Let’s check in with the city of Marathon

Robyn Still, mayor of Marathon, joined Good Morning Keys on KeysTalk 96.9/102.5FM yesterday morning to talk about what’s been going on in the city. 

Still was part of a delegation who went to Tallahassee for Florida Keys Days. 

Still said, “We were able to meet with several key figures up there that were important to things that we need here in the Keys. Unfortunately, we didn’t meet with Representative Jim Mooney, he had to cancel our meeting. Apparently, he’s a busy man up in Tallahassee, but we’re hoping to catch him down here. But we were able to meet with our Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez, and she was wonderful. She works hard for the Keys and she’s still continuing to fight for our needs down here. We were able to meet with FIRM to talk about our insurance issues. We all know what those are. They are fighting hard for us up there in Tallahassee as well. It’s interesting how you go to Tallahassee and that’s where elected officials and other stakeholders from the Keys actually are able to be in the same room together at the same time and network and start talking about our issues a little bit. Nothing official, but just to kind of start breaking the ice and new people that you haven’t met, you get to meet, who’ve replaced other individuals. It was just, I think, a productive trip all the way around. We’ve come back, we’re ready to get to work on a lot of the issues that we have, as we know, one of the hot issues is the hurricane evacuation study. We’ve had a workshop about that, and I expect many, many, many more of those similar workshops about the hurricane evacuation study and the number of building allocations that the county and the municipalities need to ask the state for.”

Will there be any relief on insurance rates? 

Still said, “They’re hopeful for a couple of things, it’s not going to obviously get the solution that we would all like to see, but any help is going to be welcome. I’m just kind of waiting to see I don’t want to talk about it too much because you get your hopes built up. I’m keeping an eye on it. I urge everybody else to keep an eye on that. But I’m just hoping that we will have at least a little bit of relief.”

What else was discussed in Tallahassee? 

Still said, “We met with the EPA to talk about the deep injection wells. We’re hoping that they’ll help us or give us some suggestions for some avenues of funding for that. That’s going to be very expensive for the deep injection well, that we are going to be installing. But we’re just kind of waiting to hear back from some of that.”

What’s on the horizon for Marathon? 

Still said, “”I think we will continue discussions about the hurricane evacuation study. At our workshop, the county is open to loaning us some building permit units that would get us through until some discussions can be done and some decisions can be made about how many units that the Keys as an entirety would want to ask for. So I think that’s something important. We’ll be I imagine completing some of those plans, talking about that a little bit more. Obviously, Sombrero Beach Boulevard, we all know the flooding problems there. We’re working on the solution for that to make that better. We just ask that everybody be patient. These are not simple solutions. It’s not a one solution fixes everything. We just have to work together and try to figure out the best way to move forward to fix those issues. Other than that, I think Marathon’s doing great as a city. We have a great city council. I’m very proud to serve with the gentleman I serve with. Our city staff is great, getting us prepared for our meetings and our workshop was very well attended last Monday night and I just urge everybody to continue to attend meetings and workshops. Go to the city’s Facebook page. We actually took our audio video person with us to Tallahassee. We did live streams on Facebook to let everybody know, we talk about Tallahassee, Florida Keys Day, come with us to Tallahassee and get a glimpse of what we’re doing here. We had live streams with Monroe County Mayor Holly Raschein, talking about how Florida Keys Day came into existence. Board of County Commissioenr, former mayor Michelle Lincoln, we did a video with her as well. I just urge people to go and look at that stuff too, to kind of get an idea what we’re doing. We’re trying to go forward this year, be a little more transparent with how the city works and if anybody’s got suggestions, reach out, we’re happy to do a video. I know there’s going to be one coming up. He’s not done it yet. But he’s going to go on a video and show step by step how to access our city meetings. The screen is going to show where you will see exactly where to go, which click to make, which link to select. That way people know, I’m a very strong believer in letting people know how the government works and involved.”

What are the thoughts about local rule that might put some stipulations on local governments, possibly about flags?

Still said, “It is a concern. It is concern in every legislative session. Local voices, making local choices is the best thing. We know our community. And I know that other jurisdictions and Representatives and Senators, they have good intentions, but their community is not the same as ours and I think that we should be able to make our own choices, our own decisions, here locally. Every legislative session, you have got concerns that state government is trying to take more and more control. I’m against that. I think we need to take care of our municipality. I just hope that at some point people start listening to that and understand that the Keys are a unique location and what works for us does not work for somebody somewhere else.”

The next Marathon City Council meeting will be February 13 and a City Council workshop will be February 27. 

Still said, “I don’t know what other council members are going to put on the agenda, but at this point, it looks like it’s a fairly light agenda. I definitely want to put on the agenda, the nonprofit grants that we did last year, have a discussion about that. I would like to see that come back this year as well. Thank you to your listeners and to my fellow council members and to staff and thanks to the county as well. It’s always a pleasure that we can all get along, we can work together and even if we might have different ideas, we still at the end of the day have respect for each other and we are working for the betterment of Marathon and for Monroe County.”