As many readers might recall, I’ve publicly criticized Councilor Larry Honig in the past for his boorish, unacceptable conduct as an elected representative of Marco Island. However, I need to applaud Honig’s recent letter to the editor in which he offers some pros and cons regarding the upcoming ambulance service referendum. It’s not often that fair and equal reasoning is given to both sides of the question by a City official. More often than not, it seems the issue of whether or not Marco should add its own ambulance service and costs to the ambulance service and costs provided by Collier County evokes more emotional, knee-jerk responses than practical, hardheaded ones. Two major concerns that weren’t mentioned in Honig’s letter would certainly help this Marco voter arrive at an informed opinion on the subject;
◼ First, Fire Chief Mike Murphy has emotionally stated that he’s been fighting to have his Fire Department assume sole responsibility for ambulance service for eight years. What exactly is the problem that’s gone uncorrected for so long?
◼ Secondly, the ballot language we’ll see next month quotes the initial cost as $100 on property tax valued at $500,000. The word “initial” is worrisome in that, as all taxpayers know, it can be amazingly misleading. What about the millions of dollars Marco pays to the County yearly for emergency services? What would be Marco’s cost limitations, if any, when that initial $100 estimate proves to be insufficient?
I’m sure my fellow Marco Islanders hope more pro and con facts will appear before the August 28 election. I, for one, I thank Councilor Honig for getting that ball rolling in an impartial and informative manner.