Letter to the Editor: Roger T. Hernstadt, City Manager
A prolific writer of letters to the editor has once again misstated the facts which can unfortunately mislead or bias public opinion. The City has been consistent in explaining that the “bucket plan” was designed to accumulate money to meet the known existing needs for renewal and replacement obligations of the general fund. This does not mean any new general fund obligations approved by the Council (by the way there have been none to date) or the utility debt which is current approximately $150 million and scheduled to be paid off in 2033. This community needs to arrive at a consensus whether we should incur additional debt or not and avoid paying debt issuance costs and interest or not. The principal cost of the capital items is the same in either case. Next, even with the “bucket plan” – the City of Marco Island’s municipal taxes are one of the lowest in the State. In fact, the City of Marco Island’s municipal taxes are even less than what our unincorporated neighbors pay for fire rescue service only. Isn’t true that most Marco Island residents are transplants and can compare their other property to their Marco Island municipal taxes very well on their own? Why isn’t the writer pontificating about the County or the School Boards taxes since that’s where the vast majority of your tax dollars are allocated? I also disagree with the writer’s allegation that the City operations are not transparent. As evidence of my opinion, I encourage all interested parties to read the agenda packages, especially our monthly departmental reports and attend or watch City Council meetings. You will have find it extremely easy to find out what is going on in your City without having to rely upon the biases of others’ Letters to the Editor.
Roger T. Hernstadt, City Manager