As a full-time resident of Marco Island for more than 20 years, I have witnessed both the benefits and perils of small town politics and government. Mr. Honig’s opinions regarding the “Keep the Chief” citizen’s movement recently published in an opinion article represent a new low.
Mr. Honig needs to be reminded that he was elected by the very citizens he insults in this article. It is his elected responsibility to “act with decorum toward other Councilors, staff, and all citizens…[to] Recognize that the City’s mission statement provides for prompt and courteous service to all” (www.cityofmarcoisland.com/citycouncil/page/rules-procedure). As has become characteristic of his behavior, Mr.Honig has not investigated the purpose of “Keep the Chief” supporters. He has not considered their concerns, reviewed the facts and materials that inform these citizens or treated their concerns with the courtesy his position mandates. Instead, he has offered opinion at the expense of reasoned and verified fact. He has added to the contentious relationship that exists between those elected to govern Marco Island and the actual constituents they serve. The use of his elected position to chastise those who support the Chief of Police on Marco is inappropriate, at best, and perhaps reason to call for his resignation.
The decision to retain a professional who has helped make Marco Island one of the 10 safest places to live in Florida should be made by a full-time, informed city manager — not an interim who has no long-term interest in the island or its citizens. Our police department is not without its faults. Those faults are being addressed. But recognize that our police department is as much about community service as it is about law enforcement and it is the Chef of Police who sets that direction. Proponents of “Keep the Chef” are grateful for the dedication and work of the MIPD. We recognize the ongoing service they provide to all who enjoy the island. To suggest anything else is not only ill-informed but illustrative of the contempt Mr. Honig holds for those who do not support his political agenda. The citizens of Marco Island deserve better.
Catherine R. Cook