Kudos to the Marco Island City Council for giving everyone involved in the ALF discussion (Petitioner, City Staff, Residents & Council Members) ample time to express themselves at the 1/22 City Council Meeting. As a full-time resident I watched the entire meeting and came away with three key beliefs:
- The people spoke and the City Council responded by denying the proposal for the new ALF. While there is much support for some form of an ALF on Marco Island, the current proposal did not fulfill that need.
- Councilor Reed’s eloquent discourse explaining his no vote brought up a clear solution that will solve many of our health-related concerns. He stated that what we really need on the proposed ALF site is a 24/7 Emergency Room, not another walk-in clinic that is closed after 5 pm and on weekends. By having a real emergency room on the island we would not need additional ambulance service and residents would receive emergency care within minutes without having to be transported off island.
- Former Councilor Honneker’s proposal for a new waterfront park on the proposed ALF site fell on deaf ears again as he was rushed off the podium before being allowed to go into more detail. The City needs to work out a public/private partnership with NCH to develop the property with two elements in mind, (1) a first class, full service Emergency Room with helipad and, (2) a waterfront park that ties into the existing bike path system.
It is time to develop this land in ways that serve the citizens of Marco Island, not the developers.
Dr. Richard Blonna