Thursday, January 20, 2022

Donna Fiala’s Coastal Comments

Donna Fiala

Donna Fiala

The good news is: Lowe’s plans to break ground and start construction of their new store behind Shops of Eagle Creek at 951/Collier Blvd. and U.S. 41 East around mid-February.  First, Lowe’s will do site preparation, relocate utilities, and build a temporary road to accommodate Eagle Creek’s rear gate traffic to Price Street.  The Lowe’s people, who keep in contact with Jim Lackey of Eagle Creek, said it would take about seven months to construct the building and two months to install shelving, provide inventory, and hire and train personnel.  I think everyone in the area will be excited to see this store constructed. 

Lely High School is again bringing pride to their school and to this area as they open the Lely Corner Store in their school, under the guidance and direction of the wonderful people at SCORE.  The students created their own business plan, marketing plan, and basics of business structure.  Students, teachers and volunteer consultants worked together to present and consider ideas for the store’s business plan, identity and logo, job descriptions, merchandise, display equipment, and operating systems.  The Corner Store will promote school pride by selling t-shirts and other apparel with the LHS logo, along with school supplies and other fun items.  The school-based enterprise will be staffed and managed by students, with the students earning a salary.  I was lucky enough to be invited to attend their ribbon cutting and was so impressed with all of the students and the atmosphere of this school.  I would describe it as a ‘family of students’.   And of course, they have one of the best principals in the entire public school system, Ken Fairbanks.  You could see he was just bursting with pride.  If you haven’t had a chance to stop by the school, make it a point to do so.  You will be pleasantly surprised and very impressed. 

I was on the canvassing board for the Marco Island election, along with the Supervisor of Elections, Jennifer Edwards and Judge Rob Crown.  You’ve all heard the outcome of the election, but I wanted to tell you



about the ballots that WEREN’T counted.  One envelope was received without a ballot (or anything else) inside; 34 envelopes could not be opened because there was no signature on the outside of the envelope (the elections office must compare the signature on the outside of the envelope with the signature on file before the ballot can be counted); 45 ballots were returned late so were not counted; 33 envelopes had signatures that were different from the voters signature on file; three  had moved away from the area but had returned the envelope anyway;  1401 were returned undeliverable for some reason.  Remember, ballots cannot be forwarded, so if you were away on vacation or up north or had moved, your envelope is returned to the elections office.  The marvelous staff in the elections office makes every attempt to locate the voter, but 1401 were not found.  This totals 1517 votes that could not be counted.  What a shame.  I am so proud of the folks in the elections office.  They sent letters out to every voter who did not sign the envelope or whose signature didn’t match to advise them that the vote was not counted and the reason, and sent each a change of signature card to return and bring their records up to date.

The Sneak Preview of the lovely new Marco Island Historical Museum opened its doors to exciting things to come.  You could see Craig and Bonnie Woodward beaming with pride the entire evening (they worked so hard and asked for nothing in return), Bill and Betsy Perdichizzi glowing with excitement as they saw their nurturing come to fruition, Fay Biles and Lora Jean Young (she came to the Appraisal Fair) so pleased as they look back to when it all began and they were there, Alan and Linda Sandlin, Kris Helland, Paula andGene Erjavec – my goodness, I’d better stop naming people because there isn’t enough room to name all the wonderful people who made this museum happen, especially the entrepreneurs who, through their very generous donations, made this dream a reality.  To everyone:  thank you for all you do to make our life more beautiful.

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