On Marco Island: Independent Reporting, Documenting Government Abuses, Exposing the Syndicate, Historical Records of Crimes Against the Environment

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

SFWMD Admits Contamination

In an email exchange just yesterday, a one Clarence Tears, Director of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) admitted to the contamination of Marco Island as a result of the STRP dewatering. Here are the facts and the sequence of events.

What started the email exchanges was Mr. Tears' reply to the charges being filed against the authors of a political ad put forth as an “article” that appeared in a regional newspaper. Two of the authors are state employees – one works for the SFWMD.

The operative paragraphs of Mr. Tears’ reply are thus:

It should be noted that the Big Cypress Basin Board, the local arm of the South Florida Water Management District, has made a major investment of taxpayer’s money to suppor the Septic Tank Replacement Program. The total amount to be invested in the replacement will exceed six million dollars over a five-year period.

The Big Cypress Basin Board, through a resolution and funding, has demonstrated their commitment to Marco moving forward with the Septic Tank Replacement Program. They know how important is to do everything possible to protect the water quality on a barrier island and provide an alternative source of water to meet non-potable demands.

Subsequently, this author is asked to afford input to Mr. Tears’ email. The response is thus:

thank you for sharing with us the response from mr. tears.

at some point we must realize that the issue at hand is purely political for commercialization purposes. the strp has nothing to do with water quality as asserted by mr. tears. if it was about "protecting the water quality on a barrier island", the sfwmd would not have stood silent when the city dumped millions of gallons of untreated effluent from the dewatering directly into the waterways. if it was about "protecting the water quality on a barrier island", the sfwmd, the fdep, the city, and their political supporters would have produced ONE study demonstrating that the septic systems ON MARCO ISLAND contributed ONE iota of anything into the waterways - they haven't (what they have produced are some unrelated studies, some debunked "studies", and a lot of allegory - as their article in the paper proves).

coincidentally, yesterday i received another call from the governor's office. i was once again assured that the governor is NOT mandating the strp, and that while he is committed to water quality in florida, the strp is for the citizens of marco island to decide. this is the second identical communiqué from the governor's office in as many weeks.

To which the reply by Mr. Tears is thus:

Dr. Sanchez,
I'm on military leave today and out of state, therefore my response will be brief. The South Florida Water Management District would not have invested 6 million dollars into the STRP program if we did not have concerns about potential water quality issues. Also, DEP and your local Health Department support your community going forward with this project. We have provided you the facts in an effort to allow you to make an informed decision. Remember, the dewatering issues were addressed by all permitting agencies and corrected.
Clarenc Tears

The dewatering issues were addressed … and corrected. By admitting to a correction, they have admitted to the contamination – millions of gallons of untreated effluent and solids dumped directly into the waterways.

If there is such a “correction” – other than completing some other a priori approved permit – it has not manifested itself yet on Marco Island. The last dewatering – captured on video with GPS coordinated and timestamps – was identical to the first dewatering – dumping of untreated effluent directly into the waterways.


  • just proves more than Marco officials have a hand in the corruption. see you all after the forensic audit.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sunday, January 27, 2008 11:19:00 PM  

  • i have often been stymied on this issue. the force by which the present governance and their puppeteers at the hate slate pushed and lied and threatened to get this sewage system in place certainly does warrant this kind of speculation.

    it can also be the iron triangle driven by the usual greedy special interest cabal that infests every community. a hate group whose members have investments and a constituency of realtors and chamber of commerce organs and "civic" special interests association merely fronting for myriad petty governmental agencies that need to justify their existence.

    read their own words from sfwmd from fdep from the city propaganda arm and the local race tip sheet and the near local biased rag (they lost their right to be called a newspaper - at least the new york times has some literary and investigative merit that compensates for their grotesque bias unlike the naples thing. read them carefully and they are self-perpetuating their particular interest. truth and what is best for the citizens overall is utterly irrelevant.

    so maybe not corruption in the sense that we are clear about, but a movement of protecting ones reason for existence at the expense of civilization.

    public education is a clearer example of how to explain the state/county/present city governance's intellectual, moral, ethical, ecumenical depravity leading to a perversion of all that is true. they actually believe that they are right and god forbid you try to suggest something that helps.

    how shallow and how disengenuous and mostly how insecure that these organs - specifically the ones running the present governance - hide through anonymous postings and anonymous emails and fancy groups like celebrate marco that openly advocate shooting people and denigrate minorities. just look at that puerile article in this sundays non-newspaper: not ONE hate slate candidate was quoted!! the "paper" got a quote from their puppet master asceri and its co-conspirators at fdep. they make deals behind close doors and the rest of us are inferior for we dare to have another agenda.

    and these goons have been running the city and may continue to do so.

    at least in cuba whatever food they can grow you can actually eat.

    By Blogger Dr. Mario, at Monday, January 28, 2008 5:33:00 PM  

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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Local Tip Sheet Web Poll

So they put up this web poll and everything goes real well ...

(click to enlarge)

Next on-line web poll: Who are the worst candidates running for council – and only four of the eight will be noted. Care to guess which four?


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From more "experts" were are entreated to this gem:

The ability to transfer Save Our Home benefits, also known as portability, will be a boon to the real-estate industry.

This prognostication is one of the points used to convince us to pass the Florida property tax amendment to the constitution.

Don't we already have the Save Our Homes law/rule in place and have had it for a while? Then ...

If this "boon" thing were true, why are we in a near real estate crash? Uhm ... let's see ... it wouldn't have anything to do with exorbitant property taxes and all kinds of fees and taxes and assessments needed to fuel irresponsible city/county/state fiscal mismanagement would it?

And exactly how is the Save Our Homes rule going to stop this fiscal irresponsibility?

The latest research shows that there is a net loss of people coming to Florida - translation - more people are leaving than coming. So ... if the people leaving cant' take the Save Our Homes credit with them, and new people coming here are either - not coming and if they are don't benefit from the Save Our Homes Credit, and those of us that have to stay can't afford anything more than what we have so we won't be using the Save Our Home Credit ... exactly how is this going to be a "boon" for the real estate industry?

And by the way, why are the citizens once again funding or even caring about yet another special interest "industry" - in this case the real estate industry? How many of use paid less than 6% commission on buying our houses during the last decade - did we get a break from this "industry"?

Without opining one way or another on how to vote on this important issue, it would be nice if the Marco Syndrome (propaganda and half-truths and outright lies and mythology put out by the governance and related special interests) did not spread - like the plague.


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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Is the Truth Irrelevant?

“There be [sic] fecal in the waterways.” “The STRP will come with reuse water.” “The contractor did not put the asbestos in the lot.” “The asbestos was planted by residents – and there are pictures to prove it.” “The governor will mandate sewers.” “The Florida Keys are getting sewers because of the septic tanks.” “Underground power coming soon.” “33% rate increase if the STRP is stopped.” “Hydrogen Sulfide is benign – and those that are complaining about symptoms are liars.” “Pipe pitting is not caused by anything the water plant is doing.” “The city will loose $30-$50 million if the STRP is stopped.”

These statements aren’t honest errors or simple omissions. These wile subterfuges are calculated, outright deceits in a vile attempt to influence those that don’t want to take the time to educated themselves with the facts (unfortunately too many Americans). These lies also afford camouflage for those that have an economic stake in ensuring that nothing but unbridled growth, errant tourism and property flipping returns a la the boom heydays of lore. And worse; these lies are emblematic of a greater problem – a governance not for the people but as a marionette of special interests.

Incredibly, there are candidates running on this platform (not incredibly if you have lived on Marco Island for more than a month). And purely understandable is the endorsement of these candidates by the local race tip sheet and the commerce front fronting for the local syndicate. [Speaking of irrelevancies, did either of these organs for the Hate Slate perform a detailed economic impact and environmental effects study when the STRP continues as a result of endorsing the candidates that will ensure that this albatross continues? Of course not since neither matters.]

Should we dwell on what the truth is?

No, because this election for many is simply about money. The STRP, the environment, “positive”, not “negative”, 33% rate increases, lower millage, etc. etc. are merely distractions hence what’s the truth is inconsequential. Anyone who embraces civil rights, the rule of law, protecting the environment, fiscal management and open governments are derided with slurs since none of these tenets are of consequence. What matters is getting taller Marriotts, more Hyatts, serial Cape Marcos, incessant real estate flipping, vacuous ads in the local race tip sheet and endless corporate protectionism. So who cares that a few hundred people sought medical attention from the toxic dewatering. Who suffers from the collateral or residual mess is unimportant. It’s the money – pure and simple. Hence the truth about what has happened, why it happened and what will happen is irrelevant. We need the same good ol’ boys club so lets be positive – and by the way, even though this election is not about the STRP – we’ll put it in anyway.

Should we dwell on what the truth is?

Yes, because there are people, idiots some would say, that still cling to living by what is truth and what isn’t. They live their lives seeking it and making life judgments accordingly. To them truth is not relative and moral relativism is abhorrent. These souls sign their names to their writings, suffer the denigrating backlash and argue the points, as opposed to the money changers that make anonymous postings, threaten the compromised, create fake web sites and attack anyone that opines or contributes with anything that may interfere with their schemes.

Then how is it possible to move forward, to garner the reconciliation of all honest people, to implement many visions for instilling an equitable and sustainable tax base, implement myriad ideas for a prosperous community, ensure a healthy environment and actively promote a sincere and positive business climate if the premises to govern by are falsehoods? Namely, do the residents of Marco Island want to continue a government based on deceit?

The answer of course is a resounding YES. Many on Marco will vote to continue the above noted sociopath behavior under the political correct doublespeak of being “positive” since recanting ugly facts is just being negative. Analogously, being “positive” is the ignoramus catchall for the self-help new-age defeatism of “what’s past is past”. And these folks will simply vote for more of the same because they are desirous in perpetuating the status quo. To this group, the truth is irrelevant.

But for some, there is the honest and the only way to improve.

One has to account for the implications of the past since there is no way to move towards ones dreams and aspirations and visions without addressing the inherent obstacles created by the past. The new South Africa could not move forward without addressing the usurpations of human decency from decades of Apartheid. Cambodia is addressing the legacy of the Killing Fields as it moves towards a bright future of wonderful people with a rich and ancient culture. The post WWII world had to address the Holocaust, and to a great extent it is still in that process. The new American states could not move forward without addressing the inequities of taxation without representation. The Reconstruction could not move forward without addressing the grotesqueness of slavery. The opposite also proves the point. For sixty plus years there have been peace deals in the Middle East – and not one has stopped the carnage. Just this morning Palestinians fired rockets into Israel – which of course responded by blowing up a few buildings (and their inhabitants) in Gaza. Why still the problem? Because nearly all of these “peace” deals speak in “positive” euphemisms and not one of them addresses in practical terms the inherent problems of the past – past problems that putrefy the present.

Similarly, Marco Island can not move forward without addressing the violations against the environment, civil rights, truth, fiscal responsibility, open government and the inclusion of all citizens. Attempting to move forward without addressing these wrongs is disingenuous. Moving on by repeating these misdeeds will be a serious mistake. Hence, the myopic sound bite “we have to move beyond the STRP” really means that we have to ignore the lies, the fiscal irresponsibility, the civil rights abuses, the environmental contamination, the slurs, the false accusations – in essence we have to ignore a governance for the special interests only.

Deny the past and a better future will forever remain just out of reach. Realize what happened, address it, ensure that it does not happen again, and the better future is now.

Some candidates will continue the practices of the present governance. Everything is just great – it’s “those people”, it’s the [fill in your favorite slur from the Hate Slate here] that are causing all of the problems. Let’s make a deal. Let’s be positive they say.

Some candidates have exposed the scandals of the past as a means to identifying the problems that desperately need to be corrected. Let’s fix this mess they say.

Which candidates prevail on January 29 will tell plenty about who lives here today – and who will remain.


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Sunday, January 20, 2008


by Ceferino R. Santiago, M.D. Marco Island, FL

There are many issues confronting the voters of Marco Island this election season. As a retired General Surgeon, my main concern is the health and welfare of our citizenry. More than 900 people, residents of Marco Island, became sick - some of them even hospitalized - during the summer of 2007 construction of the Septic Tank Replacement Program (STRP). One resident even had to undergo an emergency procedure so that he could breathe.

During the STRP construction, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is released into the atmosphere. Hydrogen sulfide is a gas which is known to be hazardous to one’s health. Two workers on this project succumbed, became ill, and required lengthy hospitalization - all due to exposure to this gas. At this time, I do not know their health status. However, the health hazards of human exposure to this gas (hydrogen sulfide) are well-known throughout the scientific/medical communities. Some of the wide-ranging effects of exposure to H2S include (but are not limited to) damage to the liver, kidneys, cardio/respiratory system, and the nervous system. Many articles have been written about the effects of hydrogen sulfide exposure, including a recent one which appeared in the Wall Street Journal. H2S irritates the eyes, the nasal passages, and the throat by forming sodium sulfide upon contact with the mucosal surfaces. When this gas is inhaled deep into the lungs, it enters the blood stream via alveolar diffusion. The eyes, lungs and nervous system are target organs in humans. In a recent study, health effects and neurophysiological functions were studied in former workers and nearby residents who were exposed to H2S from a desulfurization unit at an oil refinery. The study reported that exposed individuals were more likely to demonstrate persistent alterations in neuralbehavior function. Once in the blood stream, the majority of the H2S is oxidized into sulfates by the liver and excreted in the urine. An individual who has a liver condition, like alcoholic cirrhosis, or chronic hepatitis due to the non-A, non-B hepatitis virus, are more susceptible to aggravation of their respective conditions. An individual who has Diabetes, wherein the kidney is already compromised, might go into a complete renal failure. People with pre-existing conditions, patients on chemotherapy, the very old and the very young, are all more susceptible to the ill effects of H2S.

It is wise to also consider the long-term effects of exposure to this gas. A population exposed intermittently for two months to concentrations of approximately 0.002 to 8 ppm (parts per million) resulted in complaints of nausea, headache, shortness of breath, sleep disturbance and eye and throat irritation. Exposure of approximately 10 to 14 ppm for four to seven hours, were reported to result in conjunctivitis. This clearly indicates that H2S is a threat to public health - especially to those located closest to the potential fallout areas of the source.

After numerous citizen complaints, the City Council finally agreed to hire Environ to monitor the H2S. During the testing and monitoring periods, some areas on the island were identified as well above the “acceptable” levels of H2S exposure and caused harmful effects to living organisms. The scientist from Environ clearly stated that H2S is well known to be present throughout the State of Florida. So, one has to ask: Why were NO feasibility studies conducted prior to the commencement of the multi-million-dollar Septic Tank Replacement Program (STRP) on Marco Island - which is an alluvial island? If this would have been done, acceptable precautionary measures and safety procedures could have been planned for and implemented in order to protect the citizens of Marco Island from exposure to lethal gas (or gases). On numerous occasions I asked the City Council to test for the presence of other gases and substances that might be released into the environment. This plea fell on deaf ears. Recently, an article appeared in our local newspaper that a scientist reportedly found inconclusive evidence of mercury in the samples being examined - and that a second sample was sent to a private laboratory for further investigation. If there is smoke, there is fire. I also wonder why the City Council approved to spend $10,000 to send a representative from Environ to Washington D.C., Atlanta or Tallahassee to “lobby” to INCREASE the acceptable levels of H2S for Marco Island? Does the City Council believe that the people of Marco Island have more tolerance to H2S than the rest of the country? I don’t think so.

From September 27, 2007 up to and including January 10, 2008, I have been following the birth announcements in our local newspaper. There have been 88 births reported for residents of Marco Island during this time period. Thirty-six of these newborns were below 7 pounds at birth. The normal average birth weight nationwide is in the range of 7 lb. 2 oz. and 7 lb. 6 oz. The acceptable range of low birth weight nationwide is 4 to 8%. The rate of 40.9% low birth weight on Marco Island is extremely high and not acceptable. Of the above low birth weights reported: one infant weighed only 3 lb. 1 oz; another was 3 lb. 3 oz.; another at 4 lb. 10 oz., and another at 5 lb. 2 oz. It is also important to remember that after birth the infant will lose additional weight for several weeks - which is a normal physiological process. There are numerous causes for low birth weight, and one of these causes is the environment. All I know is that there is one common factor with all of these infants: the parents live on Marco Island, and have been exposed to H2S (or other gases) directly or indirectly. The lower the birth weight, the poorer the prognosis is for normal growth and development. There are also unreported cases of miscarriages, but due to the “Privacy Act,” I could not obtain the actual number.

Definitely, we need a positive change in our local government. Dr. Andrew Guidry, Mr. Joe Batte, Mr. Roger Hall and Mr. “Butch” Neylon are highly intelligent individuals. They are the embodiment of integrity and excellence without arrogance. Their promise to stop the STRP shows that they are concerned about the health and welfare of ALL of the residents and visitors on Marco Island. We definitely need these gentlemen on our City Council.


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Saturday, January 19, 2008

You Can't Make A Silk Purse Out of a Sow's Ear

by Ed Foster

In a recent Letter to the Editor, Councilman Trotter made a valiant attempt to defend the record of the present city council, but as my mother always told me, you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

1) If we are in such great shape financially, why did we have to borrow $20 big ones from BofA?

2) If we are in such great shape financially, why can't we maintain our bridges and roadways?

3) If we are in such great shape financially, why can't we pay our police and firemen a decent wage UNDER the cap and not propose charging residents a "special assessment" for what are considered ordinary and necessary city-provided services?

4) If we are in such great shape financially, why have our "reserves" practically disappeared?

5) Your statement that taxes have been reduced is disingenuous, and with your PhD, you must be well aware that it is. Council have reduced tax RATES but not TAXES. Every non-homesteaded resident of Marco Island is paying much more in taxes now than a few years ago because property values have grown wildly over the past 4 or 5 years, and council have been able to raise MORE money at a lower tax rate. Every non-homesteaded resident is aware of that when he/she pays his tax bill ... and every resident on the island SHOULD be aware that this council petitioned the legislature to exempt Marco Island from the Governor's tax reduction package. Now that property values are collapsing, the worm has turned. Tax revenues will fall precipitously unless you raise rates. You know it, I know it, and any financially astute person knows it. Why do you insist on perpetrating this deception on the people?

6) The fact that "no Councilors have raised issues of 'over-staffing'" is precisely why we need a new council, one with fiscal responsibility, beholden to no one other than the electorate, and with a modicum of intelligence and experience sadly lacking on the present council.

7) Granted, capital projects have improved some aspects of our infrastructure, but our bridges are in a sad state of disrepair, undergrounding of electric power lines has been cancelled (but not the tax imposed to pay for the effort) and our new ASR wells have not proved sufficient to save us from the same watering restrictions as everyone else.

8) Endorsement of staff by an incoming TEMPORARY City Manager is to be expected. What else can he say? I dare say the new City Manager may have a different opinion!

9) To say our utility has won numerous awards boggles the mind. Is this the same utility whose water eats copper pipes for lunch because no one knew how to keep the chemistry in balance? Is this the same utility that operated the WWTP without a permit for years? Is this the same utility cited by the FDEP for ignoring code? Is this the same utility that continued to dewater without a permit? Is this the utility that the EPA has threatened with fines and possible criminal conduct? Wow, Bill! Where have you been the last four years?

10) Would you care to enumerate the 64 public meetings held on the STRP? Or do you consider any council meeting in which some STRP-related item is discussed a "public meeting." If so, the ones I've attended (and they were legion) were examples of "public meetings" in which public input is ignored. These were not public "meetings," they were charades.

Thanks for the clarifications, Bill. You've made a wonderful case why you should NOT be re-elected.


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Friday, January 18, 2008

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

By Doug Enman

Back in the spring of 2005 when the STRP had just entered public debate, 10 people from the Tigertail District got together at my house to oppose the STRP. I called the meeting in response to the treatment I received from the Marco Island City Council when I dared to oppose the STRP. During the weeks that followed, we asked so many questions of council that they could not answer; they appointed Mr. Arceri as point man on all questions regarding the STRP. This showed me that the other councilors really d idn’t understand the project at all. At one council meeting Mr. Moss told the councilors that Mr. Enman asks more questions than anyone else.

We were not technical people so our questions revolved around fairness and equity in the allocation of costs. Technical questions and suitability issues came later. Our questions all stemmed from the “findings” in the assessment resolutions themselves. For the record, I have a copy of the Tigertail resolution and its “findings” include language about septic systems polluting the environment and several councilors now disavow those “findings”, including Mr. Arceri, Mr. Tucker and Mr. Minozzi.

From 2005 until now this story has taken on a life of its own. Today, we have literally thousands of people talking about the STRP and many other worthy topics that our current and former councilors have brought upon us, without full disclosure and our full knowledge. I think the current ‘state of the city’ is why Mr. Moss resigned. My guess is that he no longer could keep up with the problems he helped create. However, I think the current ‘state of the city’ has woken people up and they will take control from the special interests controlling our council. To name a few of them, we have the Chamber of Commerce, Board of Realtors, newspaper c olumnists, hotel managers and some condo managers. Why else would Collier Boulevard have pavers for so many crosswalks with flashing lights? Who paid for, most if not, all of that extra stuff? There certainly was no special assessment on any special interest group that I am aware of!

For the city’s first ten years, the majority of councilors seem to have been controlled by special interests. This turned out to be an incestuous relationship between council and special interests. This unhealthy relationship must end; councilors and candidates who are supported by these special interests must go. The reason is that many of the special interests controlling our destiny do not even live here and/or do not vote here. For the next ten years I’m looking for the best ‘WE THE PEOPLE’ can get. The best we can get, in the near future, will be four new councilors that will work for the taxpayers and have no ties to special interests , social organizations with a political agenda and the good old boy network.

I along with many others have been criticized, in print, on many occasions for our opposition to these special interest groups. All of this criticism is unfounded and is never backed up with any facts. I normally do not publicly criticize anyone while some make a living at it. However, I do have some comments about 4 of the 8 candidates running for city council

Dr. William Trotter:
· He didn’t say much for his first THREE YEARS in office.
· He came out of his shell last year and presented his findings on the density issue, which was so convoluted everyone in the room was confused.
· He has not fulfilled most of his prior campaign promises.
· He is part of the problem not the solution.
· This man has not earned the right to be returned to office.

Dr. Frank Recker:
· He is a dentist and a defense attorney.
· He is no different from the attorney we have now.
· He is associated with far too many Marco Island special interest groups.
· He has given money to other candidates he favors.
· He has not attended many Marco Island council meetings.

Mr. Jerry Gibson:
· I don’t think he has ever had a long-term job in his life.
· He says he took 12 years off to play golf.
· He has not attended many council meetings.
· He took a campaign contribution from the Board of Realtors making him beholding to special interests.
· He does not have the education, experience, common sense or temperament for this job.
· MITA quoted him as saying “I never vote for anything or anyone if I can’t make a decision but, if elected I would just vote”
· We have too much at stake to put a man like this into office.

Mr. Wayne Waldack:
* He has been bankrupt.
* He claims to have an aeronautical engineering background but never worked in that field.
* He has not attended many council meetings.
* He does not have the education or experience to qualify him for city council.
* When I spoke to him at the MITA round table; he had little grasp of the issues facing our island.
* We should not put this man in a position of handling millions of our tax dollars.

As you can see, I do not want any of the above candidates elected to city council. We need public servants who have demonstrated vision, leadership, knowledge, experience and success in the private economy. They must also have no ties to special interests.

We need:

* Francis (Butch) Neylon
* Joe Batte
* Roger Hall
* Andrew Guidry


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Friday, January 11, 2008

iDebate Success

We would like to thank the candidates that attended and therefore were interested enough to answer questions directly from the people.

Just as importantly we would like to thank the many people that posed questions – over 220 – and the 100+ that attended.

The iDebate afforded the opportunity for anyone to ask any question of the candidates. Every question was recorded, the questioner was provided with a receipt and all questions were given to everyone in attendance thereby ensuring that no question was omitted. No question was edited in any way. The candidates were not provided with the questions prior to the question being posed at the forum.

We found the iDebate to be positive, cordial, entertaining, humorous at times and visionary. The questions covered 13 different categories. The best pizza was served at the end to give time for the attendees to speak directly with the candidates in an affable environment.

All candidates were invited two months ago, and all candidates accepted then with the exception of Dr. Recker (he was professional enough to demonstrate a conflict in schedule). The format of the debate was made aware to all candidates personally at that time and as posted on the blog two months ago. Several advertisements appeared in the local papers. Despite accepting, some candidates opted not to attend when their handlers demanded the questions in advance so as to have prepared answers and even refuse to answer questions.

This event was truly for the citizens – no question was negated or altered in any way. Every candidate was chosen at random and given the exact same time to answer.

The sponsors – who sought help from no one – were eager for inclusion despite varying opinions on the issues. If only one person got something out of this event, we herald a success.

On a Personal Note
The author would like to personally thank Linda McCune or taking time away from her family to be the official timekeeper. Additionally, the author would like to personally thank Mark Helfgott for hours of work setting up the sound and recording system.

The author would like to personally thank Joe Oliverio of Joey’s Pizza for his sincere attempt to bring all parties together in a fair and balanced format. For those that perennially denigrate anyone they don’t agree with, here is a successful man that put his time, money and reputation on the line for the community while enduring scorn and much more from the supporters of those that did not attend. Sadly, the Luce maxim “no good deed goes unpunished” has been proven correct once again.

But from those of clear conscience, thank you Joe.


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Sunday, January 06, 2008

iDebate is Ready to GO!

The 1st iDebate is the only truly fair and balanced citizens forum! It is being held on January 10, 2008 at Mackle Park.

The candidates were personally contacted over one month ago and all accepted (At that time Dr. Recker expressed his regrets as he had an already scheduled engagement). All candidates confirmed the format and agreed to attend!

There has been ample press coverage as well as advertisements in the local papers. So get there early so as to ensure a seat!

The schedule is thus:

• 5:30PM - Doors Open
• 5:55PM – Welcome & Opening Remarks by Mr. Joe Oliverio of Joey’s Pizza & Pasta House
• 6:00PM – Introduction, Rules & Moderation by Dr. Mario Sanchez of Marco Island Blog
• 6:05PM - 7:45PM - Questions Posed to Candidates
• 7:45PM - 8:00PM - Break
• 8:00PM - 8:30PM - Rapid Fire Questions Posed to Candidates
• 8:30PM - Mingle with the Candidates - Pizza & Soda Provided by Joey's Pizza

A total of 124 regular questions have been submitted as well as 102 rapid fire questions. The topics of the regular questions and their counts are:

Category Count
Bridge(s) 2
Candidate Specific 8
City Manager 5
Density & Development 12
Environment 9
Fiscal 22
Inclusion 14
Integrity in Government 14
Misc. 12
No Question 5
Police & Fire 3
School 1
Sewer 3
Special Interests Groups 8

The questions will be distributed to all spectators once the candidates are seated and during the introduction.

We look forward to seeing you at the iDebate for Marco Island’s only fair and balanced debate and where the citizens directly pose the questions!


  • What gives, Mario? The 9 Jan Eagle article on the iDebate says that Recker, Trotter, and Waldack are NOT attending!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, January 09, 2008 8:27:00 AM  

  • all candidates were contacted personally nearly 2 months ago and all agreed to attend - with the exception of dr. recker who provided evidence of a long standing engagement out of town for that very same day.

    with that exception, all candidates confirmed their attendance to the organizers.

    either the eagle is wrong or those that are now claiming they are not attending are liars since they have never declined/rescinded their acceptance to the organizers.

    By Blogger Dr. Mario, at Wednesday, January 09, 2008 9:15:00 AM  

  • For Trotter and Waldack, I think they are either:

    a. Liars
    b. Cowards
    c. All of the above

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, January 09, 2008 8:21:00 PM  

  • at this point, as far as i am concerned - the 3 are coming. they promised they would. they were afforded all opportunities. we even changed the format a bit to accommodate the first objection by their handlers (aceri and lazarus) - that is why the topics of the questions were posted. then they wanted the questions so they could - ready for this? - either have canned answers or outright refuse to answer the questions - questions posed 100% by the citizens they are looking to represent. at this point i said enough.

    again, since i dont read the local whatever parsing as a "newspaper" as far as i am concerned at this time they all will be there since they agreed to come to us.

    if they dont come ... i'll write something worth reading tomorrow - since invariably it will be my last article.

    By Anonymous Mario Sanchez, Ph.D., at Thursday, January 10, 2008 9:33:00 AM  

  • Maybe the liars are the ones who organized the iDebate. Fair and neutral? Come on, stop kidding yourselves and the citizens of this island.

    By Anonymous Alloy, at Thursday, January 10, 2008 9:50:00 PM  

  • so anonymous - exactly what is not fair and balanced? 100% of the questions came from ANYONE WHO WANTED TO POST A QUESTION - even YOU. did you by the way? of course not because you rather criticize and besmirch and threat

    All questions were asked in the order received.

    No question was shown to the candidates.

    Candidates were chosen using a bingo wheel as to who would answer the question.

    Everyone who posted a question got a receipt - everyone that attended got a report of ALL the questions - uncensored.

    So - aside from being the typical hatelsate/celebratemarco/arceri/lazarus goon that never gives specifics and offers nothing but LYING attacks - exactly what was NOT fair and about the debate? please - be specific.

    the non-show candidates LIED about why they were not there (exception recker).

    By Anonymous Mario Sanchez, Ph.D., at Friday, January 11, 2008 9:15:00 AM  

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

iDebate Coming Soon - Reminder!

A reminder that all questions for the iDebate must be entered by January 5, 2008. Remember - only the questions submitted via the blog will be asked.

The iDebate is being held January 10, 2008 - but all questions must be entered via the Marco Island Blog by the 5th of January.

There will be an exit poll held immediately after the questions and just before refreshments are served. Since the entire community is welcomed, and all questions will be asked, this will be a fair and indicative poll. For those that do not attend and do not participate it is their choice and their subsequent critique that the exit poll does not reflect the community is vacuous.

So, don't delay - be sure to enter your important questions for the city council candidates!

Click the iDebate announcement at the top of the Blog.


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