Saturday, December 4, 2021

Letter to the Editor: Suzanne Piro




Thank you all for your commitment to Marco Island and enduring an entire day’s and evening session toward giving our citizens the best possible place to live in the country.  You all do a thankless job with little compensation and many headaches

Thank you, especially, for two forward moving venues: water rates and the rental ordinance.  In terms of the water rate structure, I am pleased that you are finally moving in a positive direction.  It made little sense to going backward to a Water Rate Utility Board/Committee….has they say been there done that…. The water rates need to be the same for all of Marco’s residences  regardless if they are condos or single family homes…..We must all pay for what we use at the same rate.  Some allowances  must be made to accommodate  for the use of gray water that is not accessible for single family home owners.   Previous Council plans for the STRP program did not allow the home owner to take advantage of the gray water option, this inequality needs to be dealt with to equal the playing field for all property owners.  I feel confident that the majority of you are on Board for that.

The rental ordinance, after sitting through another evening listening to the horrible disasters that would befall condo owners if this ordinance was enacted,  I finally  left.  Thank goodness for that, by the time I tuned in at home, reason had prevailed and the ordinance passed at 4 to 3..None of us would ever want our island population subjected to some of the issues that have confronted some parts of the resort areas of the  Carolinas and parts of Florida where there are no rental ordinances.  I sat through many Planning Board Meetings and heard stories from our Citizens who  have homes near “renters from hell.”Many were afraid of retaliation in some of our neighborhoods

During the Council meeting, I heard many cries of what condo owners call hardship.  Well, if you are renting your condo you are in a business mode and therefore are responsible to conform to the requirements of running a business….your property must be safe and you must pay the taxes due to earn that income.  At a $75 registration fee, I have a hard time seeing that has a hardship.  Especially, knowing what condos on this island cost and what rental charge.  I don’t think that that amount of money will cost the city coffers to be bulging over with extra funds. Hopefully that amount will keep this in a revenue neutral zone.

Heard the term “OPT IN” cried out frequently, as if it were an option to follow government mandates..If there exists such an option I would certainly NOT OPT IN to paying my income tax or any taxes for that matter, nor would I have “OPT IN” for the STRP either.  But sorry guys, that option is not a part of our unit of government as I know it.

In retrospect,  can’t understand what some of you Councilors were thinking when you didn’t support rental ordinance: wondering if some of  you are already positioning for the next election????? Please, those of you that have stood strong do not let this issue rear its head again…..Let’s move on and concentrate your energy on getting the water rates equal for all islanders.

In closing, please rest assured that I truly believe that this Council has worked hard to deal with the legacy of the past  and has finally forged ahead in areas where previous councils chose to pass the buck.  Again, I truly appreciate your time and energy that you give so freely to help our citizens enjoy this paradise.



Suzanne Piro


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