much to cover – so little space.
As you probably know, five members of the new ad hoc
“charter committee” are also members of CITIZENS.
And, as you probably already know, Bill Moss attended
the last meeting of CITIZENS to discuss various things –
including various aspects of the City Charter.
– were any “Sunshine Laws” broken?
The members of the ad hoc committee that were affected
were Lazarus, Vann, Young, Curran, and Ayling.
Lazarus, Vann and Young left the meeting before any
discussion began, and went outside with a reporter from the
wasn’t present at the meeting. Jim Curran stayed, but just
to make “doubly sure” that no “Sunshine Laws” were
broken, did not participate in the discussion.
to another subject - the police.
In Harold Clemens’ last letter to the Naples
Daily News, he said something I heartily agree with:
$2 million for police would now come in handy.”
right, Harold – we could use that $2 million right
now, and help is on
the way. The City
Council is pursuing an aggressive approach with the
County Commissioners to reduce moneys we pay for Sheriff’s services
we no longer need – and, as a matter of fact, are partially gone
Minozzi is the “point man” in this effort, and he has
already had meetings with Sheriff Don Hunter, members of the
Naples city government, and county commissioners about this
issue. In a
of Marco Island and the City of Naples are asking the County
reinstate an MSTU to cover these services and reduce the
“County” portion of your millage rate by about .5 mills. If
that happened, your millage rate would drop from about 13.55
- but what is the
justification for this decrease in our taxes? Well,
as you probably know, the number of Sheriff’s deputies
of the Marco Island substation has been reduced from 17 to 10. These
ten deputies patrol “Area 6” of the County, which takes in
Marco Island, Goodland, Isles of Capri, and other
island is 21 square miles.
The total area patrolled by the 10 deputies
is 84 square miles. It
stands to reason that most of their time
is going to be spent “off island” on road patrol.
They have been criticized for not patrolling our
“neighborhoods” as well as our own police
do. I think this
is a bum rap. With
all the deputies y have to do, we’re
lucky to see them on Collier Blvd and Barfield.
The Marco Island Police
have the luxury of never leaving the island unless they are
upon by another law-enforcement agency.
So they can patrol
a lot more effectively.
and his counterpart at the City of Naples, along with the City
of both cities, are putting on a “road show” for each
County Commissioner. If
Mike succeeds, Harold’s wish will come true, and we
have the best of both worlds – our own police and the
we should have with our police.
why am I bringing all of this up?
Because our City Council will need our
help when they go before the County Commissioners.
When the hearing
on this issue is on the County’s agenda, we must go to the hearing
and support our City Council and our Commissioner, Donna Fiala.
Donna is very friendly to the island.
She will need our support. Naples
will have their own contingent at the hearing.
will also be those who are opposed to us at the
Commission will be very interested in seeing who feels
strongly enough about the issue to come to the hearing.
I have read many letters from citizens of Marco Island
complaining about the “$2 million we spend on police.”
Now is your chance to do something about that.
We have our own
police, and they’re going to stay.
Let’s stop fighting the “police
and start doing something positive.
I’m sure that CITIZENS, MICA,
MITA and all other island groups will back this effort.
If you don’t,
then please don’t ever complain to me again about “$2
what if we fail? We
just keep trying! Eventually,
we’ll win because
the present set-up isn’t fair, just, or ethical.
the island had money set aside to repair our infrastructure
County took it and spent it elsewhere in the county?
It was that
sort of thing that galvanized many of the islanders into
cityhood. This is
just “more of the same.”
If we don’t give up, eventually
says it will be another month or two before the Board of
Commissioners hears our arguments in a formal setting.
then, why don't we all give a big "thank you" to our
and our City Administration for taking these steps on
of our City?