Bill Barnett

I will start out where I left off politically in the November issue of Life in Naples. For those of you who have moved to the City of Naples within the last four years I thought I would give you a little political boost about our City politics and especially now as we have a City election coming up on March 19, 2024. The reason being is that if we had our City elections in November many of our winter residents wouldn’t be back yet. So make sure you register to vote at or

There are seven elected officials in the City of Naples. Six of them are elected to City Council and one is elected Mayor. The terms are four years and they can serve two terms. Although sometimes forgotten it is a non-partisan election. In our upcoming election there will be four seats open. The Mayor and three Council seats will be eligible for re-election The last election there were only three Council seats eligible. You must be a resident of the City of Naples to run for office and the terms are split 4-3, 3-4.

I made it very clear in my last article that I will be extremely vocal about my opinions of the qualifications of the candidates running for this year’s election. As of today, there are two official candidates running for Mayor. Gary Price and Ted Blankenship. The current Mayor Teresa Heitmann is announcing she will run for Mayor again. Ted Blankenship is a first term City Council member who hasn’t finished his term yet but feels he is qualified to be our mayor. Gary Price is a name well known to those of us who have lived in Naples for any length of time. He is a true community leader with great qualifications. So far for the three City Council seats we have two candidates that will announce soon. Neither has political experience, but both have been leaders in our community. Bill Kramer is a name that is probably one of the most respected and well liked individuals in the City of Naples. He is a long-time resident of the City and was the football coach at Naples High School for many years. He is known for working with kids of all ages coaching not only football but life lessons as well. The final Council candidate to announce so far is another longtime resident of Naples whose name is Tony Perez-Benitoa. He is a practicing attorney as well as a mediator and has also volunteered his time and efforts working with athletes at Naples High School for many years.

As more candidates announce I have no doubt that you will be bombarded with campaign paraphernalia. I’m saying this now and probably will down the road before the election takes place, read what is written carefully. It is easy for you to fact check what a candidate is claiming, and I promise you that is the absolute best way to choose the right candidate. Every City election is important, but this one is especially so and I’ll have more to say in my articles that come out at the beginning of every month. I realize that this Holiday Season will be a stressful one for many of us and would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you health, happiness and peace for the coming year.

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

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