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  • Writer's pictureMayor Teresa Heitmann

Mayor Teresa Heitmann on nch...

Our residents want and deserve the best quality health care possible.

The plan for a new Heart Institute at Naples Community Hospital, now the Naples Comprehensive Hospital, has raised a great deal of interest in our community.

The petition for the project is governed by process and law. As a quasi-judicial matter under our ethics laws, elected officials may not discuss or state how they will vote before a matter is presented in the sunshine to the city council.

I have heard the concerns that my opponent on council has signaled how he will vote in a campaign message.

Based on my compliance with our laws some are speculating what my opinion on the project may be and even alleging that the city has slowed down the petition. This idiom is a disservice to our residents, our process, and our laws.

In order for the hospital to request a building that exceeds our Charter Height limitation an exception to the Charter Height Amendment was initially proposed. I believe we cannot amend the language of any Charter Amendment voted by the electorate.

I therefore voted to repeal that permanent exception to our Charter Height Amendment. My opponent on the council did not.

Following that, a legal pathway for the hospital to request a taller building was required. I supported and voted for an amendment that would allow the hospital to request the rezoning of a portion of its property to a Public Service District. If rezoning is to be approved this will allow for consideration of a taller building.

The petition is currently making its way through our normal process and has moved through the Planning Advisory Board. It will come to the city council this month.

Any petition for redevelopment should be given thoughtful consideration by open-minded elected officials, be inclusive of our residents’ engagement and input, and follow our process and laws.

I will not circumvent our legal process by prejudging a project. At the same time, I will not accept allegations and misinformation that divide our community. We can do better.

I look forward to receiving this plan in the days ahead and working with the community and the petitioner on this highly anticipated project.

Teresa Heitmann Mayor,

City of Naples


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