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Posted by Greg Folley 5sc on January 25, 2021

FROM THE DESK OF VICE CHAIR GREG FOLLEY Friends & Supporters, The New Year has officially arrived and there is much to do! The Marco Island City Council held its second meeting of 2021 on January 19. Below are some of the highlights: Positive Financial Review Good news for the financial future of Marco Island. According to The Moody's Report, the credit position for Marco Island is “very strong and its Aa1 rating exceeds the median rating of Aa3 for cities nationwide. Key factors include a small debt burden, low pension liability and extensive tax base. The rating also reflects a positive wealth and income profile and very healthy financial position.” Credit goes to Financial Director Polanco and his team, City Manager McNees, and the City Councilors who served before us. Safe Harbor Grant Recipients In 2020, the Council adopted the Safe Harbor Agreement to help protect burrowing owls across the island. A special presentation was given to recognize its first 13 grant recipients. Thank you to Chairman Grifoni, the Beach and Coastal Resources Advisory Committee, Florida Fish and Wildlife, Audubon of the Western Everglades, and Burrowing Owls of Marco Island volunteers. This program has served as a model for conservation efforts across the country. Sea Turtle Protections The Council held an extensive discussion on a proposed update to the city ordinance protecting sea turtles from residential and commercial lighting. Members of the Beach and Waterways Advisory Committee recommended that City staff be directed to work with the Committee to develop recommendations for the Council to consider in the near future. The Council agreed with these recommendations and staff was given direction accordingly. Red Tide Clean Up The Council had a good discussion of the challenges arising from and possible means of addressing the issue of dead fish in our canals. While a number of options were discussed, the Council directed the City Manager to explore options which involve working with volunteers to facilitate clean up and disposal of rotting fish. Numerous individuals and organizations, such as the Marco Patriots, have expressed interest in wanting to help the community address this problem. I'm hopeful that we’ll see possible solutions developed in the near future. Seawall Panel Construction The Council considered an ordinance dealing with the staging and manufacture of concrete seawall panels on the Island. The Council has received considerable information that manufacture of the panels off island is both of higher quality and of no greater cost than manufacture on properties on the island. After considerable discussion, the Council directed staff to bring back the ordinance for second reading which 1) ends the fabrication of concrete panels on residential lots, and 2) maintains the status quo prohibiting panel fabrication on C-5 zoned lots. New Term Limits The Council also considered amendments to the current ordinance governing term limits for service on Boards and Advisory Committees. While the Council has yet to enact new legislation, a consensus seemed to emerge that members of the Planning Board would be limited to two four-year terms, while members of other Committees would be limited to three four-year terms. Further discussion and possible final action will take place in the near future. New Appointments All recently elected Councilors were afforded the opportunity to make appointments to the standing Boards and Committees. I’m proud to announce my appointment of the following candidates: William Hogan to the Planning Board; Martin Winter to the Waterways Advisory Committee; Jim Scarpa to the Beach and Coastal Resources Advisory Committee; Doug Kelly to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee; and Dustin Nesmith to the Beautification Advisory Committee. Congratulations to these appointees and to those appointed by my colleagues. We’re grateful for their willingness to serve. Our next meeting will be held on February 1. Thank you again for your ongoing 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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