Short Takes


Guest Commentary by Jay Light

It’s been a while, so here are some short takes (by my standards) about a bunch of local stuff.

More than a year and a half ago, the revelation that the town hadn’t paid more than $3 million in contractors’ bills cost a very competent and savvy town manager his job. It has never been revealed who it was on the town staff who really screwed up and no one else has been fired. I’d still like to know. It just confirms my belief that the “incident” gave three Council members an excuse for the firing that they had been looking for.

We had a town council election a few months ago. Given the slate of candidates, the right three won.

We also have a new town manager. I wish him well. He left Marco Island under somewhat of a cloud, but from what I know about politics in Marco, that could well be a badge of honor. We’re paying him a pile of money. I hope he turns out to be worth it. There was one subject that couldn’t be raised during his interview, so I’ll raise it here: Please, Sir, assure us that your wife has never appeared in a porn movie.

Tom Torgerson’s application for his downtown development project has been submitted. I hope the Town interprets the comp plan and code broadly enough to let something happen. Meanwhile, the County shot itself in the foot by being poopy about working together with him and the Town on getting the best deal for all parties. Sooner or later (I hope sooner), Torgerson will end up with approval of some version of his project and the County will be left with an empty lot that is bounded on three sides by Torgerson’s properties that they can’t do anything with. Maybe then they’ll consider making a deal and the whole process will begin all over again.

My hope that Vice-Mayor Tracey Gore would mature in her position on the Council has yet to be realized. There is no question that she’s smart, but her recent “little flying monkeys” crack confirms that she isn’t yet wise. I urge her to spend more time listening and less time thinking about the next “clever” thing she’s planning to say, although she sure should have spent more time thinking about that one.

Finally, we were in the old historic district in downtown Philadelphia a few weeks ago. Many of the streets there are still paved with the very same cobblestones that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin walked on. When we drove back to the Beach from the airport, there were several crews in the supposedly finished part of the Estero Boulevard project pulling up and replacing broken pavers, which had been installed less than a month ago. I sure hope the County bought the extended warranty on the job because so far, it hasn’t held up very well.

All this notwithstanding, I keep reminding myself that I live year-round in a place where thousands of people travel thousands of miles and pay thousands of dollars just to visit for a week or two.


Jay Light
Fort Myers Beach