By Jim Melican, President Emeritus and GSAC Board Member 
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On Tuesday, February 1, 2022, there will be a very important election for Naples City Council members. At present five candidates are running for what will be three open seats. We have interviewed each of the five candidates, two of whom are incumbents, and their views on what issues matter most in Naples are summarized in the adjourning article.

The Naples City Council election, unlike that for the Collier County Board of Commissioners, is an at-large election in which the three candidates who poll the most votes are elected without regard to where they live in the City. The composition of the present Council is such that, for the first time in many years, none of the members reside in the GSBN/ Park Shore area.

GSAC will be hosting a Candidates Forum on Dec. 16 from 9:00 a.m. -10:30 a.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet and hear the views of each candidate, with particular reference to those issues most impacting our segment of the City.

Vote-by-Mail ballots will be sent on December 30 to those registered voters who have requested them through the Collier County Supervisor of Elections. Unlike in the past, vote-by-mail ballots can be utilized by any voter, and there is no longer a requirement that they be absent from the City on election day. Unfortunately, the percentage of registered voters in our area who actually cast a ballot in off-year elections has in recent years been significantly lower than that in other parts of the City, and this has had an adverse impact on our representation on the Council.

GSAC therefore urges all who are eligible to vote to do so, whether by mail, during the week-long early voting period from January 26-29 at Norris Center, or in person on election day.