On December 21st at 8:30 am, the Naples City Council will conduct a special meeting to revisit the requirement of wearing of face masks in certain circumstances.

GSAC President, Jim Melican, plans to speak on behalf of our community in support of the mandate (read his comments from the December 16th City Council below).

Our board of directors urges you to also express your views to the Naples City Council by sending an email directly to all council members or participating in the live meeting on Monday, December 21st (link below).

Visit Naplesgov.com to download an agenda so that you can participate in the Naples City Council Meeting in-person or online.

Statement on behalf of GSAC Board of Directors – Delivered to City Council on Wednesday, December 16th

Good Morning, Madam Mayor and Members of the City Council,

My name is Jim Melican, and I am again appearing here as President of the Gulf Shore Association of Condominiums (GSAC). The GSAC Board was both disappointed and exasperated by the Council’s failure to take action on December 3 to adopt some form of a mask mandate, whether by opting into the Collier County executive order or by adopting a resolution of its own.

In the intervening two weeks, the coronavirus pandemic in this country has only worsened. You all know the numbers – 16.8 million cases in the U.S. increasing at a rate of over 200,000 new cases daily, and over 300,000 deaths.  The City of Naples has now had over 1,000 cases, and the number of patients being treated at NCH has increased from 10 at the end of September to 81 as of yesterday. And we are just beginning the high season. Those of us who live here know that there will be thousands of three month or shorter term renters arriving shortly, not to mention an increasing flow of seasonal residents – – at least those not too worried about the impending situation here to return.

The City already has in place a resolution (Number 2020-14534) empowering the City Manager to take “necessary actions to implement the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control, Florida Department of Health and other health professionals.” (Section 3, subsection 1). Yet the City has failed to implement the guidance provided by the CDC. I am providing for the record the most recent – -December 11, 2020 – – report from the CDC, which recommends the universal use of face masks. Specifically, it urges “a community level strategy to issue policies or directives mandating universal use of face masks in indoor (non-household) settings.”

With reference to health professionals, this Council on December 3 heard the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of the NCH Healthcare System and the Executive Director of the Collier County Medical Society but chose not to follow it. I am today providing for the record a more recent report from the Mayo Clinic, entitled “Mayo Clinic research confirms the critical role of masks in preventing COVID-19 infection.” I urge you to read it; it is only four pages long. It states, among many other things: “We found the most important measure for reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is to wear a mask. . . We found that both disposable paper medical masks and two-layer cloth masks were effective in reducing droplet transmission and we did not find a difference between mask types in terms of how well they blocked aerosol particles emitted by the wearer.”

Why is the City delaying to act under the resolution it already has in place? As you must know, many, many of your constituents are, to say the least, impatient and frustrated with this Council’s failure to take decisive action. Anyone who is willing to venture downtown – – and many long-time residents are not — can clearly see that the voluntary program is not working. Please, don’t reprise the tragic mistake of the Emperor Nero. Take action now; before the height of the season is upon us.

Jim Melican
President, GSAC