The Marco Island City Council met on Monday evening with about 35 residents and staff in attendance and were promptly met by City Clerk Laura Litzan who provided all who wished with hand sanitizer for their use.
At that meeting the council passed a Declaration of Emergency in light of the issues surrounding the Corona Virus. The county and state have already enacted similar resolutions. This will allow the City Manager to act in an expedited manner regarding a wide range of issues.
Manager McNees would comment that we are presently in uncharted waters regarding this National Emergency and would continue to rely on medical and governmental authorities and would stress the need for citizens to take personal responsibility for own decision making in regards to the information flowing from those official sources.
The beaches are a major concern for many on the island as well as city staff. The manager did not recommend the closing of the Marco Island Beaches at this time and instead focus on the guidelines and information coming from the CDC and Department of Health. He would also strongly suggest that no organizations gather in groups of 50 or larger which would include churches.
Ms. Christine Dowell would comment that she was concerned regarding a possible influx of east coast beach goers due to the fact that some east coast beaches have been closed due to virus concerns by those municipalities.
Collier County in an emergency meeting today also deferred action on closing those beaches under their authority. This after being advised of east coast beaches being closed and the possible impact on west coast beaches due to concerns of overburdening those community assets. They did however suspend any organized activities within county parks but did allow them to remain open.
City Manager McNees reported that they would be reviewing whether or not to continue to allow organized sporting team events at city parks, which exceed ten or more participants. That decision would be based upon a pending revision of the nationally suggested guidelines on gatherings, which may come within the next 24 hours.
In another matter, the City Manager introduced Casey Lucius who would assume the position of Assistant to the City Manager. She will assume a wide range of responsibilities under her new job. She has a wide range of experience a Navy veteran she holds a Master’s Degree from the National War College and a Doctorate from the University of Hawaii in political science. She was previously employed by Florida Gulf Coast University. She will begin her responsibilities beginning March 23 for the city.