Wednesday, January 26, 2022


In my opinion, the administration of our City of Marco Island has now become something of a joke among other communities.  Beginning with the search and selection of a new City Manager last fall, right on down to last week’s City Council meeting, I think enough inappropriate actions have taken place to explain Marco’s standing as the laughing stock of Collier County.

I propose a three-pronged approach that, if undertaken by this City Council, will start to restore credibility and seriousness to Marco Island’s administration and begin repairing the public’s trust.  My three-pronged approach provides for:

I.  A City Council Vote of No Confidence in Chairman Grifoni

II.  A City Council Vote to Censure Councilor Honig

III.  A City Council re-assignment request for City Attorney Gabriel


I. Vote of No Confidence   [Councilor Jared Grifoni]

Because Councilor Jared Grifoni

1)      Unilaterally, without City Council knowledge or consent, assumed authority to mitigate the Scott vs Niblock complaint.

2)      As Chair, did not inform City Council of the developing Scott issue details.

3)      As Chair, denied Councilor Batte’s request to speak at opening of 07 May CC meeting.

4)      As Chair, refused Councilor Brown’s proper request to add an item to 07 May agenda.

5)      As Chair, wrongfully demanded a supermajority vote in order to grant Brown’s request.

6)      As Chair, wrongfully refused to hear a “Question of Privilege” from an attendee.

7)      When his effectiveness as Chair was challenged by a councilor, he rejected it with an embarrassing, self-aggrandizing response instead of with a council discussion.

A simple Council majority vote of No Confidence would normally have Councilor Grifoni stepping down as Chairman.  Although stepping down isn’t mandatory, ethical officials of good moral character traditionally will do so.


II. Vote to Censure   [Councilor Larry Honig]

Because Councilor Larry Honig

1)      As former Chair last fall, unilaterally disregarded, without Council discussion, the concerns of three councilors regarding the City Manager hiring process.

2)      As former Chair, jeopardized the City by illegally dissing a CM applicant citing the applicant’s age.

3)      As former Chair, alienated the Mercer firm’s representative, a Mr. Higginbotham, by publicly denigrating his performance vs his fee.  Had to apologize later.

4)      Publicly denigrated our Police Department thus incurring a withering public reprimand from Police Chief Schettino.

5)      Falsely claimed not expecting or understanding Niblock’s now-infamous “Massacre” email message.

6)      Emailed a Naples city councilor denouncing Marco’s administration as “corrupt”.

7)      Frivolously and erroneously claimed that a change of procedures required a supermajority vote, (07 May 2018 CC meeting).

A simple Council majority vote to censure would transmit this Council’s disapproval of Councilor Honig’s inappropriate and misleading conduct.  Doing nothing suggests Council approval of such behavior.


III. Re-assignment   [City Attorney Alan Gabriel]

Because City Attorney Alan Gabriel

1)      When informed of the Scott allegations, failed to aggressively caution against City Council involvement.

2)      Failed to advise against Chair Grifoni’s unilateral involvement.

3)      Failed to advise against the covert “hush-hush” efforts between Chair Grifoni and the victim’s employer, (MIA).

4)      Failed to oppose the ridiculous victim/perpetrator “Mutual Apology” proposal.

5)      Failed to correct Chair Grifoni’s wrongful supermajority vote demand at the 07 May CC meeting.

6)      As “parliamentarian”, remained silent when Chair Grifoni refused a “Question of Privilege” at above meeting.

The above unprofessional actions give reasonable cause to have Marco’s law firm, (Weiss, Serota, Helfman, Cole), recall Mr. Gabriel and assign a different associate as Marco Island Legal Counsel.

It is sincerely believed that a City Council meeting agenda resulting in the discussion, adoption and activation of this three-pronged proposal would be in the best interests of the sitting City Council, the City of Marco Island and of our entire community…which is just a fancy way of saying: “Put your house in order, Councilors.”

Russ Colombo, Marco Island Resident, Taxpayer and Voter

Former Marco Island Taxpayers Association, (MITA) President and Former Preserve Our Paradise, (POP), Chairman

Marco Island


  1. Kay says:

    Sounds good to me. How do we actually do it?

  2. virginia bingle says:

    problems identified…solutions identified.

    Implementing solutions by way of?

    • Russ Colombo says:

      Virginia: Thanks for taking the trouble to express your thoughts here. I wish a few hundred more Marcoites would follow your example.

      Implementing any one of my three proposals is strictly up to the city council…I have to admit absolute delighted surprise when Councilor Batte made the motion on Monday that resulted in passing a vote of no confidence in Chairman Grifoni. Nothing personal against Grifoni, but that vote could signal a maturing integrity of this council. Grifoni tried, but failed to squash Batte’s motion. Batte, Brown, Reed and Roman voted “No Confidence” in Grifoni; Grifoni, Honig and Rios dissenting.
      Traditionally, good form and good character has the subject of such a vote stepping down from his office, although there is no compelling requirement to do so. Will be interesting to see what stuff Mr. Grifoni is made of, will it not?

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