Perspective from Teresa Heitmann - To My Fellow Naples Citizens

Citizens For Preserving Naples

Preserving the Charm and Character of Naples
P.O. Box 7062
Naples, FL 34101


A Message from
Teresa Heitmann

To My Fellow Naples Citizens,

I am writing to you to explain why I am voting for Ray Christman on April 2nd and why I am asking you to vote for Ray as well.   

I am writing now because I feel strongly that the Special Election this coming Tuesday, April 2nd  — to fill the vacancy of my esteemed colleague Linda Penniman — represents a critical juncture for our precious residential community in Naples.

I had the honor to serve you on Naples City Council from 2008 to 2016. During those eight years, I, and a small number of other Council members, fought a lonely battle against increasingly high-density projects proposed by developers -- projects which have caused severe adverse impacts in a variety of areas in Naples.

Projects with higher unit density per acre mean greater traffic congestion in central Naples, choking ingress and egress from other Naples residential neighborhoods. This density and resultant congestion mean residents in Port Royal, Aqualane Shores, Old Naples, Coquina Sands, The Moorings and Park Shore find it difficult to get into and out of their neighborhoods. This same density-driven traffic overload impedes first responders and emergency vehicles from getting into our neighborhoods to meet residents’ health or public safety needs.

Over the last decade, City Staff has repeatedly favored the interests of developers in their requests to City Council for plan deviations and code variances.  Critical negative information on problems with proposed projects or actions has been hidden from Naples residents until after the Council has acted, because — had these problems been timely disclosed to Naples residents — the residents would most likely have demanded rejection of these proposals by a Council majority.

A dedicated and determined group of residents did exactly that in the case of the proposed parking garage at 4th Avenue and 4th Street South -- smack up against a residential neighborhood -- by amassing people to voice in person to the Council their profound objection to such an intrusive, ill-conceived project. Ray Christman stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the citizens, publicly, in this successful fight

Notably, Ray also helped lead the effort to give citizens the right to vote for a new ethics Charter Amendmentethics code for the City — a Charter that would require public disclosure of hidden problems in a proposed action before Council action. The City (with the participation of City Manager Bill Moss) sued to prevent you from exercising your Constitutional right to vote on the proposed ethics charter amendment. 

Think about that for a long minute. You the citizens have the constitutional right to self-determination. Yet a majority of the current City Council (Council members Penniman and Hutchison dissenting) voted to deny you your constitutional right to vote.

Preserving the small-town character we residents have long cherished, adherence to the Naples Zoning Code and City Visioning priorities, better planning and cost control over major projects, and the urgent need to prioritize clean water in our faucets and on our beaches – each of these concerns championed by Ray Christman.  Ray’s qualifications and commitment (see apply in spades to each of these concerns:

For the Residents

I stand with Ray Christman and the Naples voters who want a more transparent open and ethical government where the rights of residents are respected, prioritized and protected. Vote for Ray on April 2.


Teresa Heitmann