Collaboration – From the Publisher February 2017

Naples City Council and Collier County Board of Commissioners last held a joint meeting about five years ago.While researching the content of that meeting, it appears that not a lot was accomplished in fact it may have been a bit contentious.

Much has happened in the last five years to the landscape of Naples as well as the needs and expectations of community members. I can think of no time in the history of Collier County that surpassed the significance of what currently lays before us and the need to make collaborative decisions.I encourage all parties to join together and discuss matters which affect the City of Naples and Collier County Governments.

We cannot work in a silo nor can we make decisions with only one geographical boundary in mind.I encourage active dialogue and collaboration based on mutual respect between City and County.The City of Naples is “Gravity Central” in the County.

The population of Collier County is roughly 350,000 with close to 22,000 living in the City of Naples. Studies show that by the year 2050 the population of Collier County is expected to be between 900,000 and 1,200,000. Most of this growth will be east of Collier Boulevard but, they will all visit 5th Ave in downtown Naples. They’ll visit the city for the same reasons that they do now, that’s where the action is.

In a joint meeting between City and County there are many matters that need to be reviewed and strategic plans that need to be generated. Joint collaboration is not something that we have a meeting about and then we are done. It needs to be scheduled on a periodic basis. Issues which affect all of us are in part: traffic flow between the City and County, public transportation, usage and protection of the beaches including its ecological system, nourishment, water flow, quality and storm water management. All citizens want to ensure that their tax dollars are well spent.

Let’s hope that this meeting will be based on commonalities and the willingness to completely “hear”someone without preconceived notions of what another will say, how they feel or will react on any given subject.

Let’s work together so that the citizens of both the City and County are the real winners.

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