The Referendum process has worked well when the majority voted our Island becoming a city (only one of three municipalities in the County) to provide our own administration separate from Collier County. A year later in 1998, voters made the logical step to approve the establishment of our police department separate from the County Sheriff. Because the office of Sheriff is a Constitutional officer, the City has to pay full costs of our Department. Perhaps the voters see the benefit of having our own police department after the recognition last year being declared the safest city in Florida.
Now the same naysayers and uniformed opponents to our City EMS/Ambulance transport system might incorrectly have you believe this is double taxation. It is not! A legal decision in Broward County from a lawsuit filed by an individual citizen resulted in the reimbursement of the ad valorem taxes the county had collected for a service they no longer provided. In addition, Marco would also be able to collect user fees from transports to the hospital at a rate set by Marco. Today these patient fees are billed and collected by the County even when Marco is providing the second paramedic on the unit.
Another reason to VOTE YES on the August 28th Referendum protects Marco from upcoming consolidation of EMS services to an independent Fire District and enhances the medical care Marco residents would receive and determined by a Medical Director under contract with Marco. We will have a voice and control costs.
As a member of the PACS that brought Cityhood and our own Police Department, I urge you to ignore the factually incorrect noise of the naysayers and VOTE YES on the referendum.