The City Council of Marco Island held their regular meeting on May 2.
A proclamation for National Safe Boating Week (May 21 – 27) was presented to the Marco Island Sail and Power Squadron. A similar proclamation was presented to the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla at the April 18th city council meeting.
The Beautification Committee announced the recipients of the 2016 Marco In Bloom Landscape Awards. The professionally landscaped single family home award went to J. Richard and Cheryl Corley of 1451 Caxambas Court, while 505 Tigertail Court, owned by Trigg and Dawn Kuhn was the runner-up. For residential personally landscaped single family homes, the winner was Linda Livesey of 146 Greenbriar Street, with Charlette Roman of 348 Colonial Avenue as runner-up. The commercial non-residential winner was Marco Golf & Garden owned by Fred Kramer. The condominium award went to San Marco Villas, with the Plantation Condo as runner-up. The award for cul-de-sacs adopted and maintained by residents went to Vivian Patterson at North Edgewater, while Edmund Shebert of Tulip Court was the runner-up.
Pursuant to residents concerns, city staff has been analyzing the feasibility of a traffic signal at the intersection of North Collier Boulevard and the vicinity of Saturn Court. Although everyone seemed to agree that safety measures need to be taken in this area, several residents of Seaview Court, particularly those who live in the South Seas Condominiums, felt that it would be more appropriate to put the traffic signal at the intersection of North Collier and Bayside Court. The city manager advised that further discussion is scheduled for the next city council meeting.
Fire Chief Mike Murphy gave his monthly report of both good and bad news. On April 19 a male collapsed on the tennis court at the YMCA. YMCA employee Kathy Kurtz and member Wendy Bullock performed CPR until Squad 50’s quick response vehicle arrived on the scene, staffed with two firefighter paramedics who took over CPR responsibilities and successfully administered two defibrillation shocks. Chief Murphy very proudly told council and the audience that the man walked into the fire station this week to thank everyone for saving his life. On the bad news side, Murphy went on to tell the sad story of a recent drowning on Marco Island, this time of a vacationer staying at the Charter Club. He made mention that there will soon be the addition of three more life jacket stands for adults and children along the waters of Marco Island. Murphy also informed council that the operating period of the part time seasonal 12-hour ambulance from Collier County ended on May 1. That ambulance is only available to Marco Island for five months of the year.
Councilor Rios proposed an ordinance for the regulation of drones on Marco Island. On April 3, a drone crashed into the railing of a lanai at the Belize Condominium in Cape Marco. In a series of telephone calls and emails to Marco Island Police Chief Al Schettino, Rios alleged that the drone was trespassing with the intention of taking a video of the condo resident in their bedroom. The incident was investigated by the Marco Island Police Department. Chief Schettino played the drone’s video documenting no ill intent, after rebuking Councilor Rios’ criticisms of the professionalism of the investigation. The video had been voluntarily given to the police by the drone’s owner. The video showed that the drone had been searching for dolphins in the Gulf when it inadvertently hit the building. The drone had lost its signal and was programmed to return to its home base. The railing of the lanai was an obstacle in its attempt to do so, resulting in the crash. There was no evidence of the intent to trespass or spy on the condominium resident. However, Chief Schettino did say that the drone’s owner was given a warning and instructed not to fly the drone in that area again. Drones are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The FAA was notified of the incident, and quickly closed their investigation. Council, by a show of hands vote, did not support Councilor Rios’ suggestion for a city drone ordinance. Rios was the only councilor to vote in favor.
In other business, Debbie Roddy was reappointed to represent Marco Island on the Collier County Coastal Advisory Committee. She is currently the Coastal Advisory Committee chairperson. The vote was 5-2, with Councilors Petricca and Rios dissenting.
On a humorous note, local resident Howard Reed fulfilled a promise that he made in October 2015, when he predicted that council plans for a rental ordinance would resurface by April. At that time, Reed said if he were wrong, he would apologize and eat “humble pie.” Reed not only apologized to the council, but he also brought pie – apple, cherry and blueberry – for all to enjoy at the meeting break!
The next meeting of the Marco Island City Council will be on May 16 at 5:30 PM in the Community Room at 51 Bald Eagle Drive.
In our April 29, 2016 issue, page A28, the article “O’Neill-Freeman Art Exhibit a Hit” credits Tara O’Neill for the Goodland Water Tank mural, when in fact it is the artwork of Bonnie and Kevin Hauke. We apologize for any inconvenience that this inadvertent error may have caused.