Rich Blonna

For City Council

Marco Island is a special place and living here is a dream come true. I want to do my part to give back to the community. I will fight to retain Marco Island’s small town feel. I will ensure that all development and redevelopment facilitates smart growth by strictly adhering to zoning and other land development code limits. I am passionate about our water and will continue the work that our City Council has begun to clean up our waterways and restore them to their once pristine state. I love our beach and will fight to protect and preserve it. Lastly, I will fight to keep our taxes and spending low. 

The

CALM, THOUGHTFUL, LEADERSHIP

Our City Needs

A Vision For The Future

As your City Councilor I share the vision for Marco Island  described in our city’s Strategic Plan in 2019. This vision looks 15 years into the future and sees Marco Island as a great residential community with small town charm. It also envisions Marco Island  as a city that is still distinguished for our beauty, our world class beach and natural environment, and our beautiful waterways.

This is a vision that I share and will do everything in my power as a City Councilor to promote and preserve it. It will guide my decision-making when casting my vote on any issue that is brought before the City Council.

 

Vision

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Running a local non-partisan political campaign is expensive. There are signs to make, meeting halls to rent, and a hundred other expenses. I am not affiliated with any Political Action Committees or other sources of funding other than the contributions of individual citizens like you. I would greatly appreciate whatever you can contribute.

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Actionable Issues

My Key Issues and Priorities if elected are:

Dummy
Maintain Our Small-Town Character
Marco Island is unique. It is a beautiful quilt that is sewn together by friendly people, a deep sense of patriotism, a love of the outdoors, and a small-town feel where folks will make eye contact and say hello and stop to exchange a few pleasant words. Although it is a world class destination, it isn’t Miami, or Ft. Lauderdale, or even Naples. It’s charm lies in the fact that it is a residential community with small town charm. A key to keeping it that way is smart growth. I will fight to preserve our small-town character through smart growth.

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Restore and Protect Our Waterways
As a kayaker and beach runner I am in daily contact with our waterways. Our intricate system of canals are our island’s lifeline. They are our water highways that weave through our island to provide access to the Gulf and San Marco River for our boaters and paddlers. They also provide scenic vistas for our walkers, runners, and cyclists. Our waterways are in peril and need to be cleaned up and protected. Our current City Council has taken bold steps to start this process. I will continue this momentum and ensure that we finish the job.

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Preserve and Protect Our Beach
Marco Island is home to one of the top-rated beaches in the world. Our beautiful sandy beach, stretching from the Sand Dollar Spit on Tigertail to South Beach is wide and clean and home to sea turtles, dolphins, burrowing owls, migratory birds and many other species. Our beachfront hotels, condos, and resorts are second to none and our beach-related tourist industry is the lifeblood of our local economy. All of this is built on a fragile ecosystem that must be protected. I will protect our beach and ecosystem upon which it depends.

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Keep Taxes and Spending Low
Marco Island is in solid financial shape. It provides basic city services in a cost-efficient manner. Prior City Councils have invested in maintaining and upgrading facilities, equipment and infrastructure. They have also leveraged city funding with outside grants and resources such as the newly-formed Community Parks Foundation Inc. I will support these measures and continue to look for new opportunities to save money and keep our taxes and spending low.

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Promote Smart Business Growth
One of the joys of living in a beach resort community is the abundance of different restaurants, bars, shops, tours, water-based recreational activities and many other diverse businesses. These add to the basic businesses such as contractors, plumbers, electricians, banks, marinas etc.

Taken together, these smart businesses add vitality to our economy and life. I call them smart businesses because they add to the quality of our lives and help us thrive.

Our Chamber of Commerce does a great job of promoting our businesses but the City of Marco Island could do a lot more to help them and support local businesses. Be careful of who you vote for in the next City Council election because a couple of the candidates have gone on record with statements like; “I don’t know why we need 95 places to eat on Marco Island.” As a free-market capitalist my answer to them is “Why Not?”

I think we need to let the marketplace decide how many restaurants, and other business, our town can support. As long as proposed businesses meet building codes and are located within the proper zones, the City Council should support them.

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Issues

Marco Island Assisted Living Facility (ALF) Proposal

On Tuesday, September 29th, I attended the live presentation by Waterside and NCH on the revised proposal for the ALF and new Urgent Care Facility on Marco Island. Read more…

Rich Blonna Supports Conservation Collier

I, Rich Blonna, want to go on record as being the first Candidate for Marco Island City Council that endorses the November 3rd Ballot Question that re-authorizes the funding for Conservation Collier.

Reuse Water and Nitrogen Levels in Our Waterways

This post discusses a recent newspaper article that describes the link between reuse water and nitrogen overload.

This is a letter I sent to the Marco Island Planning Board regarding their decision to overturn a variance denial by the City.

Know Your Community : The Marco Island Academy

Marco Island Academy is truly unique and affords our children with an option for a superior education in a small, supportive environment right on Marco Island. If I get elected to the Marco Island City Council, I will do everything I can to support the school and help it thrive.

Know Your Strategic Plan

In April of 2019 the Marco Island City Council set out to chart a course for the city for the next 15 years by creating a Strategic Plan. The purpose of the plan was to establish a vision for the city moving forward and then to set goals and objectives for creating the roadmap to get there.

This post gives you an overview of the Marco Island Comprehensive Plan, one of our key documents that serves as a foundation for city government.

City Council Update

This post highliehts the Monday (June 8) special Marco Island City Council meeting that was devoted to the Capital Budget.

COVID19 Contact Tracing

In this post I discuss COVID19 contact tracing and describe how it is similar and different to contact tracing used in STD control.

Message from Governor DeSantis 4/15/20

In this short video Florida Governor Ron DeSantis gives an update regarding efforts to control COVID19 in the state and help those in need.

Meet Rich Blonna

Dr Rich Blonna: Calm, Thoughtful Leadership

My Occupation: Semi-retired college professor, writer, and self-help entrepreneur

A little About my Family: Married Heidi Blonna the day before my 20th birthday. Will celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2021. Two Adult sons; William and Michael.

Where I am from: Son of blue-collar Italian-American parents from Newark, NJ.

Residence: My wife and I have been Marco Island residents since 2012 and have experienced both condo and single family home living. We currently live on San Marco Rd and before that we lived in a condo in San Marco Villas.

Involvement in the Community:

  • Board Member, San Marco Villas Condo Association 2013-2015
  • Co-Founder, Marco Island Paddlers Association 2012-2013
  • Co-Facilitator, Mindful Meditation on Marco 2019 Member Since 2011
  • Member, Marco Island Writers Club 2012-12-present
  • Member, Marco Island YMCA 2011-present
  • Volunteer, Food Bank 2017
  • Volunteer, The Wall that Heals 2020

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Don’t Forget to Vote!

All of the best intentions end at the polls.  We can’t create change and improvement without the numbers.  Please support this campaign on November 3, 2020!

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News & Updates

Rich Blonna Supports Conservation Collier

Rich Blonna Supports Conservation Collier

I, Rich Blonna, want to go on record as being the first Candidate for Marco Island City Council that endorses the November 3rd Ballot Question that re-authorizes the funding for Conservation Collier.

read more

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