Naples Potpourri by Bill Barnett

Bill Barnett

How many times a day do we ask ourselves, or others, where does the time go? In my case a lot, and maybe it’s because I just can’t sit still and I can always find plenty to do. I firmly believe in the saying that “Age is just a number”.

For those of you who have asked me to come back and do one more term either as Mayor or serve on City Council I thank you but it’s time for me to be more of an advisor than be in active politics. However, with that being said there is a City Election coming up in March of 2024. The Mayor’s seat is up for grabs as well as three City Council seats. I fully intend to make myself heard loud and clear for the candidates that I support, and why I support them. For those of you who are reading Life in Naples for the first time and don’t know me I have been a City resident for 50 years, and have served for a total of 28 years both on Council for 12 and Mayor for 16, so I have the expertise to give an experienced opinion, and I intend to do so. As a politician I always had to be somewhat guarded in making candidate recommendations simply because I might be serving with someone that I didn’t endorse. It’s always better to start with a clean slate. Now it’s not an issue, and I feel as if a great weight has been lifted to be able to speak candidly. I even intend to appear in front of City Council and voice an opinion once in a while, something I’ve never been able to do.

Rumors have it that there will be three candidates running for the Mayor’s seat. I know for an absolute fact that Gary Price is one of them. I have known and served with Gary for many years. He was appointed to City Council in 2005 after a Council Member had resigned and then elected to Council in February 2006. He has an impressive record and has a total of serving the City for many years which include 3 terms on City Council, 8 years on our planning Advisory Board and 7 years as Chair of the City’s pension board. He has great proven leadership skills and has earned the respect of the Naples Community. When the December issue of Life in Naples comes out, I will give you my choices of those who have announced and information that I hope you will find useful.

For me, ever since I was first elected to City politics in 1984, my mental calendar operated between September to June, instead of January to December. I switched off the regular calendar year; it always seemed that after Council’s summer break, it became a new season. City Budgets were and still are completed in September, and the end of the season was always June when summer break started. That’s certainly not new, our school kids do the same thing from the start of the school year until summer. I’m still somewhat on that same schedule using the time we go on summer vacation and the time we come back as the parameters. Hey, if it works for me that’s all that matters but I’m sure many of you feel the same way. I sure hope whoever has to make the final decision on Daylight Savings Time would make it, although that’s another controversial subject. I wish they would get rid of it!

At the beginning of this summer, I wrote about our drive to Buffalo where we vacation in a small town called Angola about 30 miles South of Buffalo. I could live there all the time. It’s quaint with one small Main Street, some cute shops. It is in farm country, and we are about a two minute walk to Lake Erie and the beach. Lots of nieces and nephews and family and always something going on. Home prices are reasonable. Okay, not going to happen because as my wife Chris looks at me when I start talking like that to her about moving here and laughs because she knows I can’t survive in anything under 50 degrees, and I’m even cold in the low 60s. I know that as well, so can that idea. As long as I’m able I’ll still vacation up there in the Summer and enjoy it!

Seriously, I still love Naples and those who live here. I am deeply concerned with the growth, affordable housing (not in the City of Naples) which includes workforce housing, traffic which nobody is going to do anything about because there is nothing that can be done (I’m talking about the City of Naples). I stay as busy as I want to and I’m honored to be the Chair of the Shelter for Abused Women and Children and other wonderful organizations here. Naples is still a great place to live and consider yourself blessed if you’re one of the lucky ones!

Go Bills!
Bill Barnett, Former Mayor
I do respond to e-mails at:

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