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Posted by Greg Folley 5sc on January 11, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF VICE CHAIR GREG FOLLEY Friends & Supporters, I must begin by addressing the state of our nation. We are in a period of deep division and our liberties are under assault. Thugs invaded our Capitol Building and achieved nothing except to precipitate the deaths of five innocent people. Our President-Elect stated, after the rioting that rocked our major cities last summer, that BLM rioters would have been treated “very differently” than those who stormed the Capitol (and who are now being prosecuted, as they should be). Big Tech decided to take a decisive role in determining which speech will be tolerated and which will not, shredding any illusion that they support the free and fair exchange of ideas and information. Chairman Grifoni recently stated that he believes we live in the freest county in the freest state in the country and that Marco Island should be known as the freest city. A great aspiration, and I have thought about his words in the days since. I am inspired to do my utmost to serve the citizens of Marco Island and protect their God given liberties. That said, let’s review your Council’s first meeting of 2021, held January 4. Tigertail Ecosystem Restoration Over the past several years the Tigertail beach and lagoon has sustained significant environmental damage and is in urgent need of attention. Linda Colombo, President of the Friends of Tigertail, together with Counselor Brechnitz and County Commissioner Rick LoCastro, offered a five point restoration plan which proposes to restore the lagoon and Sand Dollar Island. The Council unanimously approved a motion to direct city staff to work with the County and Friends of Tigertail to move forward on this important restoration initiative. Marco Island Yacht Club Expansion The Council addressed a proposal by the Marco Island Yacht Club to construct several docks in the Marco River adjacent to the yacht club. The plan received prior approvals from the Army Corps of Engineers and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The Council heard from residents who spoke in favor of and against the proposal. I asked several questions of the petitioner and came away satisfied that safety, environmental, and aesthetic concerns had been well addressed in the proposal. The Council unanimously approved the plans presented. This expansion will make Marco Island an attractive destination to vessels traveling down the West Coast to Key West and beyond. Fire Station Reconstruction Project The Council heard the 60% Construction Cost Estimate and Project Status on Fire Station 50. The project is currently on budget, although there were a few “nice-to-haves”. This includes a training tower which is needed, but would add potentially several hundred thousand dollars to the cost of the project. Council directed the project team to come back to the next update with savings elsewhere on the project which would enable completion of the training tower without exceeding the overall project budget. The City Manager and the project team will provide further updates in the near future. Sergeant Brian Hood’s Retirement A proclamation honoring the retirement of Sergeant Brian Hood was issued recognizing his 21 years of service to the City of Marco Island. Several others were also recognized for their exemplary service including citizen Roy Birkeland, Flood Plain Coordinator Kelli DeFedericis, and IT Technician Scott Reed who was selected as Employee of the Quarter. The next City Council meeting is scheduled for January 19 at 5:30pm. Thank you for your continued support, please like and follow my Facebook page for the latest updates. Take care and God bless! Sincerely, Greg S. Folley 940 Cape Marco Dr, Unit 2006 Marco Island, FL 34145

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