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Friday, August 10, 2007

Hidden Agendas

By Roger Hall

First, I would like to disclose that I am a candidate for city council. It is my desire to have the elections as soon as possible. Second, the citizens need to know that Coral Aiken-Miller is actually the wife of Jim Miller, the STRP project manager for the city of Marco Island. It is probable that there will no longer be a need for Mr. Miller’s position after the next election. It would seem to be in Mr. and Mrs. Miller’s interest to have the election delayed as long as possible.

When Coral Aiken-Miller made her presentation to the City Council at last Monday’s council meeting none of us knew her relationship and possible bias. Most of us thought she represented the Board of Elections and was asking for more time so the Board of Elections could get their records organized to insure maximum voter turnout. Her presentation was replete with the use of the word “we” and the inference she was working with the Board representing Marco Island.

As a result of her comments and alleged facts, the council moved to continue the motion for a January election date to reconsider the March or November 2008 date. The council has received over 700 e-mails in support of the January date. There has been wide spread opinion from everyone from the Supervisor of Elections to Don Farmer to the NDN supporting the January date. The January date was the result of two months of council discussions. After the July council meeting we all thought the January date was a “done deal”. As the result of the misrepresentations of one woman, all of that was undone.

I commend the city establishment for their selection of Ms. Miller as a spokesperson. She appears very credible and has a great speaking voice. It is unfortunate she not only failed to disclose her possible bias but that the facts she offered, both at the council meeting and in her letter to the editor are not accurate.

The board of elections strongly rejects the representation that they need additional time or the help of Ms. Miller in order to scrub the files in preparation for the next election. In fact they strongly support a January election. Ms. Miller neither represents them nor the city in organizing the voter files.

  • The representation that a November election would provide for greater voter turnout is not supported by the facts. A simple review of the board of elections web site which documents the voter turnout percentage since 2001 reflects that the range is between 48% and 51% regardless if it is a mail in ballot or poll ballot. The only anomaly is the June 2007 mail in ballot which was 42%. Most people agree that this was a result of a combination of voter rejection of anything to with the STRP and confusion over a very convoluted ordinance.
  • The statement that this would give the candidates more time to prepare and present their positions to the voters flies in the face of the fact that there are already four announced candidates, all with their own web sites, that are prepared for an election tomorrow. If the other potential candidates cannot get a campaign organized for a January election they don’t have any business running for council.
  • The concept that an early November election would provide greater voter turnout by an informed electorate refutes common sense. The campaigning period would be September and October, prime hurricane season and the period when the fewest people are on the island. How many of the snowbirds are here during the first week in November vs the last week in January to cast their vote?

Ms. Miller sent an e-mail to the council on August 9, 2007 correcting a number of the misstatements made in her presentation. While this serves to clean up the record, the acknowledgement of those misstatements will never be heard by the citizens. Most telling is her representation that “Again, I do not prefer any opinion or favor any specific choice for a vote date.” One can only assume that Ms. Miller forgot her Letter to the Editor titled “Reasons to Change Council Vote to November” published by the Sun Times on August 8, 2007.

The citizens of Marco Island have lost faith in the credibility of their government. This is a result of years of duplicity and the distortion and manipulation of the facts as well as the attempts of rewriting history by the city and their representatives as evidenced above. The citizens are fed up! I believe the next council will be elected on the basis of honest, representative government committed to serve the people’s agenda, not that of the CM or the developers. Thank you for your time.

Roger Hall
Marco Island

1 Comments:

  • Is it possible that nobody on the City Council new the identity of Coral Miller? Certainly Mr. Moss knew her. Everyone is worried about hydrogen sulfide but the stench of this latest duplicity by our city officials is much worse. It will not end too soon.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Friday, August 10, 2007 4:42:00 PM  

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