Saturday, January 22, 2022

Letter to the Editor: All Politics is Local

Once again, “All politics is local”!

Isn’t it somewhat ironic that in the very same week that ‘Anonymous’ has an Op-Ed published in the New York Times that a local group calling themselves “Marco concerned citizens” pass around anonymously an email attacking Dr. Jerry Swiacki from his time as Chair of the Parks & Recreation Committee, Jim Richards who is an announced candidate for Marco City Councilor, and current City Councilor Howard Reed?

In both these cases, whether I agree or not with the content, the purpose was to damage the targets from the President to a sitting City Councilor, YET IN NEITHER CASE DID THE PERSON(s) INVOLVED HAVE THE COURAGE TO PUT THEIR NAMES BEHIND THEIR WORDS! When I successfully ran for City Council there were people who objected to my candidacy and my agenda, yet at least they had the courage to put their names on their complaints.

As it pertains to the content of the email slamming Dr. Swiacki, et al, some clarification is important. First of all, let’s remember that the citizens of Marco Island voted in favor of purchasing what is today known as Veteran’s Community Park; secondly, the original plan called for significant landscaping and buildings, including an entertainment venue. Subsequently, a prior Council authorized a consultant to develop a Comprehensive Plan in 2009 that detailed, based on input from the community, a plan for the future of the park, which never came into being. During my time on Council, we asked the Parks & Rec Advisory Committee to look into either updating the Comprehensive Plan and/or offer suggestions for development; the Chair of the Committee happened to be Dr. Swiacki, who, along with his Committee, spent the better part of a year getting citizens and Council input on the future of the Park. Unrelated to the efforts of the Committee, the then-City Manager, Roger Hernstadt, negotiated an arrangement with a developer who would have built a hotel adjacent to the Park, and in exchange for the necessary variances, would have paid for the majority of the improvements to the Park that THE CITIZENS OF MARCO ASKED FOR! (contrary to the coward’s contentions, Dr. Swiacki did not endorse the Manager’s plan, he did endorse allowing the process to play itself out so that the citizens of Marco could have their voices heard) Facing strong resistance, the hotel project was abandoned and that effectively derailed the Committee’s efforts. Just recently, another review of the Comprehensive Plan was undertaken and, based on the initial concepts, Councilor Reed embraced their recommendations (I’m unsure about the positions of the rest of Council).

Here’s my point: both Dr. Swiacki and Mr. Richards have taken the risk of ‘putting themselves out there’ and are running for City Council this year while Councilor Reed has endorsed a plan for the Park publicly; these gentlemen have demonstrated their belief in their support of their ideas and have made it very well known. Where are the cowards who are nothing more than “key-board commandos” who work behind the scenes in clothed secrecy?

Larry Sacher

Former Marco City Councilor and a VERY concerned Marco Island citizen!

One response to “Letter to the Editor: All Politics is Local”

  1. Hector C Fernandez says:

    The idea of a “park” that is tucked away facing parking lots and the back of buildings is… well absurd. As with most things Marco… we have unqualified folks making decisions about things they know little about.

    Let’s go ahead and throw more money at the issue just like the endless search for the least desirable job in the country… City Manager of Marco Island.

    Perhaps we should worry about getting our house in order and keep taxes down and build up a reserve before the next recession hits in a couple of years?

    How about trying to attract development and increase tax base revenue for the city? How about promoting development on the periphery of the park? How about negotiating a deal with NCH to get a real ALF facility for the endless number of soon to be residents that currently live on Marco? How about demanding as part of the deal that NCH pull thru with its original commitment and give Marco a real Urgent Care Facility instead of nixing the ALF and trying to shove an expensive ambulance service down our throats?

    Crazy little island indeed…

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