Naples Potpourri by Bill Barnett


It has become a ritual for me at this time of each year when I write my Life in Naples article which covers the next three months because to me it means the end of another Winter Season in Naples.

When I look back on this prior season it has been a whirlwind of positive energy. After being pinned down by COVID-19 for the last two years it’s like setting us free and letting us return to normalcy, if there is such a thing, I will say I have never seen a busier season and that’s 49 years of living in the City of Naples. One could certainly argue that because of the tremendous amount of building that’s happening in the County we will continue to be busier every season because I don’t know of anyone that doesn’t enjoy the amenities that are offered in the City of Naples, and the County as well.

The County certainly takes their share of hits from traffic, building, overcrowding, and a myriad of other issues to complain about and if they’re that bad why do people keep moving here? I will share with you that if you asked me my number one pet peeve
driving in the County it would be the lack of traffic light synchronization. Although I sound like a tourist when I say this, the truth is they are doing the best they can, and there are going to be some spots you will come to and pray that you can make the green light or you’re going to be waiting what seems to be an interminable amount of time. In reality maybe five minutes but definitely more when traffic is backed up. All of my secret routes and shortcuts are gone, they have been discovered and it’s learning how to adjust my schedule so I can be on time. Of course, it never fails that I leave to go somewhere out in the County and my GPS system tells me it will take 20 minutes to get there. I allow a few extra minutes just in case it’s longer, and lo and behold every traffic light I approach is green and I’m there way too early. We all know when you’re in a hurry to get to an appointment you will absolutely miss every light and hit traffic and just the opposite occurs when you’re in no rush it’s all green!

I can’t help it, but local politics are a part of my life and always will be. Even though my opinions don’t count anymore it doesn’t mean that when I watch the decisions being made by the Mayor and current Council, I have to remind myself to relax and keep my blood pressure down. After many months of being without a full time City Manager they recently hired one. I was pleased with the choice they made, and I only hope that he will be able to stand firm and do his job as our City Manager without interference and micromanagement that has occurred and keeps occurring from the Mayor and City Council (my opinion). His job responsibilities are very clear and concise and there is a definite line in the sand drawn. Although I know for a fact there will be some ruffled feathers the Mayor and Council just need to do their jobs and let him do his and a lot of issues will be resolved, period!

Although I am officially retired from politics, I’m not retired from leading a busy life. It will be interesting this summer to see if there will be a noticeable difference in traffic when we drive to New York because of gas prices which I hope will have come down by then. Our drive will certainly be a little lonelier without two of our pets that passed away this last year. We still have our rescue Maine Coon cat Ava, so we won’t be totally without a pet. We are constantly asked will you get another dog? I have to answer no. Although there haven’t been any days so far that I don’t think about it and actually I have a hard time remembering a time in my life that I didn’t have a dog, so this is tough. However, and I say this with tongue in cheek if it were to ever happen again, I think a Frenchie would be our next choice but who knows, with me being an avid Bulldog lover. Right now, it’s just not in the cards!

Safe travels for all of you who head in every direction. It’s always fun for us to head to Buffalo where there are lots of family, picnics, pizza and Buffalo Wings, fresh grown sweet corn, great restaurants in downtown Buffalo and being in walking distance of Lake Erie. I will tell you that upon our return to Naples I will not eat another chicken wing or an ear of corn until summer of 2023!

See you soon!
Former Mayor, Bill Barnett  I do respond to e-mails at: 

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