We usually start out the New Year with wishes such as World Peace or a goal of losing a few pounds. Over the years we have kept some while others fall off of our radar. Seldom do we put much stock in any of them. This year I wish for the following with the hope that they are more than wishes, that they are actually achieved. I truly believe the following matters need to be addressed and will establish the future of Naples. I list them not in the order of significance but as they have come to mind.
Water: How do we handle red tide, blue-green algae, fertilizer intrusion into storm water?
Beaches: Under constant assault by waves and storms we need collaborative efforts to keep ahead of Mother Nature.
Growth: Can’t be stopped but can be managed strategically. Not an easy process but is essential in order to keep the Naples Brand intact.
Infrastructure: Naples is currently in a good position but with the increase in the County from a current population of 371,000 and continued expected growth of 475,000 to 525,000 by 2030 we must keep a constant vigil on our infrastructure. Usage of City streets, parks, venues, beaches, sidewalks and businesses will be stretched with the County’s growth. We must find ways to keep ahead of the utilization and the financial component attached to it.
Neighborhoods: We have 13 neighborhoods in the City of Naples each proud of their identity. We must be certain that we don’t have 13 visions of what the City of Naples should be. The thought process must be that the sum of the whole is more important than the parts.
Collaboration: The days of the County and City going their own way is over. What affects one has an impact on the other. It is imperative that there is closer communication and collaboration between the two. This should begin with more scheduled interactions between the Governments and their elected bodies.
Let’s get started!