State of the City – February 2016
It is hard to believe that we are in February 2016 already. I find it is always interesting to look back at our past goals and achievements, but know it’s just as important to look at our future and the goals we set.
In sports, the goal is clear: win the game, by a high score. In business, goals can be slightly more diffuse but making money is fundamental. Sports teams and businesses alike develop strategies that seek to maximize their chances of achieving their goals.
In government, especially local government however, it is more difficult. For all of us on the City Council making Naples a better place to live, work and visit is always part of the goal, but that’s a fairly broad definition. Often the next level of detail is working to deliver the programs you are responsible for as well as making it possible. But without clarity about what the program is, it is hard to be sure whether you are doing it well, much less make the goal.
In 2016 we have set many goals for the City Council, the City Manager and the City staff.
- Implement the FY2015-16 operating budget effectively and efficiently with total actual expenditures less than overall budgeted expenditures.
- Initiate each of the 102 capital improvements, acquisitions, or repairs as listed in the Capital budget, or justify reasons why any were not initiated during the fiscal year.
- Maintain open dialogue regarding city affairs with the Presidents’ Council, Homeowner Associations, stakeholders’ organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce, Fifth Avenue South BID, the Third Street Association, the Naples Airport Authority, the Naples Pathway Coalition, and other business, professional, and neighborhood groups.
- Complete design of Baker Park/Gordon River bridge crossing. Begin engineering design of the new Baker Park.
- Implement the top priority (#1 priority list developed by staff) of the PSSI Fire Department Master Plan as presented to City Council on December 2, 2015.
Some of these goals may impact some residents more than others. One example, the reclaimed (alternative water) water system has recently been installed on Mooring Line Drive. Beginning in April 2016, the reclaimed water system will be extended on Gulf Shore Boulevard North from the Mooring Line Bridge down to Central Avenue.
This system will provide an alternative water supply to those residents for irrigation needs. Connection to the reclaimed water system is voluntary. Residents are not required to make connection to the reclaimed water line, but the City of Naples believes there is an economic advantage to residents should they opt for voluntary connection. The cost of reclaimed water is $0.66 per 1000 gallons compared to $1.37 per 1000 gallons for potable water.
By connecting to the reclaimed water system, residents will conserve the City’s existing potable water supply. This alternative water system has eliminated the need to spend approximately $60 million for the City to expand the existing potable water plant to provide water supply for the foreseeable future.
Every month when I write, I ask for ideas, suggestions and feedback. This month I ask that you let the entire City Council hear your comments about these goals, about thoughts and ideas about the City of Naples.
Attend a Naples City Council meeting, come watch the process, let us know what you think. We meet on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday each month at 8:30 a.m. If you can’t attend, watch it online, www.naplesgov.com.
The City’s focus is always to make Naples the best and safest place to live, work and visit. As always you can contact me at 239.213.1000 or Jsorey@naplesgov.com.
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