Saturday, January 22, 2022

LTE: Leadership is Everything

The recent vote on bringing a second ambulance to Marco Island was defeated by only 440 votes or 7% of the total 5,590 votes cast. Considering the year round population of Marco Island is approximately 16,500 residents, the turnout represents only 34% or one third of Marco voters. Where were the other two thirds and why didn’t they vote? Could a contributing factor be the subtly biased Guest Commentaries some sitting City Councilors put in the newspapers under the guise of helping Islanders learn the “facts” of this important issue? Is it possible that some voters were ill informed by these Guest Commentaries? What were our City Councilors thinking? Who asked them to clarify the pros and cons of having our own second ambulance? If the intent was to let the voters decide, then let the voters decide. Or were there other reasons?

As an 18-year full time Marco resident, I voted “yes” on this issue and continue to feel strongly that our city government has a responsibility to keep this issue alive. Unfortunately, most of the current Marco City Councilors have repeatedly demonstrated a total lack of leadership and an inability to successfully deal with important island issues. I believe it would be a huge mistake to have the current councilors try to address the ambulance issue given their disgraceful track record so the decision to revisit the second ambulance issue should be tabled until the new City Councilors are in place following the November general election. Additionally, the selection of our new City Manager should be the responsibility of the post November election Councilors. The current interim City Manager is doing a good job and will continue to do so for the next couple of months. There will be at least two and hopefully three new councilors elected bringing fresh eyes to these and other critically important issues impacting our islands future. No currently sitting Marco Island City Councilor should be re-elected in November.

Keith Dameron

Marco Island

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