As the President of Marco Island Civic Association (MICA) Board of Directors, I would like to address statements made at this past City Council Meeting 1 June 2020. When City Council discussed holding an abbreviated format of fireworks on July 4th, Council Chair Erik Brechnitz misstated MICA’s position regarding the fireworks.
The MICA Board of Directors had a discussion and made the difficult decision that it would not be hosting its annual July Fourth Celebration this year due to the COVID-19 situation. MICA sent a letter to City Council on May 8, advising them of the decision and outlining the concerns it had with the sheer number of people who typically gather, especially to watch the fireworks.
Chairman Brechnitz stated that it was unfortunate that an unelected body and director could make a determination for the City of Marco Island. First, the MICA Board of Directors is elected by its members and is responsible to its members to make decisions as to the safety, enjoyment, and cleanliness of our properties, i.e., Marco Island Residents’ Beach and Sarazen Park. Secondly, MICA made no decisions for the City of Marco Island.
The continued concern with the unknowns of the Corona Virus has given us all pause.
Neighboring communities and counties have not yet opened their beaches; restaurants are just at 50% capacity; and July Fourth fireworks displays have been canceled almost everywhere. As explained in an email to City Council on June 1, offering an abbreviated fireworks display will still attract out-of-towners and bring at least, if not more than, 5,000 people to our beachfront, thereby creating a gridlock with all of those people exiting via a few narrow walkways. A 12 minute display versus a 25 minute display – no difference to people looking to attend a fireworks show.
MICA wishes to thank the City Council for its continued mutual cooperation with our organization. We certainly hope in the very near future our difficulties with the virus, red tide, and other issues will be resolved, and we can all go back to enjoying the Paradise where we live!
MICA Board of Directors
cc: Marco Island City Manager