The Lower Keys has been "represented" for 20 years by someone who lives in Marathon.  Now, this representative wants to swap seats with the current Mayor of Marathon, insuring another 4 years of no authentic representation for the Lower Keys.  Read for yourself.   Florida Keys News on January 20, 2018.  Our point is simple, we believe that everyone, everywhere in our great country deserves to be authentically represented by one of their neighbors, by someone who actually lives in their district and truly understands the concerns and hopes of the residents there.  Our representation is not something to be handed down from one long term politician to another.  Our trust is something to be earned, not manipulated.

Since the publication of this story, the Commissioner has, in fact, filed to run for Marathon City Council, in effect, attempting to swap positions with the current Marathon Mayor.  It is not for the current Commissioner to anoint his successor.  This is up to the voters.  It is Monroe's Choice.  You, the residents of Monroe County, have the power to choose authentic representation for all districts, including the Lower Keys. 

Quotes from the Current Marathon Mayor

Seeing as how District 2 covers only the bayside portion of Marathon up to 63rd Street, the Mayor had to move from her oceanside home on Knights Key and into District 2 to qualify for the seat. She bought a bayside home in August “on the right side of the street,” she said.

Quotes from the Current District 2 Commissioner:

There has been talk of the Commissioner running for Coldiron’s City Council seat.

“I’ve been asked to by some people, so as far as thinking about it, I’d have to say yes I have been,” he said. “As far as having anywhere near made up my mind, I have not. It’s very early and God knows my plate is full with trying to finish out what will be my 20th year in office and I don’t plan on being distracted at this point in time by running for another office.”

The only way he’d consider running for another County Commission term is the Mayor didn’t run, he said.

“I think she brings a lot to the table. I think she’s prepared herself to step into the position better than anyone I’ve seen put the name in the hat over the last 20 years,” he said.

May 2018

“What I hear from my neighbors and the business community, is that local government is not listening to them over the last several years, but this really came to light after Hurricane Irma,” she said. “It’s a lot of work, and I’ve done a lot of research, but I’m in it to the finish line; 100 percent into it.”

Keys Weekly/ Read Full Article

 

JULy 2018

This Blue Paper investigative piece provides insight into how the County Commission currently operates.  Please take the time to read it.  While we recognize the urgent need for a fully functional hospital in Marathon, we do not think we should rush to tax our citizens without thoroughly reviewing the facts of the situation.

County Commissioners say:

“It boils down to one would have to go to a referendum and one doesn’t…. I don’t want to run the risk of losing a referendum vote.”

“The County doesn’t have that information on the hospital.  You would need to contact Baptist Hospital directly.  The County has not verified any of their financial statements.” 

“I have not verified the Baptist loss because they only operated the hospital for a couple of months before the storm.  However, I have worked in and around hospitals my entire career and having only 1.5 million indigent loss would be great news for any hospital that I am familiar with. In any case, since they will be required to verify indigent loss each time they wish to draw down funds from the County, I am not sure that it is a relevant issue.”

Citizens say:

“I have been amazed that there has been no discussion at the BOCC level of the real financial situation of Baptist Health South, and that some commissioners expressed their willingness to vote for a taxing district without the benefit of required information and discussion. I am attaching Baptist Health latest financials. If you go to page 5 you will see that Baptist Gross Revenues for 2017, the latest available as their fiscal year closes in September 2018, are 2.5 billion and their net profits for the same year were $244 Million.”

“We just want to know where our money is going and we deserve a vote, instead they are shoving it through.”

“Common sense would say that when you are forcing a tax increase, don’t you think you should look at the financials – especially when your back isn’t against a wall. There was no hurry.” 

“It’s not the dollar amount, it’s the method, and Baptist Health doesn’t need itI probably would have gone for it if it went to referendum. I have a problem with it not being done in daylight.”

“Baptist has 3 billion dollars in reserves.  This is what reserves are for.  I don’t understand why they have to take our taxes. Nobody bailed me out [after the hurricane], but now here I am having to help bail out a 3-billion-dollar company who knew what they were getting into when they took over the hospital.