Regarding the comprehensive rental ordinance I was against it because I felt it had morphed from an effort to find an appropriate solution to the problems surrounding some short-term rentals into a large and unnecessary city bureaucracy that ultimately wouldn’t have accomplished its intended goal. This became clear to me especially once condo associations that were already effective at handling any problems internally were pushed aside in favor of a government-first solution. Making our City government the rental police just for the sake of appearing to “do something” was never going to work long-term.
While the comprehensive rental ordinance proposal would never have had the desired effect it likely would have created many unintended negative consequences. What I am for is protecting the property rights of each of our citizens. Yes, that includes the right to rent what you own but it also must include a responsibility to protect our citizens from violations of their right against nuisance. This would bring common-sense balance to the issue.
Even though I was against the comprehensive solution, I tried to find appropriate middle-ground to advance a common-sense solution for the community. During the debate over the comprehensive rental ordinance in an effort to alleviate concerns from all parties involved, I proposed a sunset provision that current-Chairman Bob Brown stated at the time was a good idea. A sunset provision would have given the City the opportunity to collect actual data on the ordinance and given the public the chance in 3 years to reevaluate its effectiveness and determine if the program needed to be tweaked, scrapped, or left unchanged. Unfortunately, the rest of the Council didn’t seek to take up that item before the Council passed the final version that ultimately was rescinded after a large and successful petition drive to call the item up for referendum.
The best way to deal with nuisance issues (whether it’s for short term rentals or full-time residents) is to ensure that we have the resources to provide adequate enforcement of existing ordinances and that the standard of enforcement is uniform without creating unnecessary costs (taxes) and additional bureaucracy.
Ultimately, I am for working together to find the right solutions for our community with the least amount of government interference so long as all of our rights are protected and against the old Hatfield and McCoy feuds led by those who want to divide the island and pit neighbor against neighbor for short term political gain. I look forward to working to find the best solution that’s in the best interest of our entire Island community and I hope I can count on your help.
Jared Grifoni, candidate for Marco Island City Council