be paying attention and radiating love? It doesn’t take much to gather data on empty spaces and share them for a comparable fee.

Karen Twyning, Marco Island

DeSantis fighting for Floridians

On July 23 I was excited to travel to Hollywood, Florida to see Gov. Ron DeSantis speak at the Sunshine Summit. There is no other governor in the country who is fighting for the people of his state the way Gov. DeSantis is. What I admire most about him is that he does not allow the media and their phony narratives to prevent him from doing what he knows is right for the people of Florida. DeSantis is disciplined, principled, focused on the tasks at hand, stands by his convictions and has a spine of steel. He is not backing down to woke corporations. He is not backing down to Joe Biden and his radical administration that has made the cost of living more expensive and caused the worst inflation in 41 years. And he is certainly not going to back down to those who want to indoctrinate our children and take rights away from parents. Gov. DeSantis will never stop fighting for Floridians so this November, the choice could not be any easier, I will vote for Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Yvette Benarroch, Marco Island

More:Letters to the Editor, Aug. 5