Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Letter to Editor: Veterans’ Community Park is NOT in Jeopardy



Dear Citizens of Marco Island:

Veterans’ Community Park does not need saving.  It is safe under the prevue of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC).  Marco Island is NOT loosing control of the Park’s design and development.  No developer is in control of the Park’s design and development.  PRAC is on top of this too.

For almost two years, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) encouraged and sought public input at their monthly meetings, input at meetings with multiple community organizations and clubs, and held a public forum meeting last April.  PRAC did not see any of the candidates at these meetings.   The Committee also reviewed several community surveys and emails.

The only decisions made for the Park thus far are:

  1. PRAC opined that it had sufficiently studied citizen input and to move forward with a park enhancement plan according to the wishes of the people.
  2. PRAC agreed upon $250,000 as the amount to request Council to budget in 2017 for the development of Veterans’ Community Park.
  3. Council approved 5-2 (Honig/Rios) PRAC’s $250,000 budget request for the development of the Park.
  4. Staff will present PRAC’recommendtion, that Council spend up to $40,000, to hire a design consulting firm to update the Veterans’ Community Park Master Plan at the November 14, 2016 City Council Meeting.

As I have stated numerous times in all meetings, it is important for citizens to be involved with the update process.   The preservation and/or enhancement of Marco Island’s Parks, aligned with citizen input, are PRAC’s responsibility.  It is our job, and the committee takes it seriously.  We too want to keep Marco beautiful.

If I am elected to City Council, I will continue to encourage and listen to citizen input as I always have.  This is on record and can be viewed on the City’s website.  And I will continue to keep our parks safely in the hands of the citizens.

Dr. Jerry Swiacki


Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee

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