Full disclosure: Jerry Swiacki has been one of my best friends for many years. That said, I’m offended by the attacks being waged against him as a candidate for Marco City Council, but I’m sending this email as a friend who happens to think that the type of slanderous attacks against Jerry have no place in our home that we call “Paradise”.
What has Dr. Jerry Swiacki done for Marco Island? It should go without saying that during his distinguished career as a General Surgeon, the last 7 of which were in this area, that he helped many with various health and life-threatening medical issues. Dr. Jerry has been a Member and Chairman of the Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee; he is on the Board of the Fire Rescue Foundation as well as the Marco Island Civic Association; he has been President of the Republican Club, President of the Eagle Foundation PAC, and most recently, President of the Our City Our Ambulance group that worked to pass the recent Referendum.
Now, let me address some of those who have tried to ‘slime’ Jerry: Two people who have been sending emails are Joe Rola, who, except for his recent appointment to the Planning Board has never done anything for the City of Marco and Ed Issler, also a recent appointee to the Planning Board who claims “has been involved in Marco politics for 18 years”. If these men are so seriously committed to making sure the ‘right people’ (in their opinion) are elected to City Council, why didn’t they have the courage to step forward and run as candidates themselves?
Secondly, I want to address the various people who are hiding their names behind pseudonyms such as “Marco Concerned Citizens” and others. These cowards won’t even put their name behind their salacious and inaccurate statements. I found during my 4 years on Marco City Council that there are plenty of “Keyboard Commandos” who love to send anonymous emails.
Thirdly, some of the charges against Jerry include things such as “another tax and spend” candidate who supported building a hotel adjacent to Veteran’s Community Park and even has the audacity to complains about the fountain. Lets be clear: when I was on Council, we, all of Council, voted to ask the Parks & Recreation Committee, which was Chaired at that time by Jerry Swiacki, to gather citizen input on what, if anything, our citizens wanted to do with this mostly-unused Park. Jerry and his Committee conducted a number of citizen meetings to get input. Remember: the citizens of Marco VOTED in favor of spending $10,000,000 to purchase the Glon property for the purpose of building a multi-use park that would include a band shell, permanent rest rooms, and a number of other improvements. The initial price tag approached $30 million or so, and it was decided to do nothing after the purchase. Subsequently, a Marco Council authorized a $100,000 consultants study that resulted in a Comprehensive Plan with recommendations on how to complete the Park, BASED ON CITIZEN INPUT! Several Veterans groups came forward and asked to allow themselves to build a Veterans Memorial and subsequently requested that the Park be re-named Veterans Community Park, even though we already had a park with that name. In the original comprehensive plan there was space allocated for a Veteran’s Memorial, however they then came back proposing a Memorial Fountain which did, in fact, exceed the space that was allocated, but permission was granted. (As an aside, park of their proposal included donated time and materials for at least one year to maintain the fountain; the donor subsequently backed-out after one month and the City now pays for upkeep and maintenance.)
The most recent attack has been a complaint filed with the Florida Elections Commission for incorrect filing of his campaign contributions. Anyone can file a complaint; there is no substance until or if the Commission decides that there is some substance to the complaint, WHICH HAS NOT HAPPENED! Further, the name of the complainant is anonymous at this time, however whomever it was wasted no time revealing the existence of the complaint to the Naples Daily News, which refused to wait until the Commission decided if there was sufficient evidence for a finding, and further, even brought into question the integrity of a competing local publication and it’s Editor.
There are 5 candidates running for Marco City Council for 3 seats; One of the Candidates is an Incumbent, while the other 4 have never been on Council. Considering all the circumstances and the fact that no one Candidate is running against another, it should make you question the motivation behind these attacks on Dr. Jerry Swiacki.
Dr. Jerry Swiacki has demonstrated his commitment to Marco Island in many ways and would be a fine Member of our City Council.
Larry Sacher, former City Councilor
and City Council Chairman