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

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Let's See what the State Knows ...


dept of busines and professional regulation
board of building code administrators and inspectors


pursuant to fs. 119 please provide all documents, emails, photos and videos related directly or indirectly to, or in any way regarding the following individuals


Bruce Yakola
Gary Konicek
Michael Smithem
Robert Mahar
Arnon Joel (a.k.a. Rony Joel, a.k.a. Arnon Rony Joel)


if a time period would expedite the production, for material from 2003 to the present.

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Self-Serving Phonies?


During the heydays of the City of Marco Island corruption (and some would argue that nothing has changed), there was a handful of activists that were exposing the shenanigans by the City elite, "staff", councilors and assorted miscreants. Namely, the mob that has come to be known as the syndicate.


A couple of us revolutionaries approached many groups and civic organizations soliciting their support – support to merely decry the pollution, contamination, lies and frauds being perpetrated by the syndicate. All of the groups politely or rudely denied, citing their esteemed relationship with the City (the polite responders) or citing that they were in fact complicit in the racket (the rude responders).


One of those groups we approached was the Contractors. Later, we approached them anew in order to have a volume price for converting septic tanks to the state/county-approved cisterns. Citing the City's animosity to people saving their septic tanks and saving water and saving money, the Contractors refused to get involved. (The only two working cisterns on the island were built by out-of-area contractors.)


Very few people cared then, no one cares now – it's all buried in the past – akin to the asbestos still buried under Veterans Park.


So now, when the shuffling of City building inspectors may impact their business, the Marco Island Contractors – the same group of fine folks that build those fine structures on the island (just ask the Daytons how good at building these people are) – now they are concerned, and want to organize. And naturally want our support!?


To wit, this anonymous email
Marco Contractors Group: If you are a Marco Island contractor or have dealings with the Marco Island Building Services Department, you need to be aware of personnel changes proposed by the City Manager which may have a significant impact on your business. Our understanding is that the plan is to merge the Marco Island Building Services Department with that of Collier County. Our current inspectors will become Collier County employees, work out of the Collier County office, and cover Collier County inspections in addition to Marco Island. As the current Building Services Department works well, we feel it is imperative to become active participants in any plans to modify its current structure. If you would like to have a voice in this critical component of our business, please send your email address to MarcoContractors@aol.com. No names are necessary, only your email address, which will remain confidential. This contact information will facilitate this forum to share our concerns and suggestions.

The author refused to identify himself/herself/itself.


Oh, and they want to remain anonymous so they can continue to suck at the teat of the City lest their permits get "delayed".


What a bunch of phonies.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Inspectors" Leaving City - Sort Of ...

The four City of Marco Island "inspectors" that were adjudicated by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation are to leave the employ of the City. 


Bruce Yakola, Gary Konicek, Michael Smithem and Robert Mahar are allegedly leaving the City to go and work for Collier County.


Hence, whatever it is that they do or don't do or should do (perhaps we can ask the Dayton's what exactly it is that these four do) will now be county wide ... and Marco Island!


Don't you just love this county (notice there is no R in the last word)!!!!

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Water Rates = Electricity Rates


Under any plan, the syndicate's or the President's, utility rates will increase.





At least the President has the cojones to say it publicly. Your City Council just kicks the can.


Ps. Aren't we all glad that the syndicate did NOT get their hands on the electricity to the island? Remember when they were denigrating LCEC? And wanting to install a power-generating facility on Track "K"?

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

City Employees Found to have Violated Law Dispute Findings

The four City of Marco Island employees that we reported earlier that have been found to have violated Florida law are disputing the findings by the Florida Department of Professional Regulation.


Click each link to view of each of their appeals.
Dispute Findings of Violation: Bruce Yakola
Dispute Findings of Violation: Gary Konicek
Dispute Findings of Violation: Michael Smithem
Dispute Findings of Violation: Robert Mahar


Notice that the four employees are represented by the same attorney.


In the next few days we will provide the evidence that the City of Marco Island has paid substantive legal fees to defend, and continue to defend, these four.


In other words, you the citizens are paying for defending what they did.


Is the City of Marco Island going to reimburse the Dayton's for the damages and expenses that the City caused them at the hands of these four?

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Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Florida finds City of Marco Island Employees Violate State Laws

Based on an administrative complaint filed by the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations, the following current City of Marco Island employees have been found to have violated certain laws pursuant to Florida Statutes.

Robert Mahar        Building Official
Gary Konicek        Plumbing/Mechanical Inspector
Michael Smithem    Structural Inspector
Bruce Yakola        Electrical Inspector

The violations range from being unregistered/unlicensed inspectors to making false and deceptive statements to authorities.

For the findings issued by the State of Florida against each City of Marco Island employee, click these links:

Charges and Findings of Violation: Bruce Yakola

Charges and Findings of Violation: Gary Konicek

Charges and Findings of Violation: Michael Smithem

Charges and Findings of Violation: Robert Mahar

The City Council has long been aware of the charges against these employees and has remained mute. The City Council once again used taxpayer's money to defend improper activities by city employees.

On Monday May 7, 2012, one of the victims of the above noted malfeasance by the City of Marco Island read the following statement to the City Council:

Councilors,

As you know, the DBPR( Department of Business and Professional Regulations), recently filed formal charges against Robert Mahar, Gary Konicek, Michael Smithem, and Bruce Yakola, all Building Department personnel, who engaged in activities which required a license, while they were unlicensed or improperly licensed. State laws provide that engaging in a capacity of an inspector or building official without a license is a crime for which the statute of limitations for criminal prosecution has not expired. As you also know, this lack of proper licensure contributed to either no inspections or substandard inspections being performed on our house and the system in place to protect the public, did not protect us. We have brought these issues to your attention in the past, and rather than address the issues and restore faith in a system intended to protect the public, you have ignored the issues and cost the City taxpayers money to defend the wrongdoers. It is time for you to hold these individuals accountable and it is time for you to be accountable to the citizens of Marco Island for the services this department performs and for the taxpayer dollars that you spend.

Regina L. Dayton

The City Council refused to respond.

Opinion
It is unclear if municipal corruption is protected by the sovereign immunity defense afforded to cities in Florida. Additionally, urge that the victims explore a redress through the federal courts against the City of Marco Island.

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Monday, May 07, 2012

Give Marco Island back to the Calusa Indians

It's the honorable, ethical, financially beneficial and now legal thing to do.

A recently released United Nations special report has urged the U.S. government to restore Native American tribal lands. The report, that President Obama has endorsed, has in part recommended that States give back the land that has historically belonged to the area's indigenous people.

Self-determination is a vital component of the report. Land that for eons has belonged to Native Americans should be returned so that they may use the land as the original owners see fit.

In several reports coming across the wires documenting the UN report, mention has been made about the issues that will arise when sensitive areas are returned. For example, one report noted that the Sioux are the rightful owners to the Black Hills of South Dakota – where the giant historical monument (now a tacky tourist trap – [$5 for an ice cream cone?]) Mt. Rushmore National Park sits.

The possibly contentious "issues" decried in some of these news reports assumes that the Native Americans will make matters worse. A faulty assumption.

Here on Calusa Island – or as the local white folk call it Marco Island – returning the entire island to the Calusa Indians will be a boon, a godsend (no pun intended since Marco Island is named after St. Mark of the Catholic Church, and we all know how "benevolent" the Catholic Church has been with indigenous peoples throughout the Americas).

We envision where the nth generational descendants of the Calusa Indians will claim their rightful ownership to the island. As already supported by federal courts (thankfully bypassing Collier Courts) and the United Nations, the descendants of the Calusa Indians will have no problem asserting their rightful title to this island and outlying areas.

Then in partnership with Las Vegas gaming corporations, they will institute casinos on the island, selecting the "big" hotels at first, and then building a mega complex. Such a process occurs frequently and quite prolifically as evidenced by the Hard Rock Café (and Casino) in Broward County, Foxwood Casino in Connecticut, and others (see top-ten list at end of this article).

Turning Calusa Indian Island back over to the Calusa Indians is a win-win-win-win-win-win-win.

  1. First and foremost, the governing of the island can only improve as we will rid the place of the kakistocracy.
  2. Secondly and analogous to the previous benefit, the syndicate will be expunged as there will be no tolerance for the back-room special interest shenanigans that goes on now.
  3. Thirdly, the $400million debt the city residents are on the hook for (thanks to the scandalous mismanagement by the syndicate) evaporates instantly – if this deal is handled properly (read: not by the syndicate or the city council).
  4. Fourth, property taxes will drop, tax revenue to the city will increase, making the residents happy and with more money in the city coffers, the nincompoops on the council don't have to continue feigning intelligence in dealing with the water rates since the water plant would be purchased by the corporation running the casinos so as to ensure an inexpensive, one-rate-for-all and clean water supply (unlike what exists now).
  5. Fifth, demand for property will increase hence property values will rise hence more tax revenue to Collier County so they can continue funding a school system that ranks near last in a state that ranks near last in a country that ranks near last of the industrialized world.
  6. Sixth, there will a demand for property hence the next time the realtors place the vacuous self-serving faux articles in the local non-newspapers "reporting" on the "improving" real estate market, the article will be the truth for the first time in 10 years.
  7. Seventh, tourism will boom. Eco-tourism is the biggest driving force for tourism today throughout the world. Gambling is second. Now the island will offer both, especially if the eco-tourism is managed and performed by descendants of Calusa Indians. Imagine the marketing: "Tour the 10,000 island during the day guided by a direct descendant of the Calusa Indian Tribe so as to learn their rich culture, and enjoy our world-class casinos during the evening!" And as now we have to buy a license to fish from the State of Florida, we would have to buy a license from the Calusa Island Native American Fishing Permitting Board – that invariably will be more inexpensive and actually serve an environmentally positive purpose.
  8. Eight, the City can hire more bureaucrats and hire more firemen with more equipment and hire more police officers (as there will be more parking in swales hence more enforcement will be needed).
  9. Ninth, the purpose of the STRP – to make the infrastructure sustain a mega-tourist destination – can be finally fulfilled.
  10. Tenth, the Marco Island Academy (MIA) will have to change its name to the Calusa Island Academy (CIA) converting its acronym from "Missing in Action" to "CIA" (no extrapolating of the acronym is needed) and therefore will attract a few more students thinking that they are going to get "Intelligence" and perhaps stave off closure.
  11. Eleventh, the island may get its second appreciable restaurant (Dunkin' Donuts being the first).
  12. We would all enjoy watching MICA go up against the federal government, the Native Americans, the United Nations and the International Court of Justice at The Hague in an attempt to argue how they have some claim to some deed restrictions, most notable of which is their delirious premise that residents have to belong to a club to access a beach.

It is highly improbable that a direct descendant of a Calusa Indian is traceable in the U.S. (see their history below). However, the last known and surviving Calusa Indians were forcefully relocated to Cuba in the 18th century where they settled in the northern coast and formed small fishing villages. Many of those villages remain, hence in the spirit of expediting this noble process of reclamation and returning the island to its rightful owners, we have put out the word in those villages as to the opportunity that exists. To those descendants we will facilitate migration and contact with the United Nations and attorneys proficient with Native American treatises.

One or two giant gaming complexes on Calusa Island clearly benefits everyone. And just as importantly, there is a redress for the rightful owners from the expropriation of native lands without compensation. In essence, undoing a wrong. As evidenced by the latest report by the United Nations on this matter, and as strongly supported by President Obama, and given the economic benefit, a descendant of the Calusa Tribe of Indians is encouraged to aggressively pursue the legal return of the island to its rightful owners.

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Sources: United Nations Report - BBC - ExaminerCalusa Indians Background

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Largest Native American Casinos in the U.S.
(source: Casino Times)

10.) Jackson Rancheria Casino & Hotel (Jackson, Calif.) – 257,789 square feet

The Jackson Rancheria Band of Miwuk Indians owns and operates the facility that houses 48 gaming tables, 15 poker tables and more than 1,500 slot and video poker machines and sits about a one-hour drive west from Sacramento. And to save money on hotel costs, you can make that drive and then spend your sleeping hours in the casino's brand new RV park.

9.) Chumash Casino Resort (Santa Ynez, Calif.) – 280,000 square feet

Slots are king at the Chumash Casino Resort with a selection of 2,000 machines to choose from. There's also a 14-table poker room that's open 24/7 and offers a variety of games, including Five Card, Omaha High/Low, Hold 'em and full weekly tournament schedule. In addition there's the Samala Showroom that can seat 1,000 bingo players at once.

8.) Barona Valley Ranch Resort and Casino (Lakeside, Calif.) – 310,000 square feet

This San Diego-area casino prides itself on offering "the best Blackjack rules in the country" with single- and double-deck games and high table limits (up to $10,000 and more). There are also $25 video poker games and $500 slots.

7.) Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel (Morton, Minn.) – 325,000 square feet

Jackpot Junction has two floors and is big on video slot machines, offering more than 1,300 to choose from with a range of penny to $25. In addition to the dizzying amount of slots and table games there is also a live poker room. There are also regular and matinee sessions of Bingo and the Highstakes Lounge located on the second floor features slot machines and blackjack.

6.) Viejas Casino (San Diego, Calif.) – 327,000 square feet

If you can't find something to pique your interest here, you simply don't have a gambler's bone in your body. Not only are there 2,500 slots, 10 different table games and a 20-table poker room that hosts daily tournaments, but there is also a bingo pavilion with smoking and non-smoking areas and electronic touch pads. And for horse racing enthusiasts there's an off-track betting area with a dozen 50-inch flat screen televisions and 45 personal monitors. In addition, the private Turf Club offers table service for food and beverages, 10 personal booths, eight four-person tables and five big screen TVs.

5.) Foxwoods Resort Casino (Mashantucket, Conn.) – 344,000 square feet

With more than 380 table games to choose from and 7,200 slot machines, it's easy to see why more than 40,000 guests visit Foxwoods on a daily basis. There's also a state-of-the-art World Poker Tour poker room that boasts 114 tables and attracts players from around the world as well as the Ultimate Race Book, where you can bet on everything from thoroughbreds and harness to greyhounds and jai-alai. Oh, and don't forget to visit the 3,200-seat High Stakes Bingo Hall.

4.) Mohegan Sun (Uncasville, Conn.) – 364,000 square feet

The actual square footage at Mohegan Sun as we write this is 300,000, but this Friday the first portion of its $925 million expansion -- Casino of the Wind -- will open, and at the 64,000 square feet it pushes Mohegan into the fourth spot of our list. The new casino will offer a 42-table poker room, bringing live poker back to Mohegan for the first time in five years. There will also be more than 650 slot machines and 28 table games, as well as Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville. Casino of the Wind is just part of Project Horizon - a multi-million dollar expansion that calls for a new 920-room hotel, featuring 261 House of Blues-themed rooms and an exclusive members-only House of Blues Foundation Room. Upon full completion in 2010, Project Horizon is expected to add more than 1.4 million square feet to Mohegan Sun's existing structure.

3.) Island Resort & Casino (Harris, Mich.) – 408,520 square feet

There's a full variety of table games as well as live poker and keno. Also on the gaming floor you will find close to 1,500 slot machines, including video, reel, wide-area progressives, dual screen bonus games and in-house progressives. The Bingo Hall is open seven days a week and there are weekly and monthly poker and slot tournaments as well as a monthly themed Blackjack Party Pit tournament.

2.) San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino (Highland, Calif.) – 480,000 square feet

Bingo was the main attraction here when the San Manuel opened in 1986 and the casino has stayed true to its roots as it features a 2,500-seat Bingo Hall that has 15 games every night as well as matinee games with low buy-ins. There are also 2,000 slots, gaming tables and a smoke-free poker room with tableside food and beverage service.

1.) Potawatomi Bingo Casino (Milwaukee, Wisc.) – 780,000 square feet

A $240 million expansion was just completed two months ago here, making the Potawatomi not only the largest Indian casino in the world, but the largest employer in Milwaukee County. More 4 million visitors annually make their way through the massive casino area that houses 3,100 slot machines. But if you're looking for a more exclusive experience try the premier player's club – Solstice Lounge – and its soft leather chairs, HDTVs, food, full bar, slot machines, blackjack and European roulette.

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Friday, May 04, 2012

It’s a Shame the Rain Stopped …

From: Jim Miller [mailto:JMiller@cityofmarcoisland.com]
Sent: Friday, March 12, 2010 2:22 PM
To: Rony Joel
Subject: RE: rain

The rain has stopped as of 2:20

James D. Miller
Project Manager
City of Marco Island
50 Bald Eagle Drive
Marco Island, FL 34145
239-389-5026


 

From: Rony Joel
Sent: Friday, March 12, 2010 1:21 PM
To: Jim Miller
Subject: rain


 

Is it still raining on Marco??

We may not come back until it stops

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Preparing for the Case …

From: Jim Miller [mailto:JMiller@cityofmarcoisland.com]
Sent: Friday, April 16, 2010 2:56 PM
To: Dave Baer
Subject: FW: Temporary Road Closures - Pheasant, Persian & Capri Cts

Dave,

Today I was informed by one of our Public Works inspectors that last evening (Thur 4/15) around 7:30pm a Marco Island Police officer pulled up to the water main construction on Winterberry (see attached email) and asked if there was a permit to be doing this work. The officer was told yes by our City inspector. When asked if he was informed about the scheduled construction, the officer replied that he knew nothing about it.

Besides the fact that this work was noticed to staff in advance, there were at least 6 clearly marked City of Marco Island Utility vehicles parked along Winterberry Dr.

While I can understand the officer stopping to question what was going on, and how much longer the work would take, I'm not really sure why the officer had to question City workers about a permit.

To my knowledge there were no complaints or traffic issues other than the occasional road blockage by the construction crew which was being handled by their staff. Work was completed about 8pm just as it was getting dark.

The reason I'm mentioning this at all is because we are just starting this year's sewer projects in the East Winterberry and Gulfport/San Marco Rd areas, and work typically runs from 7am to 7pm Mon- Sat. Every so often there is an occasional "late evening" overrun. I would hope that our police officers would be aware of this typical construction schedule, and rather than question the validity work being done under City supervision, instead perhaps offer to help, from a traffic perspective, after dark if work-loads allow.

Please call to discuss when you have time.

Thanks…Jim

James D. Miller

Project Manager

City of Marco Island

50 Bald Eagle Drive

Marco Island, FL 34145

239-389-5026


 

From: Jim Miller
Sent: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 2:52 PM
To: Chris Byrne; Dave Baer; Michael Murphy; Thom Carr
Cc: Mike Daniel; Rony Joel; Lisa Douglass; 'Russ DeJonge'
Subject: Temporary Road Closures - Pheasant, Persian & Capri Cts

Attention Staff,

On Thursday 4/15, the City sewer contractor will be conducting 3 water main replacements across the intersections of Pheasant & Winterberry, Persian & Winterberry and Capri & Winterberry, between 9am & 8pm. This work will require temporary closure of each street to remove and install the new water main. The contractor will attempt to minimize the closure time and keep at least partial access open for neighborhood traffic.

In addition, traffic along Winterberry Dr in this area is being asked to slow down to 25 mph for safety reasons via message board.

Call me if you have any questions.

JimJames D. Miller

Project Manager

City of Marco Island

50 Bald Eagle Drive

Marco Island, FL 34145

239-389-5026


 

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