Outstanding Piece at Alliance for the Arts
It has been wonderful to live in Southwest Florida for over 50 years and experience the growth and development of local theater. Congratulations last weekend to Bill Taylor and the Theater Conspiracy of Lee County Alliance for the Arts. I attended an outstanding production of a play written in 1986 by George C. Wolfe. “The Colored Museum” is directed by Sonya McCarter and brilliantly staged in 10 scenes in which the audience moves rather than the sets on stage. The all-black cast was amazing. I laughed, I cried and I was immersed in these characters. The relevance of this piece has carried through the years. How much has changed? Where does he have it?
Rochelle Lieb, Napoli
Under the filibuster, the minority reigns
Political parties should be judged on the laws they propose and the laws they enact. If they propose bad laws, their members should not be elected. If they fail to enact the new laws they have proposed, their members should be removed from office.
This country is supposed to run under majority rule, not by the minority that currently runs it under the filibuster.
Doris Brown, Fort Myers
John Dugan, a proven problem solver
The City of Naples needs proven leaders who have the ability to solve a variety of complex problems in a rapidly changing environment and who are able to develop relationships to work cooperatively to solve these problems. John Dugan has a proven track record of solving complex business problems and delivering solutions on time and within budget. As a management consultant with global leadership firm Accenture, John worked for large corporations on projects involving millions of dollars. John has demonstrated the ability to analyze a problem in order to fully understand and define it; leading a team to develop solutions; analyze these solutions against best business practices; work with the client to choose the solution that will best meet their needs within given financial constraints; then implement and monitor the chosen solution. When I asked John Dugan to solve an important problem, he went way beyond my expectations. I know he will do the same for the city of Naples. In the current inflationary economy, Naples City Council will have to make tough choices about where to spend money without simply raising taxes to fund the skyrocketing spending. The board will need to carefully negotiate and monitor each contract to stay on track and on budget. John Dugan is the proven candidate.
Jan Face Glassman, Napoli
Beth Petrunoff best choice for consulting
Of the three newcomers vying for the open seat on the Naples City Council, only Beth Petrunoff deserves our votes. Of the three, Beth is the only candidate who has clearly done her homework on the issues and priorities of small residential and local businesses in Naples. She is the only candidate to have offered constructive and detailed plans that will help the current board move forward towards its laudable goals.
Petrunoff is retired and is truly non-partisan in his approach to the position. Unlike the other two new candidates, she is not supported by partisan interests, nor by real estate interest groups or developers. Unlike the other candidates, Beth is focused on solving problems and getting things done, not attacking the current council.
In sum, Beth Petrunoff’s superior skills are demonstrated by her impressive resume, collaborative attitude and dedication to putting local residents and small businesses first.
Marie Wilson, Napoli
Council neglects Fifth Avenue businesses
I operate a business on Fifth Avenue South. I am increasingly worried that our city council has, at worst, an anti-corporate bias or, at best, an inability to set priorities. For more than five years now, I have been promised trees for the entrance to my gallery. Two city managers, both elected by the city council, had pledged to make this happen. Yet the city council dragged its feet not only on my personal demands, but for all of Fifth Avenue.
Fifth Avenue businesses pay increased taxes into a fund raised by the city to improve and protect Fifth Avenue South and reduce costs to our ratepayers. And while our increased taxes go to support the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) in charge of city improvements, not a penny has been committed to major Fifth Avenue improvements since this council took office. .
Yet the planned Design District between 9th and 10th Streets not only received substantial funding, but was accelerated by the council. While I welcome the improvements in this area of Naples, it is interesting to note that not only does our Mayor own property there, but the Chairman of the ARC Advisory Board owns a major business there.
Fifth Avenue South contributes so much to Naples’ economy, tourism and taxes. His businesses care deeply about this community. I think the city council should keep their eyes on the prize and less on what seems to be in their own best interests.
Martha Schaub, Napoli
President Biden and congressional Democrats want everyone to pay their fair share but ignore spending. Consequently, the national debt is accelerating and, including unfunded obligations, exceeds $123 trillion or $850,000 per taxpayer.
Social security and health insurance account for 78% of the unfunded burden. Both parties ignore this obligation and spend like drug addicts. Biden’s recent green infrastructure bill and his socialist Build Back Better program adds another $6 trillion.
When Washington creates debt, they print more money and inflation kicks in. Some call it a “bubble economy”. It works when the economy grows faster than the debt, but it turns into a Ponzi scheme when the (debt) bubble expands and grows faster than the overall economy.
We can elect people who are fiscally responsible, but there is very little appetite for moderation. Republicans have always preached debt repayment and spending control, but their intentions are inconsistent with actions. Democrats are always compulsive spenders.
Voters must challenge politicians on fiscal discipline. They can argue for a balanced budget amendment, a budget line veto, and/or support Sen. Rand Paul’s “Penny Plan” that calls for a penny-per-dollar reduction in top-line spending. Paul says his plan would balance the budget in five years. Finally, voters can impose limits on the term of Congress.
We didn’t get here overnight, but politicians over the decades have made many irresponsible decisions. It will take sacrifice and discipline to restore fiscal responsibility.
Frank Mazur, Fort Myers
CRT and history lesson
I recently watched WGCU’s rerun of “Reconstruction: America After Civil War.” The series follows the post-Civil War years as the nation struggled to rebuild after the war. I highly recommend watching it.
However, admittedly unfamiliar with the issues surrounding Critical Race Theory (CRT) and current legislation prohibiting schools from discussing certain topics of racial inequality, I wonder if high school teachers would be reprimanded for discussing this important series. So, for those familiar with CRT, can you shed some light on that?
My question is, at what point does a PBS history program’s discussion of post-Civil War white suppression of black people transition into a discussion of CRT?
Steve Hosick, Cape Coral