Friday, December 3, 2021

Letter to the Editor: NOW LET’S HEAR THE TRUTH



Words cannot describe how disappointed I am with all the commentaries by a few malcontents in this Island that will stop at nothing to get their way to further their personal agenda. There is enough blame to go around; the question is where do I begin? First a non-Island resident attacks a City Councilman at a public meeting with false and inaccurate information, all based on an illegally obtained report by a renegade Officer that is upset with the system and wants to use this as means to embarrass his superiors. He provides a copy of the report to a friend of the individual that has been renting his house without regards of City Codes and the wellbeing of his neighbors. Imagine renting a home to 16-20 college students on spring break. Mr. Spina knew there were that many people in the home that day; he was seen by the neighbors talking to the students. I served on the Code Enforcement Board for 6 years and was chairman for 2; just the idea of renting a 4 bedroom home to that many people is a violation of our occupancy code which only allows a maximum of 10 at that home. Does anybody believe for a moment that 20 young men and women jumping in the canal are going to be quiet? This Councilman was also blamed for pushing his weight around and having the Police Dept. patrol his home while he was away up north. Many years ago the Police started a program for all the Island citizens offering extra patrols if they requested them while they were away, there is even an application form at headquarters and also online to request this courtesy. I have personally sent e-mails to the Police Dept. requesting this courtesy from the Police Dept. on more than one occasion. The Police Dept. has been accused of changing the original Police report. Let me make a couple of points, where did the Naples Daily News

get the smoking gun saying that Mr. Batte asked them to modify the report? Nowhere, because it never happened. When did the Captain or the Police Chief, tells the Officer to change the facts on the report? Nowhere because that never happened. What the press won’t tell you is that all Police reports not only in Marco but in all jurisdictions, are subject to a minimum of 2 reviews for such things as grammar, accuracy, and to make sure no personal information is given out. Mr. Giansanti’s original report of the facts was never changed, what was changed was information in the report that is illegal to publish such as the Social Security number, driver’s license number of Mr. Batte and the individuals at the Spina house, and any departmental tactics discussion that must always remain confidential.

Mr. Batte is accused of having a pattern of contacting City employees in violation of the City Charter, I will tell you I was a member of the first review Committee of the City Charter that went to referendum several years ago, and there are no violations by Mr. Batte in his e-mails, or by any of the other Councilors. All of the Councilors serving today, as well as in the past, have send e-mails to staff for various different reasons and they are all very careful not to cross the line and violate our form of Government as defined in our City Charter.

I can understand the motivation of a young reporter in the NDN, wanting to make a name for himself, wanting to create controversy to sell papers, and taking the side of the person or entity that advertises in his paper, but in doing that he has done a disservice to his employer and the community. He has been sent letters from Marco citizens clarifying several points on his reports, but has remained silent so far. I have a granddaughter studying Journalism at University of Maryland, and she tells me that part of being a good reporter is to recognize when a mistake has been made and correct it. I hope he will follow that advice.

Mr. Batte has been elected twice to City Council in Marco Island, on the last election he was the top vote getter. He is well respected by all, a former Marine, dedicated his life to Law Enforcement at the Federal level to eliminate corruption. He holds top secret Federal security clearance to this day. He is not the type of person that in any way would abuse power. I am very proud and honored to know him and count him as one of my friends. I want to encourage all of you, the silent majority, to send your letters in support of this great American that has served Marco so well for so long.


Joe Granda


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