Letters to the Editor, May 5

Marco Eagle
Editorial cartoon

Thank you in advance for doing the right thing

I certainly hope that the Marco City Council, at their next council meeting, pause all STR registrations and work on the process until all the lawsuits filed against the city have been resolved.

To continue spending any more money, making residents spend money on continued upgrades which may not be required, is not what I would expect from the city leaders.

Your city attorney advised that the regulation had items not enforceable and four councilors still decided that they would put the city at risk of lawsuits.

At one point one council members even stated, bring on the lawsuits. You now have three, possibly four suits which could cause the city millions to defend. Do the right thing, suspend the registration process and work with the citizens committee, Marco Connections, to adopt a reasonable registration.

You worked with Isler and Dowell to adopt the current law and that has got the city in the mess we are now working on. Let's see what reasonable ideas the new citizens committee could present to replace what was adopted in December. I would be glad to work on that committee.

You made some minor changes in the past to the original 17-page presentation, so it appears you were not required to adopt as actually written.

Thank you in advance for doing the right thing.

John Richardson, Marco Island

Don’t ruin it for the rest of us

I wanted to reach out to you about this new change that is coming regarding short-term rentals on the island. 

My wife and I just bought a home on the island for retirement and closed on it in January 2022. We visited many places in Southwest Florida before deciding that Marco was the place we loved most.  To help offset the mortgage, we decided to rent it to other families so they could enjoy the benefits of the island that we love so much.

Before we purchased in Marco, the rental factor was a major determining element of where we would buy a home. Naples was another location we looked at.  One of the many reasons we chose Marco over Naples was the rules and ordinances that were enforced when it comes to renting. Naples requires renters to stay for a 30-day minimum. For many families, that’s not possible. By allowing families like ours (with kids) to come and visit on a weekly basis, it’s also allowing reinvestment back into the city.

I understand there may be some negative instances with renters but that shouldn’t overshadow the many, many positive experiences. By eliminating the ability for families to visit the island for short term vacations, there’s great potential it will hurt the economy there, not just us as homeowners but restaurants, grocery stores, tourist attractions, etc. Taking a young family on vacation is expensive as it is with flying, lodging, food, etc. so renting for a month is not an option for most. By eliminating short term renting, you will eliminate the business coming to the island from this demographic. 

Without our rental income, we will have to sell our dream home. In addition, we are using a rental agency to watch the home, take care of it, make sure it stays up and running. Without rental properties like ours, this small business may not be able to sustain their livelihood and be forced to close their doors.  We hope the few people who have negative views on short term rentals won’t ruin it for the rest of us. We are looking forward to enjoying our retirement when we get there.  We love Marco and can’t wait for it to be our home one day. 

Matt Hunter, Greenville, WI and Marco Island

Don’t let money buy your Marco Island vote

Dear Marco Voters: The Rental Registration Ordinance has passed. It is important for the future of our quality of Life on Marco Island that many of you realize that during that campaign and election, the STR owners and Real Estate industry spent almost $200,000 trying to defeat the passing of the ordinance.

Please, please never forget the scare tactic mailers you received telling you that your grandchildren will not be able to visit during Christmas. Or the mailer telling you that if the ordinance passed, your credit report would end up in the possession of the Chinese. 

Or, if you are a condo owner, the mailer you received telling you that if the ordinance passed, that condos would be included in the rental registration. And please do not forget the phone calls and/or door knockers that filled you with lies about the ordinance.

The entire campaign by opponents of the rental ordinance was based on lies. You can see that for yourself now. But be aware, these people are not done yet. They refuse to accept the vote by the majority of voters. It would not surprise me if they tried to do something in the next election.

Just make certain that you do not get scared or harassed by any efforts on their part. Do not support any of their candidates for City Council. They will try the same tactics, again.

Be vigilant! Send this letter to your friends.

Virginia Bingle, Marco Island

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