Letters to the Editor, Nov. 1

Marco Eagle
Editorial cartoon

Marco council candidates get vote

Recently, visiting friends asked who I favored in the upcoming city councilor election and why. Not wanting to bore them with local Marco Island issues, I narrowed my answer down to the following synopsis. Maybe it’ll help some of our still-undecided voters:

Recently, Marco residents passed a contentious referendum restricting short-term rentals in the middle of single-family residential zones.

Two of our five candidates, Rivera and Palumbo, have received thousands of campaign dollars from sulking short-term realtor organizations. If these two candidates are as upright as their literatures claim, and if elected, they will owe a lot of loyalty to their short-term realtor supporters.

I’m of the opinion that elected city officials should have no more than one primary loyalty, namely, the residents.

That said, I’m left with only three candidates for the three council seats, Brechnitz, Dowell and Folley. Ergo, these three get my vote.

Russ Colombo, Marco Island

Best candidates for Marco City Council

Marco Islanders will have an opportunity to vote for three candidates for City Council as the November election approaches. In my mind, there are three candidates who stand out as deserving of residents' support.

Councilor Greg Folley has consistently demonstrated his commitment to listening to all sides, even when it might otherwise seem impossible. His pragmatic approach to difficult discussions -- such as on workforce housing -- has earned him the appreciation of many residents. Furthermore, Councilor Folley has been very hands-on in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. He has been in touch with Comcast frequently, has worked to resolve broken condo elevators, and has distributed critical informational updates.

Councilor Erik Brechnitz, who has been twice elected by his peers to serve as Council chair, brings a tremendous wealth of knowledge to the City Council. Fulfilling one of his original campaign promises, he was instrumental in hiring an experienced city manager and ending the "revolving door" in the city manager's office. Councilor Brechnitz's focus on addressing traffic on the island is also critical, including his helping to get funding for a traffic study in the 2022-2023 budget.

Last but not least, Christine Dowell is a true citizen's advocate. She has been instrumental in bringing a voice to residents' concerns about the issue of short-term rentals, while also diligently attending almost every City Council meeting to discuss other critical matters like water quality and Caxambas Park. Christine is a true fighter, and I have no doubt she would stand up passionately for Marco Islanders as a City Councilor.

When you fill out your ballot for Marco Island City Council, I hope you will join me in supporting these three candidates who represent a strong future for our island.

Hayden Dublois, Marco Island

Helping wealthy to cheat

Recently, Kevin McCarthy, house minority leader unveiled the Republican “commitment to America”, if, in the upcoming election, GOP wins majority. Their very first bill would focus on repealing “87,000 IRS agents”. The claim is that such an expansion of IRS agents will be used to audit middle-class Americans, low-income earners, and small businesses. Really? Let us examine the facts.

Recent Treasury Department report shows that the Treasury is losing federal income tax revenue over $600 billion annually because some taxpayers are hiding a part of their income from being taxed. Almost all (99.95 percent) of non-reported incomes are arising out of income from investment in businesses, stocks, bonds and other financial assets. As the top 20 percent of the wealthy owns almost all the financial assets, more precisely 93 percent of the financial assets (NBER), wealthy are hiding a part of their income to avoid paying full amount of taxes that they owe. In contrast almost no income is hidden from the wage and salary and thus the wage and salary workers are paying full amount of taxes that they owe.

This is understandable because in reporting income, salary and wage earners are accounted by their employers but investment income earners are accounted by no one. Only way these cheaters can be detected is through IRS audits. By eliminating “87,000 IRS agents”, GOP will be clearing the path for the wealthy to cheat which in other words GOP will be allowing wealthy to break the tax laws. It seems GOP is a party of law and order only for those not well off or well-connected and wealthy can freely avoid laws.

Mukhtar Ali, Marco Island

More:Letters to the Editor, Nov. 1

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