Last year when the rental ordinance was proposed and I actually read the details of it, I became extremely concerned about the future of our Island. It seemed as though there was overreaching government interference in many different areas. When the rental ordinance was amended to include condominium associations, I thought it was ridiculous, as condominiums are self-regulated. I decided to take a stand, attend my first City Council meeting, and voice my opinion. It was in doing so that I realized just how far out of touch the current City Council has become from the property owners of Marco Island. As I watched others speak to the City Council and as I spoke myself, I realized that the words we were saying were, more or less, treated as a “ritual that must be endured” by the existing council. There were only a couple of council members that even looked at me as I spoke. I left that evening feeling discouraged and frustrated. Eventually, through the work of many, the rental ordinance was overturned. But, I will never forget the feeling I had that night of not being heard, and if I was heard, no one cared because their minds were already made up. It was at that point in time I knew Marco Island needed a change within city council.
I believe Marco Island needs a council that will listen to new ideas and bring the people of this island together, not tear us apart. We need a council that is transparent in the way they conduct business, respectfully discussing issues in the Sunshine. We need a council that can balance what is good for the whole of Marco Island without pitting “condo owners” against “single-family homeowners” or “long-term renters” against “owners”. Our community is one that is diverse. Our council should recognize that diversity and make decisions based on what is good for the whole, not just good for the elite few. Finally, our council needs to be forward thinking in their planning, especially with improving communications and relations with the county.
I am enthusiastically supporting Jared Grifoni, Larry Honig, Howard Reed, and Charlette Roman for the four open city council seats. I feel confident that these four individuals have the ability to make the necessary changes within city council that will ensure each resident of Marco Island is properly represented. Please consider joining me and voting for these four individuals.