Issues

Lower Taxes and Fiscal Accountability

  • Rollback Millage (Property Tax)

    • Jared has voted for rollback every year, four years in a row, just as he promised when he ran for office in 2016. Since that time and due to Jared’s support your city property tax rate has been reduced by 14%. 

    • Thanks to Jared’s unrelenting voice on council, Marco Island’s tax rate is lower now than it was 10 years ago. 

 

 

  • Tax Cuts Helping Families, Local Businesses, and Retirees

    • Jared proposed a reduction in the Local Communications Services Tax that had been unchanged in over a decade. This was a stealth tax that kept citizens in the dark. 

    • Jared demanded a reduction in the tax rate of 60%, keeping over $500,000 more in citizens’ pockets each and every year. Marco Island now has the lowest LCST tax rate in our area, matching unincorporated Collier County.

    • Jared will keep fighting for fiscal responsibility and do everything he can to stop hidden and stealth taxes from being imposed on Marco taxpayers.

 

 

  • Capital Spending Controls

    • Jared’s belief in fiscal responsibility prompted his proposal to Council to enact a capital spending ordinance requiring a supermajority vote on certain large capital projects. 

    • Jared wants to make sure that large expenditures are carefully vetted and are not pet projects rammed down the community’s throat by a 4-3 controversial vote on Council. 

    • This measure projects tax-payers by ensuring broad community support, involvement, and feedback behind large city expenditures.

Protection of Island Wildlife and Environment

 

  • Leading by Example

    • Jared and his family care deeply about Marco Island’s environment and frequently volunteer their own time to clean up our local beaches and through their work on Owl Watch with the Audubon of the Western Everglades helping to protect Marco Island’s burrowing owl population.

    • Through their years of work on “Owl Watch”, Jared was inspired to create a program to help preserve the owl’s shrinking habitat by proposing a “Starter Burrow Incentive Program” to encourage home-owners to share their property with the owls.

    • This one-of-a-kind program was approved by council with broad support throughout the community and already has shown promise in helping to protect our owls.

 

  • Clean Water Priority

    • Jared understands the urgent need to safeguard our most precious natural resource, our pristine beaches and waterways.

    • Since Jared has been in office, the City Council has prioritized more money addressing water quality issues than any other City Council in Marco Island’s history.

    • In the most recent budget, Jared supported and voted to approve hundreds of thousands of dollars that will be used to improve our water quality, starting with an immediate increase to water quality testing on a monthly basis. 

    • Jared believes that it is important to identify the source of pollutants and voted to approve a proposal that will accomplish this. 

    • Jared has also voted to update Marco Island’s stormwater policy and management as well as median remodeling, water/sewer reuse water improvements, treatment upgrades, and swale assessment analysis. 

    • Jared also recommended to City Council that millions of dollars from the Collier County sales tax be allocated to clean up our water going forward and to continue to engage with County and State leadership on this issue to secure additional funding. There’s much more to be done and this issue impacts every resident in our county and state.

    • During a recent City Council water quality workshop, Jared proposed that the city begin an “Adopt-a-Canal” program, similar to volunteer Adopt-a-Highway programs. This program would encourage local businesses and volunteers to work together to keep our waterways clean. Council agreed to move forward with Jared’s recommendation and it is currently under development.

  • Endangered Species and Beach Protection 

    • Jared voted in favor of updating Marco Island’s Endangered Species ordinance to impose stiffer penalties for violations and to widen the protection zones around our Burrowing Owls and Gopher Tortoises. 

    • Jared also voted in favor of legislation that would reduce plastic refuse around our world class beaches. 

 

  • Increasing Fines on Violations

    • Jared strongly believes that those repeat offenders and those who demonstrate willful and wanton disregard for our environment and wildlife deserve harsh penalties. 

    • Jared has strongly advocated for increases in fines for this type of negligent and harmful conduct and for the fines collected to go towards positive, wildlife and environment enhancing action within our local community. 

    • Jared also believes the City should be closely engaged with our state authorities in the event of a significant environmental violation, beyond what the City is legally allowed to enforce, to ensure that full and proper penalties are sought.

Responsible Budgeting Focused on Citizens' Priorities
 

  • Hurricane Preparedness

    • In 2017, less than one year after Jared was first elected, Marco Island was hit by major Hurricane Irma. Our community rallied together to quickly clean up and rebuild with the help of city staff and volunteer organizations like the Marco Patriots, F-Troop, and many more. 

    • Jared believes that we should always be looking to improve and learn from our experiences and it was clear to Jared and many citizens who reached out to him directly that our city needed to take immediate steps to better prepare for future storm events. 

    • Jared proposed the creation of an Ad Hoc Hurricane Review Committee to identify ways Marco Island can improve its hurricane preparedness by directly engaging citizens to learn about their experiences leading up to, during, and post-Irma. 

    • This committee was selected by Council and was made up of extremely qualified local citizen leaders and experts. They worked quickly to identify and recommend improvement in policies and equipment needed to be ready to respond more effectively in the future. 

    • Jared supported adding the Hurricane Committee’s recommendations to our budget priorities which were included in the FY2020 budget. 

  • Roadways & Sidewalks

    • During Jared’s last campaign, he walked many miles of roads and sidewalks speaking to our citizens about what was important to them. Jared heard from many citizens that our roadway and sidewalk issues need to be made a priority. 

    • During Jared’s first budget cycle, he made sure that the City allocated an additional one million dollars to fix our most traveled and poorly conditioned roadways, all without raising taxes. 

    • In subsequent years, Jared has continued to support an accelerated roadway resurface program, vastly outpacing haphazard efforts in years past.

    • City Council responded to sidewalk repair concerns by drastically reducing some of the draconian policies of past Councils to lessen the burden on property owners. During a Council meeting in October of 2019, Jared said, "The status quo is unacceptable at this stage. It just seems un-American that this property that the city owns, you are required to maintain and you are required to replace in full. When you write that $15,000 check for a piece of property that isn't yours it's a tough pill to swallow for a lot of folks." Council agreed and directed the city manager to provide cost estimates for taking over the entire sidewalk maintenance program, removing a huge burden from the shoulders of many citizens.

  • Parking

    • Parking availability across the island has been a concern for many of our fellow citizens. This was further exacerbated by past Councils’ actions to ban parking in the alleys in commercial zones. Upon taking office, Jared immediately supported multiple temporary moratoriums to halt poor parking policies that penalized families, local businesses, and other residents.

    • Jared voted to permanently repeal the bans, providing much relief to our citizens. 

    • Jared also supported a permanent repeal of parking bans in residential district swales and over-the-sidewalk parking during the holiday season when families, friends, and relatives come home to Marco Island 

    • Jared was a strong proponent for the creation of the Ad Hoc Parking Solutions Committee, a citizen-led committee that was formed to develop parking solutions for Marco Island. 

    • Jared voted in favor of approving their no-cost and low-cost recommendations and the FY2020 budget parking improvements that funded increased parking in the Old Marco area of the island, all without raising taxes.

​Individual and Property Rights

  • Protection of Free Speech and Citizens’ Rights

    • In 2015 before Jared was elected, City Councilors snuck through a controversial item during a Monday afternoon 1pm sparsely-attended “special meeting.” This action created new restrictions on citizen-proposed resolutions preventing them from even being considered unless citizens obtained signatures from 1% of Marco Island voters - the same requirement to run for Council! 

    • Jared understands that it is difficult enough for working families to attend council meetings, let alone have time to organize and submit large quantities of petitions and then pay for verification. 

    • At the time, Jared spoke out against the unfair limitations and financial burdens on the citizens. This was another example of government reinforcing its own power at the expense of citizens’ rights. 

    • One of Jared’s first actions as City Councilor was to repeal this requirement and remove the restriction and stealth-tax for the people of Marco Island.

  • Accessible Council Meetings

    • Jared believes that citizens should always be encouraged and welcomed at our Council meetings. Prior City Councils often held meetings in the morning or early afternoon during the week making it impossible for many workers or families to attend. These meetings were sparsely attended and often were when the most controversial ordinances were “debated.”

    • When he was elected, Jared immediately advocated that all city council meetings and special workshops be held at 5:30 pm, giving more citizens the ability to attend and participate and he has continued to do so every single year. 

  • Density Transfer 

    • In 2016, the issue of a potential hotel development project at Veterans’ Community Park was brought to light. It became a major hot-button issue for many across our island who were concerned, not only about the lack of transparency, but also about the potential impact to current residents, businesses, and tourists. It also sparked an island-wide debate about the future of Veterans’ Community Park and whether or not the then-current density transfer policy truly represented the best interest of our entire island community.

    • What is density transfer? Each land parcel on Marco Island has an assigned amount of density that is permitted. As a simple example, if all of the available density was not utilized on one parcel, the unused balance could be transferred to another parcel elsewhere on the island over and above what was originally allowed. This had the potential of allowing for a much larger, denser development on a parcel where it wouldn’t have normally been permitted, creating a difficult and almost unpredictable situation for neighbors and a strain on surrounding infrastructure.

    • After Jared was elected, he moved swiftly and voted to terminate the hotel project, and removed the city from being a “co-applicant” on any project involving the Park. 

    • Jared also voted to approve a one-year moratorium on density transfer to allow for proper review and impact of the policy prior to considering a potential repeal. 

    • Jared then voted on final readings to repeal density transfer and to rezone Veterans’ Community Park officially as a “park” almost one year to the date of the approval of the density transfer moratorium culminating the review process.

  • Citizens First

    • Jared co-drafted updated Rules of Procedure and continued to explore improvements during his term on City Council to improve the flow of the meetings. 

    • During his time as Chairman, Jared increased the ability for public comment on issues in front of the Council, put the people's business (ordinances and resolutions) at the front of the agenda and moved other Council and staff items to the end. 

    • Jared knows that our citizens’ time is important and when they come to City Council meetings, it’s because they want to have their voices heard on significant action items that impact their lives, not to hear government drone on about inconsequential matters or reports. 

Our Community and Shared Future

 

  • Veterans’ Community Park Development

    • Since Jared has been on City Council, he has strongly supported common-sense improvements to the park site that retain green space without increasing city taxes or adding new city debt. Some of the most exciting and fun events on Marco Island are held at the Veterans’ Community Park like the Seafood & Music Festival, the Christmas Tree Lighting, the Farmer’s Market, and Island Rocks Concerts to name just a few.

    • It is clear that this park brings our citizens together in a positive and family-friendly atmosphere. With park improvements that fit into the character of Marco Island, it will be a wonderful destination that can be used now and by future generations. 

    • After years of inaction, Jared helped turn the tide to finally move Veterans’ Community Park improvements forward by supporting the update of the 2009 Master Plan and voting in favor of the new plans that took into account additional community input. 

    • Jared has strongly advocated for the use of Collier County sales tax dollars to fund the park buildout, saving taxpayers from any new unfunded debt schemes or city tax hikes. 

    • Jared also delivered on his promises to the citizens of Marco Island to protect Veterans' Community Park by voting to fix the zoning problem so that now the property is officially designated as a "park." 

    • Recently, Jared voted in favor of the formation of a 501c3 Foundation for Veterans’ Community Park to encourage donations to be used to supplement improvements.

  • Youth Council 

    • Jared has always believed that every citizen on Marco Island deserves a voice. In an effort to encourage civic involvement in our local students, Jared proposed the creation of a “Youth Council”. Through the “Youth Council” Marco students can learn how the government operates and develop leadership skills as well as become actively engaged in the political process. 

    • Jared deeply values the opinions of our future leaders and believes that with the help of Marco Island’s students, our current City Council will be better equipped to represent the entire community with the valuable feedback and insight they can provide. 

    • Jared has been closely working with Parks and Recreation as well as Marco Island Academy leaders in the development of this project. 

  • Supporting our Island Small Businesses

    • As a small business owner on Marco Island, Jared understands the burden that bad government mandates and tax increases have on our local economy. 

    • Our Marco Island businesses keep our island strong not just during tourist season but all year round yet they are often faced with an anti-business, anti-market attitude.

    • Jared has consistently fought to cut taxes and reduce unnecessary and redundant layers of bureaucracy. By reducing the property tax rate every year he’s been in office and by cutting the Local Communications Services Tax by 60%, Jared has helped our local businesses keep their hard earned money and reinvest into our community as they see fit. 

    • Jared has worked hard to assist our local businesses by eliminating harmful parking rules that prevented people from utilizing alleys and other areas in commercial zones. 

    • Jared also strongly supported low-cost and no-cost parking solutions as well as utilizing Collier County sales tax dollars to increase parking availability on Marco Island without raising any city taxes.

    • Jared has been a consistent, positive voice for our local business community. 

  • Protecting Local Assets for our Families and Residents

    • As a father of three young children, Jared understands the importance of extra-curricular opportunities for our Island’s children and their ability to have athletic facilities close to home. 

    • Jared intervened when the city tried to give up control of the Tommie Barfield Elementary School athletic field without public input and demanded the issue be discussed in the open by City Council. 

    • Jared successfully fought to keep this important facility under Marco Island control so that our student athletes have the ability to enjoy the sports they love without having to drive off the Island. 

  • Strategic Planning for Marco Island's future (2019 -> 2024 -> 2034)

    • Jared strongly believes in planning for Marco Island’s current residents and for our next generation with a positive road map that will guide decision making now and into the years ahead.

    • Jared voted in favor of creating a new strategic plan that involved encouraging and incorporating citizen input, multiple meeting sessions of City Council, and working with a hired consultant.

    • The Strategic Plan for Marco Island, completed in April of 2019, establishes long-range goals (through 2034) along with the steps and direction needed to accomplish it over the next one, five, and ten+ years.

    • All of the Strategic Plan items were developed through positive, consensus building action.

    • The Marco Island Vision for 2034 is a “great residential community with small-town charm, distinguished by our beauty, our world-class beach and natural environment, and our waterways. In 2034, our residents will enjoy our convenient coastal living and take pride in our Marco Island community.”

    • Learn more about how we achieve that vision by clicking here for the full strategic plan.

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JARED GRIFONI

MARCO ISLAND CITY COUNCIL

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Paid by Jared Grifoni for Marco Island City Council

PO Box 1133

 Marco Island, FL 34146

jared@jaredgrifoni.com

(239) 682-6682

JARED GRIFONI

MARCO ISLAND CITY COUNCIL