Our understanding of the mission of the City Council is to protect the interest, safety and reputation of the citizens, businesses and visitors of Marco Island. Each of you have a seat and represent the Island on our county boards. The words and actions of our City Council have a direct economic impact on our quality of life and your actions need to represent the fiduciary responsibilities of the Marco Island Taxpayers. Your appointed representative to the TDC (Collier County Tourist Development Council), Councilman Victor Rios obviously does not represent the Island’s, or your interests, by his recent actions and words at last week’s TDC meeting.
Victor Rios complained about how long it took to get to the meeting compared with travel time in off-season. Quote…Do we need more people here? Winter is Hell.”
These words are contrary to the welfare of tourism which is the economic lifeblood of the Island. The tourism industry is responsible for over 35,500 jobs in Collier County. Over 1.8 million visitors in 2105 spent over 1.31 billion dollars resulting in a total economic impact of over 1.95 billion to Collier County. Being named 2014 Trip Advisor Travelers #1 Island in the US and #4 Island in the World has given our local businesses the ability to thrive in a very difficult seasonal environment.
Our beaches, specifically Tigertail Beach, provide educational opportunities to our visitors and residents to learn about and explore sixty species of migrating and resident coastal birds, as well as sea turtles and a multitude of marine life. Marco Island is an environmental living museum for visitors around the world.
A large majority of our local business owners are independent entrepreneurs who work, live and raise their families on this Island. They provide full time residents all the amenities needed to live comfortably without leaving the Island if they so desire.
I would like to reference a quote from the Deltona Corporation’s 1964 Annual Report:
“Rather than being aimed primarily at retirees, it (Marco Island) is designed for a complete range of resort and leisure livinghotels, motels, apartments and extensive areas for homes. The company expects that as the community grows, its business and commercial life will expand too, and younger working families will comprise a sizable part of the population.
However, it is expected that most of Marco Island’s growth will derive from tourist activities and from the demand for second homes for vacation, weekend and other leisure use.”
I ask Councilman Rios, why do you live here? Did you not realize that Marco Island is and will always be a vacation destination, as well as, a vibrant community of businesses and residents?
Councilman Rios words cannot be undone or taken back, therefor it must be undone by action. The Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce is asking the City Council to do the right thing and request the removal of Councilman Victor Rios from the Collier County TDC and place a qualified representative to reflect your positive commitment to the taxpayers, businesses and residents of Marco Island.
Thank you for your consideration and swift action.
Dianna Dohm Executive Director Marco Island Chamber of Commerce