My fellow Marco Islanders,
We certainly have a lot to be thankful for. Our piece of paradise is unique, beautiful, and brings our residents and visitors so much shared joy. I love Marco Island and all that it has to offer. Over the course of the last few years I have witnessed our home being poked, prodded, and divided by those in positions of authority within our city for the purposes of what can only be described as political manipulation for electoral advantage. It is time that we, the citizens of Marco Island, take a stand together to ensure that our voices are no longer ignored. Towards that end, I am humbled and honored to announce my candidacy for the Marco Island City Council.
Marco Island is a wonderful place to be whether you are raising a family, retiring, making this your permanent home, or stopping by for a short or long-term visit. I know that when I go to our beautiful beach with my wife Elsa and our family, we don’t spend a moment thinking about who is a retiree or part of a young family. When we attend Christmas Island Style events, the last thing on our mind is whether the other folks enjoying the celebration are living in condos or single-family homes. When our five-year-old daughter and six-year-old son have their eyes lit up in amazement during our Fourth of July fireworks, no one is thinking about owners versus renters.
Marco Island needs a united voice, a voice that will represent and speak for the benefit of our entire island of individuals rather than a few special interest groups. Marco Island needs a candidate for City Council who is a private sector outsider with a vision and the will to fight for it, but who also has the track record of fighting against the odds and winning. It is undeniable that our City Council needs an independent-thinking night watchman to protect our citizens, in season or off-season, from those with an overzealous devotion to government-first solutions. If these words speak to you then I am your candidate. I will continue to be a strong and dependable ally in defense of our citizen’s rights.
As a private citizen, I am a Florida licensed attorney and business leader in a company that over the past 8 years grew from being just an idea to employing over 400 workers throughout southwest Florida, with the overwhelming majority in Naples and Marco Island. In 2015, I was named to the Gulfshore Business Magazine 40 Under 40 rising business leaders in southwest Florida due to the successful business growth and expansion as well as my civic activism throughout the community.
I have spent countless hours, days, months, and years fighting, winning, and developing working relationships throughout our county government. I’ve fought and won protecting our Second Amendment rights at the county and city level, I’ve fought and won on the issue of recognizing the importance of protecting home rule powers in education, and I’ve fought and won protecting Collier County taxpayers from an effort to give a precedent-setting multi-million-dollar bailout to a private entity. I fought and won on getting our county government out of the way of new, innovative businesses by repealing outdated job-killing regulations and deregulating an entire industry. None of this was done alone. It was accomplished by being willing and able to reach out and bring people together to work on an issue of common concern.
I am the only candidate running who can demonstrate this level of grassroots success in representing citizen’s interests, at the Marco Island and Collier County level, and who has done it as a private citizen outside of a government position. I will bring this experience and record of success to the Marco Island City Council and immediately put it to use for the benefit of our entire island.
We can no longer afford to have a City Council that cannot see beyond the Marco Island city limits. While our municipal control may end on the Jolley Bridge, if we do not pay attention and develop better working relationships with our County Commission, School Board, and state legislative contingent, we will continue to bear the brunt of missed opportunities, like our current struggle over the COPCN that put the health and well-being of our citizens in jeopardy. Our current City Council has learned a hard lesson: too little, too late. We cannot negotiate from a divided position of weakness. We must return to the united Marco Island that was sacrificed in the past for short-term political dealings or to settle old feuds.
I pledge to you, Marco Islanders, that if you support me and I am elected, every time I cast a vote it will be based on my principles of limited government, fiscal conservatism, respect for individual rights, and on the objective facts laid out in public. My vote will never be biased, influenced by some side of a years-old Hatfield/McCoy standoff, or whether we agreed or disagreed on other issues in the past. Every matter before me will be decided based on our rights, the merits, and in consideration of our entire island community.
Marco Island, let’s stand together to unite our island by protecting our private property rights, keeping our city government small and unobtrusive so individuals and businesses can flourish, by listening to one another, and by taking all perspectives under advisement before creating more city bureaucracy. Thomas Jefferson wrote in our Declaration of Independence, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness,” and what better place to pursue our happiness than in Marco Island?
Visit my website at www.JaredGrifoni.com, where you can learn more about me and my positions on the issues, sign up for my email communications, and join the team. Most importantly, I want to hear from you. Tell me your thoughts about the island, whether it’s about our past, present, or future. I cannot do this without you. I am greatly looking forward to seeing you all on the campaign trail but I promise you that I will not stop listening on Election Day. This is a four-year shared commitment between all of us. For a united Marco Island, I ask for your support throughout this campaign and for your vote on November 8, 2016.
For a united Marco Island,