Election 2024: Linda Penniman touts knowledge and experience in effort to rejoin council

Linda Penniman speaks during a candidate forum for the mayoral and city council elections at Naples City Hall chambers in Naples on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024.
Linda Penniman speaks during a candidate forum for the mayoral and city council elections at Naples City Hall chambers in Naples on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024.

This is part of a series in which Naples candidates speak about key issues.

Linda Penniman is one of six running for three open seats on Naples City Council.

She's the only one of them who has been on council in the past. She served from 2014 to 2019.

Here's why she's in the race: "I believe it will take people with knowledge and some background with city government in order to serve the people of the city well."

These are her views on some of the hottest topics in the city:

Growth and development

Sixty three percent of the people who responded to the Community assessment declared this is a problem. The answer – follow our codes and our comprehensive plan and be certain we have all of the infrastructure in place to handle the growth. Four Corners is a classic example of that – Highway 41 is solely the responsibility of FDOT (Florida Department of Transportation). The city needs to manage growth in that area left under our jurisdiction because we know that the developers for the Davis Triangle have plans in place to develop that area fully.

Parking and traffic

Collier County has five roads going east and west. There is NO place to put another road. The "flyover" on Golden Gate took a beating when first introduced. Something like that may be our only hope on the five east/west roads in Collier. It works well. It may be our only solution going forward.

Highway 41 is under the jurisdiction of the Florida Department of Transportation. We must pause, and have FDOT determine when 41 will be at capacity.

Parking should be free for residents of the city; charge for everyone else. All new projects must provide for parking – on site.

Taxes and spending

At the 1.17 millage rate, we are one of the lowest in the state.

The raise from 1.15 to 1.17 millage rate this year equals a $20 increase for every $1 million of assessed evaluation. 

Affordable housing

The cost of land is the highest it has been in years.

School districts, unlike the city and county, have "banked" land. Let's start with them to see if their banked inventory could be used for affordable housing. The city has some land.

The county has more land. Based on the 2017 ULI study, we should also be looking at strip shopping centers for opportunities.

Public safety

Funding for police and fire are at an all-time high. This needs to remain a top priority along with employee salaries when budgeting begins in the spring for the city.

Other thoughts

Asked if she had anything to add, Penniman encouraged residents to get out and vote.

"It is one vehicle you have for making your voice heard," Penniman said.

She added: "Please consider this from Albert Einstein: 'The only source of knowledge is experience.'"

Through her own campaign, she's raised about $42,250.

This article originally appeared on Naples Daily News: Naples election: Penniman touts experience, knowledge of city government