It’s New Years Day 2014 and as I am writing my February article I find myself reflecting on our Naples City Council. There is a City Council election on February 4th, where three seats are up for grabs. It is unfortunate that my friend and fellow Council member Gary Price will term out and isn’t eligible to run again. I have served with Gary since he was first elected in September of 2006. I’m sure my fellow Council members share my thoughts that during Gary’s tenure on Council he raised the bar for all of us and helped make the City of Naples a better place to live in. He will definitely be missed!
There has never been any doubt that I have been and still am a huge supporter of Naples being a vibrant successful City and County to live in, and 2014 makes that a 41 year span. I truly enjoy our winter residents, and the tourists that are a constant here. With that being said and so there can be no misunderstanding, I would be remiss if I didn’t write about our Naples peak season which is now upon us in full swing. It brings visitors and drivers from every state and all over the world. Our hotels and restaurants are booked solid, the beaches are packed, and the drivers along with their driving skills are simply put, awful. A simple drive from downtown Naples to North Naples is no easy task. Just leave a car length between you and the car in front of you and guaranteed someone will just cut in and fill that spot and then stomp on their brakes or else they will run into the car in front of them. Directional signals are non existent and if and when they are used it doesn’t necessarily mean they will go in the direction that was signaled. I see many hand signals being used, but not the kind that are considered good manners. We have very clearly marked signs that say left or right turn only when exiting a side street or a parking lot to access US41. On a daily basis I witness death defying daredevil drivers crossing three lanes of oncoming traffic totally ignoring these signs, and I just have to wonder about their sheer stupidity. Believe me the juice would not be worth the squeeze if one of them gets broadsided.
My advice for dealing for our season is easy and based on experience. No matter where you’re driving allow extra time. Always make a dinner reservation at least a few days or more in advance or you won’t get in. Understand that if you choose a restaurant that doesn’t take reservations and there are some good ones, you better plan on doing some serious waiting ( or drinking, bring a DD with you ), unless you get there super early (4:30-5 p.m.) or after 8 p.m.. If you are driving a car that you truly care about park it as far away as you can from other cars when you go shopping or to the grocery store. If you don’t you will be truly sorry because there are people that just don’t care how or where they park, and your car will definitely get dented or scratched, and no, there won’t be a note on your windshield with an “I’m sorry I hit your car.” Don’t get frustrated if it takes a little longer to find a parking spot, it’s a good sign that our Naples economy is good and that sure beats the alternative!
Bottom line: Enjoy another great season in Naples, our City staff will do their utmost to make you happy!