Note to readers: This is the fourth in a series of guest opinion columns from the five candidates running for the Naples City Council. There are three open seats. The candidates are Ray Christman (incumbent), John Dugan, Terry Hutchison (incumbent), Beth Petrunoff and Ian Rudnick. The election is Feb. 1. The candidates will appear in alphabetical order.
I have entered the City Council race to advance the interests of our residents. As a retired Vice President at GE, I have a long career of running very large businesses, building leadership teams, creating long range plans, setting priorities and meeting goals. I bring a set of skills and values to help shape City plans that will protect resident quality of life, enhance environmental stewardship, and support the City’s economic vitality.
The foundation of my platform is the residents’ values which have been expressed and memorialized in our City Vision. A priority of mine is to update the Comprehensive Plan, our governing document with performance goals and metrics, because I believe that ‘what gets measured gets done.’
An Ohio native, I come from a family that has been actively and professionally engaged in protecting our natural resources. A healthy environment is one of our residents’ primary values and it is in my DNA. The health of our environment is intrinsically connected to another primary concern of our citizens, over-development. I believe in responsible ‘Low Impact Redevelopment” that enhances the unique character of Naples, is not invasive of residential neighborhoods, prioritizes green space and is pedestrian scaled.
Responsible redevelopment coupled with accelerated funding of the City’s Stormwater Master Plan, budget priority for lake remediation, beach outfalls and other environmental projects will yield results. I support the extension of environmental ‘best practices’ into our building codes to ensure that we reach our goals.
Our City will continue to be pressured by surrounding County growth. We must have an assertive and positive relationship with Collier County. My goal is for the City to be an ‘equal partner’ with the County to mitigate the growth on our borders.
We must keep our citizens safe by removing any obstacles that prevent us from hiring and retaining excellent police officers and increasing our first responder staff. We must also keep our residents safe by protecting their personal information, leveraging the latest technology to increase our cybersecurity.
Voters ask me how I am different from my challengers, particularly the two new candidates who have entered the race.
I am unequivocally committed to our Vision and the residents’ values versus my opponents.
I have more relevant experience and command of the issues versus my opponents.
I am the only new candidate who has not changed their message as the campaign has progressed to serve political interests.
I am the only new candidate not working on another career. My other opponents are realtors; Council will be my only work priority and will receive my full attention.
I am the only new candidate who is not supported by a PAC and who will not take money from special interests. I am unique among the three of us. I am steadfast that our residents’ voices should never be overshadowed by outside or special interests.
I respect our Charter and I follow our City laws, in particular Amendment 13.1 which states our City elections must be non-partisan. One of my challengers has made partisanship the center of his campaign. It should be a prerequisite to earning an elected office that one follows our heritage and our fundamental laws.
Your vote will help decide the City’s future. Your message is clear. You demand that City council be goal oriented, values-based, informed, and energized by high citizen engagement. That’s what my campaign tagline ‘Forward Together’ is all about!”
It would be my great honor to serve the citizens of the City of Naples. Please VOTE Beth Petrunoff for City Council.
Dates for requesting a mail-in ballot: December 30, 2021-January 22, 2022
Early voting days: January 26-29, 2022
Election day: February 1, 2022
For more details about this and future elections, go to https://www.colliervotes.gov/
This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: Naples city council candidate Petrunoff outlines priorities