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The Clerk’s Report December 2022

It’s officially the holiday season! First, I would like to wish you a safe and Merry Christmas with your family and friends. During the past few months, we’ve all grown to appreciate the strength of our support network following an active and devastating hurricane season.

I’ve gotten some questions regarding Collier County’s financial stability. As your Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller, I was able to share that our County is fortunate to have had reserves in place to help us prepare for and recover from Hurricane Ian. While we were prepared, it is also apparent that this storm and its impacts will be ongoing. This will require the Board of Commissioners and County Management to review all that has been planned, as well as ongoing projects, to balance community needs.

The September 27, 2022 Board of County Commissioners agenda included a project update on the Paradise Coast Sports Complex. The County made a substantial investment in this facility as costs incurred/obligated to date approach $120M. In this month’s newsletter, you’ll find a breakdown of future debt service requirements for this Project. Additionally, of interest was an inquiry letter from 3Step Sports to begin dialogue with Collier County regarding the sale or long-term lease of the complex.

I have included a report from the Office of Inspector General, which identified over $1.3 million in fraudulent grant applications since April 2022. The grant applications were investigated after being reported by the Collier Community and Human Services (CHS) for a variety of reasons including counterfeit documentation, altered IRS tax returns, and inconsistent supporting documentation. We continue to work with County staff to safeguard your tax dollars through these investigations. We encourage you to report any suspected fraud and abuse associated with County or Clerk operations online through CollierClerk.com. 

I want to share with you our most recent recognition as the first Office in the entire state of Florida to go live with the statewide implementation of Uniform Case Reporting (UCR)

We have received authorization for the Marco Island Satellite Office to assist passport applications. I would like to thank our Recording Department’s Passport Specialist, Maritza Orengo for her efforts in coordinating with the Bureau of Consular Affairs. Citizens of Marco Island City can now apply for a US Passport without having to travel to our main office at the courthouse. 

Lastly, during the Christmas season many of you are considering end-of-year giving.  We are a very generous community.  I want to remind everyone to exercise their due diligence before donating to unknown charities. Inside this issue, there are a few tips to help you make sure that your contributions are being invested the way that you intended. I end the year thankful for all of those that helped to make 2022 a great year!