There certainly has been a lot of recent negative Letter’s to the Editor pointed at our current city council. Are things on Marco Island really that bad? These negative letters have me thinking about the good old days on Marco Island.
Do you remember the Septic Tank Replacement Program (STRP)? I certainly do because it cost me $20,000! That council in 2005 passed the STRP by resolution so no one could use the charter ordinance repeal process.
Next, that council changed the council meeting rules to require that everyone had to sign-up to speak and moved public comment to the end of the meeting.
In 2008, when candidates ran to stop the STRP, the council commissioned a $50,000 report claiming that the condos would have to pay millions in higher utility fees if the STRP was stopped. This report was used to influence the election by pitting condos against homes.
Do you remember in 2004 when that council imposed a 6% electricity tax? That money was to be used to underground all the wires on Marco Island for hurricane readiness. That council undergrounded about half of Collier Blvd and spent the rest of the money on other projects. If I recall correctly, it was two citizens, Mr. Honecker and Mr. Petricca who shamed the council in 2009 to repeal the tax since it was not being used for its intended purpose.
Do you remember when the previous council fired City Manager Steve Thompson in 2010? Out of the blue, four council members voted to fire Mr. Thompson and replace him with Jim Riviera who had NO city management experience, but just happened to be at that particular council meeting to accept his new job. One of Mr. Riviera’s first projects was to add surveillance cameras and voice recorders throughout City Hall.
After recalling previous city councils, maybe the current council is not that bad after all. Their mistake was attempting to approve a short -term rental ordinance implementing life saving fire and safety measures for the renters, preserving the quality of life for the residents living next door to mini hotels, and protecting the integrity of zoned family residences.
I applaud the council for bringing forth an ordinance that would assure SAFETY for all property owners and renters on Marco Island.
Homeowner and Condo owner