Mayor’s Corner

Mayor Bill Barnett

Well, it’s crunch time, and there’s absolutely no sense in holding back. It’s time for the City of Naples election for City Council and Mayor (that’s me). By the time you are reading this Early Voting – which is very popular –is underway. I hope you have already voted and if not please do so!

I am a people person and a consensus builder – if I am re-elected, I will work with any candidate that the voters choose. However, with that being said, this election is getting a little ugly. Many of the candidates challenging the incumbents are repeating some of the most intentional misstatements I’ve ever seen. I can understand why they are doing this: the true record of the current City Council is a record of  fiscal  responsibility, environmental awareness and managing carefully our local economy.

We have made great strides to connect our neighborhoods and create new parks that keep our small town feel.The challengers cite facts and figures that are nowhere near close to the truth. This is cynical and very sad since they are aware if you say something loud enough and long enough it can eventually be accepted as the truth.

Don’t let this happen. Please take the time to fact-check these mailers and anonymous emails you are receiving before you decide
who you are voting for. A few people who fancy themselves the elite of Naples think they know better than the Residents. They think that by sending out a so-called “newsletter” with a fancy name they can influence the voters by only presenting one side of the story. Let me only cite one example here. You may have heard that the current City Council approves virtually every request for a variance that we see. FALSE!

The real numbers are that 55 variance requests have been submitted to the City since 2014. Seventeen were withdrawn when the City objected. Nine of them were voted down at City Council. Twenty-nine (slightly more than half) were approved. Almost all of them were for residential homes to correct old set-back problems or to protect historic homes from being torn down. Check the facts out for yourself!

I know the Council incumbents can definitely fend for themselves and I have no doubt that they will. So, let me please take a few lines to speak on my own behalf. You couldn’t find two people more different than my challenger as Mayor. I am front and center for every crisis that Naples has had to face. I was here on the ground for our hurricanes to help coordinate our disaster response. And the response from our hard-working City staff to Hurricane Irma was inspiring. I hope that next time FPL is inspired to do
much better.

On every issue that has come before the City the past four years, you know where I stood. Whether you agreed with me, or not, I was right there in City Hall and accessible to everyone. Where was my challenger the past four years? I couldn’t find one personal statement or presentation from her to Council. If she was so concerned, why didn’t she stand up and participate when the decisions were being made? I am consensus building on Council. I think I can learn from and work with everyone who serves.

My challenger takes smug pride in the number of times she was the “one” on Council 6-1 votes. The reality is that she is just out-of-step with a very diversified Council that represents the cross-section of all of Naples.

One more important contrast with my challenger. I like to connect with people and my constituents know that I am responsive to every single request for help that I receive. We have great City staff led by a terrific young City Manager that I respect. I work well with our team and I can forward any constituent requests to the proper person for a prompt response.

My constituents know me, and they know my track record in the Naples Community is a good one. They know I have the personal qualities that make a good Mayor and that I care about them. Naples is usually rated the best place in America to live, retire, be healthy and enjoy the environment.

Let’s keep being Number One! Do your part and vote!

Hopefully I will still be your Mayor for the April issue. I greatly appreciate your support.
Mayor Bill

E-mail me at

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