Naples and Collier civic leaders and ethics experts strongly endorsed the proposed Charter ethics amendment soon after it was announced.
Mayor Barnett supported the establishment of an independent ethics commission with a local focus and an emphasis on education and prevention, two key deficiencies of the State of Florida's ethics commission, Penny Taylor, Naples' County Commissioner and a former City Councilor emphasized the importance of ethics for good and effective government, and agreed to have her office appoint one of the new Ethics Commissioners.
Linda Penniman, current Vice Mayor and candidate for City Council in next February's election, echoed her long-term enthusiasm for a local and independent ethics commission, stating "The citizens of Naples deserve to have a Council, Mayor and staff that they can trust." Reg Buxton, City Councilor urged citizens to get the necessary signatures to put this initiative on the ballot.
Several candidates seeking City Council seats stepped forward to support the Charter amendment, including Terry Hutchison, the president of the Lake Park Neighborhood Association, and Jim Moon, a Naples attorney.
The executive director of Florida's largest and most respected ethics commissions, Joseph Centorino of Miami Dade County, stated: " The proposed City of Naples charter amendment is a well-crafted plan that will serve as a model for improving integrity and accountability in local government. It is similar to the approach adopted by Miami-Dade County, which has produced real benefits in government oversight and performance. "
As of this writing other City Councilors and candidates are reviewing the proposed amendment and considering their support for better ethics in Naples. We look forward to hearing from them and will let you know when we do!