Letters to the Editor, Aug. 19
Paradise found and almost lost
Four years ago, when I began to plan for my retirement, I made a list of features for a new community that were of importance to me. After much research on the Internet and visiting many communities, I discovered the semi-tropical island paradise of Marco Island.
I wanted warm weather and clean air, light traffic and quiet streets, and excellent public safety. In addition, I wanted stores and services to be located conveniently nearby. A bonus would be to have walking paths, parks, and a beach for exercise and to explore nature.
I found all of my desires and much more in the beautifully landscaped city of Marco Island. I own a nice house with a lot where I can enjoy my hobby of growing trees, flowers, and a garden. During my research, I read that the average age of Marco Island full time residents is 68 years old. As a result, I was expecting that the city to be mostly quiet and peaceful. I had selected the perfect community for my retirement.
Unfortunately, a growing trend is disrupting this peace and tranquility. The unregulated short-term rentals of single-family houses is an area of great concern. Enjoying the simple pleasures of reading a book and dining on your patio, can be disrupted by a short-term rental house with a large pool party or loud late-night music and bright lights.
These houses also often have an excessive number of vehicles and large amounts of trash. Single family houses should not become motels, with new temporary residents each day or week. Short-term renters are welcome to visit our city on brief vacations, but they must respect the rights of the full-time residents and abide by our local ordinances. To protect the peace and safety of Marco Island, I strongly urge everyone to vote YES on the ordinance to regulate short term rentals.
Bill Lembke, Marco Island
Support for these school board candidates
Much of the annoying daily ads for school board candidates are misleading and downright deceitful. The schools are already safe, spending is scrutinized and fair, and critical race theory is not being taught.
The Republican Club of Collier County and their endorsed candidates want you to believe the opposite. As registered Republicans, we are disappointed that the Collier County Republican Club has ignored that school board elections are nonpartisan.
Additionally, they have endorsed a candidate with no educational background or teaching experience and former board member, Kelly Lichter. During several past school board meetings, Kelly’s behavior was very contentious resulting in many school board meetings that lasted until well after midnight. Her unprofessional comments set a horrible example for the students sitting in attendance.
We voted for incumbents Jory Westberry, PhD, former Tommie Barfield Elementary principal for almost 20 Years, Roy Terry who is a former teacher, coach, athletic director, and principal as well as Jen Mitchell, current CCPS Board Chair who was involved with PTO and the Superintendent Advisory Board. We have known these people for years. In our opinion, Jory, Jen, and Roy have done an admiral job, they are honest, fair, and possess good common business sense.
We need experienced, efficient, levelheaded board members who don’t waste their time slinging barbs at other candidates but will continue to work professionally and productively as an experienced and well qualified team.
Dr. Jerry Swiacki and Linda Turner, Marco Island
Daija Hinojosa for Collier commission
I am writing to you today to tell you why I have chosen to Vote for DaijaHinojosa as Collier County commissioner, District 4.
I have known Daija now for more than a year. During that time, she has shown me true kindness, immense commitment, passionate loyalty, unbreakable faith, and morals. She believes this is her calling and radiates this belief to all that meet her.
The biggest part for me, she shows up! She shows up to everything, local events, candidate forums, workshop, commissioner and school board meetings, all of it!
She is present and makes the time to put her community first.
I write this today in hopes that my words might inspire someone to take the time to meet Daija and learn for themselves who she is, and what she stands for. This is the only way to know that whomever you are voting for will, like Daija, vote with integrity, faith, and principles.
April Holland, Marco Island