Mayor with a Heart by Marina Berkovich, President, Jewish Historical Society of SWFL

Mayor Bill Barnett

In 1975 private citizen Bill Barnett owned a Toyota dealership in North Naples. The entire county was then about 67,000 people and Bill was a well respected business owner. City of Naples since then has grown from about 18,000 to 22,000. County population is now nearing 380,000. Most Greater Naples newcomers are not aware that Mayor Barnett is not their Mayor.

His popularity is very strong. Public servant Bill Barnett has served several times as City Council Member and as Mayor of Naples four times since 1996. He is presently seeking another mayoral term, possibly his last one. “Compassionate”, “fair”, “objective”, “balanced”, “always striving to benefit the city and people of Naples” are only some of the reflections we heard from the individuals who were interviewed for a documentary about Mayor Barnett’s life filmed for the Jewish Historical Society of SWFL.

Mayor With a Heart is the thirteenth film in its Southwest Florida Jewish Pioneers Series and will premiere on March 23 at The Society’s 10th Anniversary gala honoring Mayor Bill Barnett for his extraordinary achievements as both the mayor  and member of the community.

“This City is thriving largely because of Mayor Bill,” ordinary residents and in-the-know citizens concur. His reconciliatory
ability and his personal possession of a character trait he self-admittedly values most in others – charisma, his accessibility
and positive outlook forged Mayor Barnett’s successful leadership and paved a path to acceptance and integration of the Jewish minority into a once upon a time restrictive county.

Mayor With a Heart tells the story of an American boy whose life prepared him for the many challenges of humbly serving one of the most demanding zip codes in the country for a quarter of a century.

Marina Berkovich

Jewish Historical Society of Southwest Florida 

10th Anniversary Celebration with Naples Mayor Bill Barnett
March 23, 2020 • 6pm to 9 pm • Hilton Naples • Tickets $225

Chairpersons Sandra Lee Buxton and Charlane King

The Jewish Historical Society of Southwest Florida
8805 Tamiami Trail North, Suite #225,                                                                                                                                            Naples FL 34108

833-547-7935 (833-JHS-SWFL)  email:

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.