Bill Barnettby Councilman Bill Barnett

As I write this article for Life in Naples it is November 30th, which is our deadline day for the following article. It’s always difficult to imagine how busy Naples will be in December, but I can guarantee you for the amount of traffic that is here now it is going to be busy! Overheard on the street the question was asked how do you know when the seasons change in Naples? Answer: The license plates change color!

Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South will be lit up in Holiday splendor, our cutting edge restaurants will be in full swing, and my one piece of Holiday advice is if you’re planning to dine out whether you are a resident or visitor, you better make a reservation or you will end up extremely disappointed.

A happy, healthy, New Year to all of our Citizens, Snowbirds, Tourists, and anyone else I forgot to mention! It’s hard to believe that 2016 is here and as you read this article it’s that time of year that we make New Year’s resolutions. The question is do we make them with the intention of keeping them or do we make them because everyone is going to ask you what they were? I used to make all kinds of them. Whatever sounded good was on my list, and my intentions were good but the practicality of actually completing them was questionable. Now it’s a different story because for the last few years I decided that if I was going to make any at all I was going to keep them, and I have been successful. I’m not even sure that tradition is still alive and well but I can still remember my parents telling me I needed to make some New Year’s Resolutions!

2016 marks my 43rd year as a City of Naples resident and my 24th non consecutive year as an elected official for our City which started in 1984.

The reason for the non-consecutive is I would get termed out whether it was for a Council seat the Mayor’s seat, and I would wait until I was eligible to run again and with the support of our voters I would get elected.

I have to smile when I hear someone talk about how beautiful Naples is. They will tell me of a happy experience they had in Naples and talk about how our forefathers really had a vision when it came to shaping our City. I nod my head and agree with them because it’s true. What is also true is that I was one of those forefathers although it doesn’t seem like it.

Once again January means it’s time for the Naples Daily News Half Marathon which will happen on the 17th. It is probably one of the most exciting times of the year for me as I have run in it for the last seven years and I’m going to do my utmost to run in it again this year at age 75. Two weeks after I finished last years NDN Half Marathon I started running again. At least once a week and sometimes twice, rain or shine, I would run 2-4 miles and on Sundays I would add a little distance. I would motivate myself to set the NDN Half as a goal that I could and would achieve and finish it before they closed the course which is three hours.

Politics to me is a lot like running. Even though at times it’s a struggle to deal with the toughness of the challenges that have to be dealt with, it’s the motivation of achieving the goal of knowing that constituents appreciate the effort that goes in to responding to their questions and issues. I still enjoy it today as much as I did when I was a rookie Council Member in 1984.

I’ll let you know in the February Life in Naples article whether I achieved my goal and finished that race before they closed the course!

You can e-mail me at mayornaples@aol.com, I do respond!

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