What do you see as the top two concerns for the City of Marathon?
1) Vacation Rentals and their effect on Workforce homes,
Currently the State has “pre-empted” the municipalities throughout the state, tying all of our hands in the ability to shape how we deal with the newer landscape of Vacation Rentals. They have, in Marathon, kept the city going during the economic downturn, however recent Legislative actions give ALL property rights to the VR owner, rather than those of their neighbors. Couple that with the affordable housing situation “Post Irma”. This is an almost unsolvable issue for the short term. Property values are high and going higher. This is good for property owners, (Workforce and VR) but tough on folks that need to have a more affordable option in the short term or long term renting. This will be a very long term correction, if at all.
2) The FEMA reimbursement (Lack there of) issue. We spent our 6 month reserve in 2 weeks after Irma. 2+ years later we are still waiting for $32 Million
How would you address these concerns?
1) We are currently lobbying FLorida Legislature and working on bills to carve out Monroe County (as an State of Florida Area of Critical Concern.) from the generic statute limiting our ability to tweak or modify our codes for Vacation Rentals. I/We will continue to push for more Home Rule in general but certainly for the Property Rights Bill. I really dont have a clear plan for making affordable workforce homes more affordable. Lame, but honest.
2) We are working to bring home the money we are owed. Sadly FEMA works at a snails pace, and the FL-Dept of Emergency Mgmt. must audit the Project worksheets in order to pay us. The previous admin had a 100% audit policy meaning no reimbursement until audit completion. Then Hurricane Micheal... We are struggling to stay in the RADAR of the check writers. We have great relationships with the new FDEM director and Gov DiSantis. Now is not the time for new faces.