To begin, I have been on the Island since 1992 and full time since 2009. My husband Jim and I both worked on the east coast and for twenty years and came to the Island on weekends. We started with a small condo on Smokehouse Bay, sold the condo in 2001 and bought a house knowing we would live here to begin a second career for both of us.
I enjoyed a wonderful career as executive staff for several companies in geriatric care services from nursing homes, assisted living, and Alzheimer’s Dementia care to Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC’s) and developing HUD Section 202 affordable housing for low income elderly. Giving back to the community was important to me to show appreciation for what I had experienced and learned as I worked to develop services, buildings, environments and programs to suit the special needs of the aging population.
Upon arriving on the Island I joined Fay Byles, Founder of the Marco Island Tax Payers Association (MITA) and learned from her the history and the politics of the Island. I found Fay to be the most incredible person with a steel mind that remembers everything. She has a wealth of information beginning from the early 1960’s.
I became President of Newcomers, vice president of the American Association of University Women, President and Founder of the Caxambas Republican Club, member of the Big Flag Committee, past member of the board of MITA, active member of the annual Prayer Breakfast committee and currently serving on the Parks & Recreation Committee.
I was asked to consider serving on the Marco Island City Council which I consider an honor. After spending a weekend and careful thought and prayer, I accepted the challenge. What made me agree? The first and most significant consideration was acceptance of the challenge was Jim who agreed that I should run, fully aware of the intrusion into our private life. Second was the new city manager, Rodger Hernstadt. I observed him for several months and liked his professionalism and character. I also reviewed the current members of the council and know I can work with them. Third, there are challenges ahead with the construction planned for the Marriot (traffic), the building of the Smoke House Bridge (traffic), the Farmer’s Market, the alley’s and parking, the building of a new building at Mackle Park, and the list continues.
All these issues are solvable and I look toward being part of the council that makes these decisions. It is imperative that council members make decisions concentrating on the city’s finances and resources, equitable and fairness in all decisions and to focus on the safety and well-being of the residents and visitors.
I am grateful for the many residents who have approached me and thanked me for accepting the challenge. I accept the challenge!
Litha S. Berger
Candidate for Marco Island City Council