Isn’t it always the way! November 1st is the official end of Hurricane Season, so I took down my hurricane shutters and let some light into the house. Here it is, November 8th, 8 days later and we have a Tropical Storm wind blowing like crazy, my windows are shaking and rattling, and my orchids are on the back porch—and hopefully not being blown apart—and I can’t go out to get them. Marco city government will not open tomorrow. As far as I know, the county will still be open, but who knows what the morning will bring. I hope all of you are safe out there.
*I would like to request that all car owners don’t cover up their license plate state that they come from, if they still have their state plates on the car. I saw one the other day that was beautiful, but there was no way I could figure out what state it was from. I’ve seen quite a few Ohio plates, but many times the Ohio is covered, and most of the time the county is covered, and I always want to know if they come from the same county as I grew up in. Some plates are so original that I wish I knew where they were from. In some cases, there is no way to tell anything but the numbers IF they can be seen. There is one state though that you always know is here because they constantly blow their horns. No need for a license plate. The horns have it!
*Last week, I was honored to have a park named after me, and I want to tell you, the Lely High School JROTC Color Guard was outstanding and started the day with the Pledge of Allegiance—the Lely High School Band played! Father Tim said our opening prayer. A lovely student named Jacenda Johnson sang the National Anthem beautifully! There were many people there, but seated appropriately apart. We were delighted to see Principal Ellen Keegan once again, who is always there supporting her students! Then Ms. Jean Kungle spoke to the audience, followed by Christian Nino and his Dad, who conduct the Mexi-Soccer League at Eagle Lakes—I love these guys—then Phil Brougham from Fiddler’s Creek spoke and told us how he and a group of volunteers went into the community over a year ago asking people to sign a petition to rename the park—I always wondered how that happened. Phil has been our guiding light in the Parks & Rec world, always working for the betterment of the students and adults, seeking to improve the parks at all times. Steve Carnell, our Public Services Administrator, who oversees the Parks then spoke. The sign was then unveiled and the Lely High School Drum Line ended the ceremony! AND the county even arranged to have “Fire & Rice – The Original Naples Paella Food Truck” serve food to everyone who attended. Each attendee received a beautiful silver keyring. I was thankful so many people came and enjoyed it. And grateful that Lely High School students were there! And that our Park Maintenance guys always keep that park looking beautiful, under the guidance of Osmin Conde, the head of the maintenance crew. These guys take pride in their work and it shows! Lots of board members from Rookery Bay also attended! That’s a new Board I am working with now. It was a heartwarming day! Thank you to ALL for making this such a special occasion.
*Last week, a group of us went to see a couple Recycling Facilities within the county, and also got to see the new Foam Recycling machine the county just bought. We even saw a demonstration. What a miracle that machine is! The staff filled a HUGE container with foam products like the stuff that comes with refrigerators, bikes, washing machines, as well as Styrofoam food containers, etc., that you can’t put in your recycling container because they can’t be recycled, and also don’t break down in a landfill, just sit there for years and years before disintegrating. We saw the machine filled with all this foam that we could not add to the landfill, just gulp it up, melt it so quickly you couldn’t even imagine where it went, and it came out a small—but very heavy—piece of melted foam. When they took it out, it was still very warm. It was so amazing! We only have one machine now, but there are plans to buy a couple more as money allows. I have to say, once again, I’m always so proud of this department and all they do for the community behind the scenes that most don’t even know about! Their Recycling facilities are so clean and well maintained that I swear, you can eat off the floors, and they never have an odor! The staff is courteous and friendly. I’m so proud of them! And I’m sure the community is as well. Oh yes, we saw what they do with the fluorescent tubes! They put them in a tube, and it slurps them up in a second and they’re gone! You will love this stuff… well, that is if you like that kind of stuff. I love it. We are pretty advanced in that department.
*Although this is my last week as a commissioner, I will be around and do what I can to help anyone. You can’t just leave a job after 20 years and walk away. There’s so much of your heart that still is right there. As soon as the Marco Chamber can open safely, I’ll be involved again and attend their functions. I’ll remain a member of the Marco Island and the East Naples Kiwanis Clubs and attend meetings—although those early morning hours are not a night person’s desire—and want to stay a part of Goodland and see that road built and go to their pancake breakfasts when they resume, and still get to Capri every so often for dinner and a few other things!
So, folks, I have no place to go but to do the things I already know. And the Coastal Breeze has asked me to continue to write, so I’ve arranged with the County to be able to get information about developments that might be coming up or happening that need to be mentioned. God Bless You All! Thanks for making it a fun ride! I’ve been honored to work with and for all of you!