Libertarian Jared Grifoni, who has fought for low taxes, repeal of regulations, and home rule in the southern Florida city of Marco Island, was the first-place finisher among eight candidates, winning one of four seats up for grabs on the nonpartisan city council. He finished at 18.7 percent.
The centerpiece of Grifoni’s campaign was his five-point “Pledge for Marco Island,” in which he promised to keep more money in citizens’ pockets, protect property rights, improve the city council’s relationship with the Collier County and Florida state governments, introduce sunset provisions for controversial ordinances, and make council meetings more accessible to the public.
A lawyer and a small business owner, Grifoni won the crucial endorsement of the Naples Daily News. The newspaper noted his commitment to protecting private property rights, his fiscal conservatism, and “his commitment to more transparent government and a desire to further increase public engagement.”
Among his battles, Grifoni succeeded in blocking an attempt to adopt rental ordinances that would have required property owners to have special permits and pass inspections; and, in his words, would have converted the city council into “rental police.”
He argued against a local tax hike, saying that the government should reduce its debt and stop spending on unnecessary projects that increase taxes and make living on the island less affordable.
Grifoni defended local small businesses from additional and unnecessary new city regulations that would have increased costs and created uncertainty in the market.
“I have consistently fought … for greater home rule powers for municipalities to protect our children from Common Core, to protect our Second Amendment rights, and for additional control for our local boards,” he said. “I believe that government is most responsive that is closest to the people.”
The Nov. 8 election marks a second big win for the Collier County Libertarian in less than a year.
Last December, Grifoni successfully led an effort to defend Uber and other ride-sharing services from excessive government regulations, and ended up convincing the Board of County Commissioners to eliminate all special licenses and regulations for the taxi industry; their vote was 4–1.
On local television news station NBC2, Grifoni said of his success, “The reality is — and history has shown this time and time again — that people know what’s best for themselves.”