I’ve been really blessed over the last half dozen years or so since retiring from my “real jobs,” which took me all over this great country and onto every continent in the world except Antarctica. I’ve had the privilege to meet some of the nicest and most interesting people you ever could want to meet during the over half century I’ve worked for a living.
Some of those job opportunities have taken me into the classroom as a teacher; the public safety field in the EMS, law enforcement and fire suppression; sales and marketing; and finally, into journalism.
It has exposed me to a myriad of experiences, some of which involved politics on the city, county and state levels of elected positions. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the exposure to so many wonderful people along my journey in life, which I hope has a way to go yet.
Like many of you, I have experienced great joy and at times terrible sadness due to loss, but I think that is part of our growing and maturing process in life, as we learn from both sides of those emotions and experiences.
The last six years, I have stepped back from what was a very hectic pace of travel and work, and now am enjoying some of the experiences I have come to find so enlightening as I have a go at journalism. As I’ve told you before, I have enjoyed my experiences as a journalist, writing each week about a wide variety of subjects and being able to speak to you through the column I have the privilege to write each week.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet a young man whom I wrote about in an article in in Coastal Breeze News. This young man has had the opportunity to chase a childhood dream of his, and through his hard work, dedication and a little luck, he is living it now.
Also in this week’s edition you will also have the opportunity to read about a very young couple who, through their hard work, are also experiencing the American dream of owning their own business, which later this summer will grow to three locations.
I feel blessed to have been able to meet these individuals and privileged to bring their stories to you on the pages of our publication. So while thinking about this week’s column and what to write about, it came to me that I should say thank you to our readers who every week pick up our paper. Today I just wanted to say thank you for the kind words I hear from you each week when I see you out and about within the community.
You see, that is what a community paper should be about. It’s about the great skills and commitment to our community by exceptional writers such as Don, Scott, Maria, Jory, Quentin and the many columnists we have who tell the stories of individuals, businesses and organizations that make this such a wonderful place for us to live, and enjoy the paradise we call home.
I look forward each week to being able to bring forth the information you need to make informed decisions regarding the many issues that face us as a community which our city, county and state officials have to grapple with. Some of these are extremely complex. Others may seem to be nothing more than applying common sense to an everyday issue, while not having to apply the Wisdom of Solomon.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that our community is beginning to approach a crossroads of sorts, as we draw closer to the 24th Anniversary of the incorporation of Marco Island. That vote in the affirmative on August 28, 1997, created the mechanism from which we do indeed have the power to control our own destiny.
As part of that responsibility, the review of the City’s Comprehensive Plan is one of those watershed events that may well determine how this small community will appear in the next decade or more. That process will bring forward a document to be presented to the State of Florida for review, and create the roadmap for the future of development.
It is a decision that must be made with a reasoned and intelligent process that requires as much community input as possible. Should the public fail to become engaged in the process and the island’s character changes, we will have no one to blame but ourselves.
If you desire the success stories to continue, speak up and become a part of the solution, instead of being a part of the problem that comes with apathy, for there is no room for missteps in this process.