State of the City December 2016

Mayor Bill Barnett

Naples Mayor Bill Barnett

As the major part of the Holiday Season rapidly approaches us I seem to do a lot of reflecting of not only the past year but also what will the new one have in store for us in Naples.

As I write this article it is October 30th, and as you’re reading it there will be a new President of the United States. I can safely say with no risk of being criticized and starting my 25th year of Naples Politics, that I have never in my entire life seen a Presidential campaign as divisive as the one we have just witnessed. I am sincerely hoping that no matter who is elected that we can put that divisiveness behind us and focus on those things that mean the most to all of us. I am often asked what do I like the most about living in Naples during the Holiday Season.

Well, I can remember first moving here in 1973 and how funny it seemed to me to be at the beach basking in the warm sunshine while the majority of the nation was under a deep freeze. That hasn’t changed for me and I thoroughly enjoy listening to our many newcomers who have only been here only a short time telling me their stories about how amazing it is here and I agree, it is.

I will also take this opportunity to thank our residents of Naples for helping to make Naples one of the happiest, healthiest places to live in the nation. There is a lot of credit to be handed out for that prestigious recognition and I think that Dr. Allen Weiss, the CEO of our Naples Healthcare System certainly deserves recognition for helping and continuing to pioneer new ways to keep us healthy, and with being healthy, happiness just falls in to place.

The first time I ever heard the word Blue Zones and how it was associated with healthy living, I was skeptical. I knew our Human Resources department at the City had signed on to the Blue Zones concept and was working with our employees to increase their awareness of a healthier lifestyle but I never imagined what an effect that would have on me. After all I’m a pretty healthy guy for my age. I just stopped running half-marathons a year ago and now I power walk (well maybe it’s fast walking) but nonetheless I feel good and stay in shape. Well, my interest in the Blue Zones kept increasing as I watched the positive accomplishments our employees were making.

A few weeks ago we received the recognition and the award for being a Blue Zones healthy workplace that was no easy task. There is so much more that I can write about Blue Zones, but perhaps the most important of all would be to ask you to put on your holiday wish list for a relatively inexpensive gift for yourself a copy of the book, The Blue Zones, Second Edition by Dan Buettner. I promise you it’s about healthy choices and absolutely worth taking the time to read. I did, and there is no downside to it!

Have a great Christmas, Hannukah, or whatever holiday you celebrate and may you get all that you wish for and wish for all that you get!

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