Naples Daily News Published 6:00 a.m. ET May 3, 2019
It’s particularly revealing when entrenched incumbency betrays the politician, as is the case of Naples Mayor Barnett. About Florida’s population growth and its impact on his city, Barnett, in an unguarded moment, offered:
"That small-town feel hasn’t existed for 30 years, truthfully."
What’s intensely troubling to Naples residents is the mayor’s casual indifference to the City’s Core Vision Goal, which is to "preserve Naples' small-town feel and character."
In the recent City Council election, voters soundly rejected the mayor’s hand-picked candidate, who too often endorsed high-density redevelopment that undermined the
City’s Vision. The message was loud and clear, yet the four-term mayor remains tone-deaf, clearly insensitive to the mode of the voters.
Of equal concern is Barnett’s comment that "I don’t look at it (growth) as a negative thing, because it’s something you don’t have control over."
That’s a dangerous and indifferent mindset. Mr. Mayor and City Council, you do have control over dense redevelopment and weak enforcement of city codes. You have the power to stop handing out variances that inevitably compromise water quality.
And for your political future, hear the voters, who unambiguously are saying, "The status quo isn’t working for us."
Joseph Migliara, Naples