Wednesday, January 26, 2022




Donna Fiala

A delightful contest will be offered by the Marco Island Historical Society and the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce. It is the Inaugural Annual Wreath Decorating Contest and Auction to be held at the Rose History Auditorium on Sunday, December 1 from 4 to 6 PM, and will include a Holiday Party. Hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served while guests view and bid on the decorated wreaths, enjoy carolers and a special performance by the Island Theater Company Kids.

If you have an artistic talent and would like to participate, submit your wreath on November 30 between 9 AM and noon. Cash prizes will be awarded. First place: $100; Second place: $50; Third place: $25; and People’s Choice award: $100. Wreaths will be judged on workmanship, use of materials, creativity and originality.

For further information call Lori Wagor at the Rose History Auditorium at 239-784-6541 or Katie at the Marco Chamber – 239-394-7549. All businesses, clubs/organizations and schools are invited to participate. (Limit – 1 wreath per business or organization.) Proceeds will benefit the Marco Island Historical Society and the Marco Island Area Chamber of Commerce. I wouldn’t miss this one for the world!

*As many of you know, when I took office as your County Commissioner 13 years ago, one of my most important efforts was to establish a harmonious relationship between Marco and the County. It had eroded for many years and that does not make good government on either part as we are all a part of the bigger picture. There was a lot to overcome, but through a cooperative effort and lots of work, we were able to achieve that goal.

Over the years I never let you down, and your City Councilors were with me every step of the way. Through those years, together we won every request and every dollar we asked for.

One of the first requests was the fairness of the Coastal Advisory Committee. Up until that time, Naples had five people on the board, and Marco had only one. Not fair at all. Almost the first thing I did when elected was to change the composition to three for Naples, three for Marco and three for the County, and it has worked well ever since. Also, the City of Marco wanted to be certain they received their fair share of the TDC dollars and the beach renourishment efforts. As you might have noticed, whenever the passes seem to be closing, we need t-groins replaced or improved upon or we need sand on the beach, Marco is first in line to get it done.

Many other issues have also been won through the years, such as the $25 million the state was giving the county for a shovel ready job – and we, the county, chose Marco to receive all of the money to build the new bridge rather than do many smaller jobs. The county also added $5 million dollars from its budget to complete the project, thus no one will ever have to pay a toll! That’s because we worked together!

By the way, it was through Keith Dameron’s suggestion that we modified the bridge abutment so that it was not solid, but instead it allowed people to see Marco as they drove over the bridge – what a thrilling sight! I worked closely with the state, and through a cooperative effort we had the design changed for all to enjoy. That’s what a cooperative effort can produce. There are many more examples, but I don’t have enough space to add more at this time.

It disturbs me that the new council members seem to be trying to separate the city and the county by creating an adversarial atmosphere and that benefits no one! Demanding certain things and criticizing your partner never has a positive outcome. People on Marco should not have to live with a strained relationship because of the actions of a few. ‘Nuff said.

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