Over the past year, there have been many conversations, new laws, and even arguments about voting in America. Here in our own backyard, we have an election coming up on February 1, 2022 to select three new members of the Naples City Council, and here are some key reasons why all eligible citizens should vote!
1. Your vote is your voice!
If you have any concerns or issues about the way things are affecting you in the city of Naples, one of the best ways to exercise your voice is to participate in the selection of representatives whose positions on the issues match yours. ! The city’s election is non-partisan, so the key is to see what the candidates think about the various issues that concern you, regardless of political parties. What a relief to avoid partisanship for once!
2. Voting is a privilege that not everyone has!
Many of your Neapolitan friends do not have the opportunity to vote in the municipal elections in Naples, even if they own a house or an apartment in Naples. They may be registered elsewhere, live outside of city limits, not be U.S. citizens, or have a host of other reasons why they don’t have a say. You can request a mail-in ballot until January 22. And you can vote early on January 26-29, or go to the polls on election day, February 1. For more information on municipal elections, go to https://www.colliervotes.gov/
3. The functioning of the City affects us on a daily basis!
In the recent national election, according to the Collier County Election Supervisor, just over 90% of those registered voted, but in the most recent municipal election, less than a third turned out to vote. The quality of your daily life depends on the decisions made by the City. It is important to stay informed and to record your opinions by voting for representatives right here in Naples! Naples is at a crossroads – it is no longer a sleepy village with a local city feel, and it has grown rapidly, especially during the pandemic. We are facing serious issues such as flooding, water quality, climate change, development pressure, rapid growth in traffic, to name a few. We need to carefully select our representatives so that we can deal with these local issues!
4. A good municipal representative is a valuable resource!
When we have problems, whether it is a pothole in front of our house, a flood or a parking problem, a good member of the municipal council is an excellent resource for us as “Neopolitans”! Members are open to interacting with citizens and will listen and try to help!
5. Five people are working very hard to have the chance to represent you!
Many of us enjoy life in Naples in retirement, free from the stress of our careers or other anxiety-inducing activities. Five dedicated people have thrown their hats in the ring for the three places available on the city council, and the least we owe them is consideration and an effort to go to the polls (or send a postal ballot) . The candidates for the post (to date) are: Terry Hutchinson, Ray Christman (both incumbents) and three new candidates: John Dugan, Beth Petrunoff and Ian Rudnick, and we thank them all for their efforts. Residents should try to attend one of the many forums to learn more about these applicants. Here’s what the candidates have to say about the importance of voting in this election:
“The low turnout in local elections is a concern as it is often where the most important day-to-day issues for voters are debated and decided.”
“The vote demonstrates better informed citizens and promotes the accountability of elected officials to residents. “
“The February elections are about the future of the city of Naples.”
“I believe it is our civic duty to vote. This right has been fought with the lives of many people in this country.”
“Democracy does not work as our ancestors intended if we do not vote. With a low turnout, we do not have adequate representation of the population, and the voice of the people will not be heard.”
So dear neighbors of Naples, let’s beat the record in February and have a high participation in the votes! We will all win if we do.
- Dates for requesting a postal ballot: December 30, 2021 – January 22, 2022
- Go to: https://www.colliervotes.gov/
- Early voting days: January 26-29, 2022
- Election day: February 1, 2022
For more details on this election and future ones, visit https://www.colliervotes.gov/
Reprinted from Old Naples Living Newsletter – the private newsletter for the residents of Old Naples & Aqualane Shores. Stacy Vermylen is a resident of Naples.