I am beyond proud of everything we have accomplished in 2023 by prioritizing our residents’ priorities. In the fall of last year, our city was devastated by the damage brought onto us by Hurricane Ian. I am confident to say that we have recovered but still have unfinished projects ahead. As we reflect on this year, we are grateful for our community members who helped bring us back after Ian brought our city to its knees.
At the beginning of December, we celebrated the 100-year birthday of Naples with the Centennial Celebration that spanned three days. We are a city of beauty and growth, and we were so excited to have had the opportunity to celebrate that with our residents. This celebration was a perfect ending to 2023 as it allowed us to look back and remember why we are so lucky to live in Naples. I immensely appreciate the dedication and hard work of all our staff in coordinating this celebration. We honored the past, celebrated the present, and will be shaping our future together.
We still have many challenges we will be facing going into the new year. These challenges are opportunities for growth and my goal is to work together to create the best policy as the end result for everyone.
Maintaining the appearance of Gulf Shore Boulevard North (Millionaire Mile) and ensuring proper landscaping is a must, as well as protecting the historic views from the road of the beaches. There must also be safe pedestrian crosswalks while also protecting the street parking spaces, to mention some of the opportunities we have when building back.
The Naples Community Hospital is in the midst of developing a groundbreaking new Heart and Stroke Institute. While they are expanding into a world-class heart center, we need to be cautious about the commercial impacts and respect and protect the residential boundaries. My focus has always been on protecting our neighborhoods while always being aware of our economic growth and the safety of our residents.
I proposed that we look at purchasing land to upgrade our stormwater infrastructure by providing pump stations for heavily flooded areas that pump to city facilities or designated storage areas.
I look forward to the Gulf Shore Playhouse in the new year and the master plan development in the Design District.
As you all celebrate with family and friends over this holiday season, I hope that the joy of this occasion fills your hearts with hope and optimism for the future of our city. Let us embrace the possibilities that the new year brings and continue to make great strides that continue to make us proud to say we live in Naples.
Let 2024 be full of prosperity, joy, and boundless success for each and every one of you!
City of Naples Mayor