Sunday, April 18, 2021

City Manager Resignation



Dear Citizens of Marco Island:

Congratulations on getting the best City Manager we have ever had to resign. The man who finally got our bucket plan together is out. I truly wish Roger Hernstadt the best. The citizens, who voted for the slate of four, do not deserve a man with his talent and commitment. Now it is time for a new whipping boy to appear and I wonder whom, these negative wonders that you voted in, will now hunt down next? Our Police Chief? The Fire-Rescue Chief? Or possibly, the Interim City Manager? I fear for these very competent individuals and what will happen to them. You can bet the “old boys “ from the STRP era will return with a vengeance with their personal agenda groups. Get ready for more of their same old story. Say goodbye to a sensible budget.

Thank goodness the outdated bridge and Mackle Park Community Center issues have been resolved. The new $3.5 million Mackle Park Community Center is being built today and will be paid for from the Bucket Plan, thanks to Mr. Hernstadt.

Do you wonder what the fate will be for the COPCN (ambulance service)? Are we, the taxpaying citizens, not worth the cost to have the very best available and quickest emergency response service at our disposal if an emergency arises? I guess, we can always move to Naples to get better and faster life saving emergency medical service. Should we have to consider that?

I guess it is more important to get a hotel built without any of the benefits that could have made our park more user-friendly for all citizens of this community to enjoy. I guess we should continue to pay for a multi-million dollar site that is used 44 days a year for a Farmers Market, Memorial Day, Veterans’ Day, and the Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

The citizens have said they want a community park with shade trees and a band shell building with decent bathrooms making the park more usable year round. This would cost each family approximately $6.50 per year. Are citizens too financially overburdened to pay $6.50 a year for these amenities? Could the Councilor who lives behind the park want to stall park improvements as long as he can? mm…. I wonder if he will move before a Hotel or possibly a band shell built?

We have missed out on a golden opportunity to develop this island to its’ fullest potential for ALL citizens by loosing an optimistic, devoted City Manager. We have allowed him to be insulted and attacked at almost every City Council Meeting. We have closed our eyes and ears to the consequences of voting for a block instead of individuals. We have allowed vicious, character assignation letters to infect our voters. Many of us are guilty of doing just that. We have voted in a slate rather than chose individuals who have worked hard to energize our city for all young and old alike. What happens next? What new vibrant, experienced professional city manager will want to come to this city? Is it possible someone in the slate of four has an “old crony” waiting in the wings? Who knows?

As they say, be careful what you wish for. It may come back to haunt you!

Suzanne Piro
Marco Island

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