Naples could soon be called by another name.
City Councilman Gary Price on Wednesday requested a workshop to discuss the possibility of changing the name of the city to Naples on the Gulf. The name, Price said, reflects the phrase that is on the city’s seal.
Price said he has been approached at least a half a dozen times in recent months about whether city officials could, or have considered, changing the name of the city.
Price said his request was made “in the spirit of hanging on to the 14 square miles” of land that makes up city limits.
“It about controlling the identity of the city,” Price said following the meeting.
The city’s formal name — City of Naples — was established in the 1949 city charter, according to a Daily News records search. Prior to 1949, the community was called the Town of Naples.
The city’s seal features the city’s name around the outside of the seal, with the words “on the Gulf” in the center, prompting Price’s suggestion for Naples on the Gulf.
Since the city’s name is established through the city charter, any changes to the name would need to be approved through a voter referendum, said City Attorney Bob Pritt.
“It’s totally up to the people of the city,” Pritt said.
The next city election is scheduled for February 2012, but City Clerk Tara Norman said a change to the city’s charter could be conducted through a mail-in ballot. Mail-in ballot referendums cost between $30,000 and $40,000, she said.
But Price isn’t asking for this to go to referendum just yet. Instead Price said Wednesday he’s hoping a workshop will get council up to speed with their options, as well as spark a public debate on the issue.
City Manager Bill Moss said the issue could be discussed during a November meeting.
Councilman Sam Saad said he would be open to a discussion, but said a name change would be "a big deal."
" There's a lot of addresses, postage and logistics to dealing with that," he said. "But I am more than happy to listen to the idea."
Mayor Bill Barnett, however, said he would not support a name change proposal if it comes before council.
"It puts up a wall," Barnett said. "We've always been part of the bigger picture."
In other council news:
■ Naples City Council approved a request by the Moorings of Naples Property Owners Association build a beach restroom at the association’s beach park, 2101 Gulfshore Blvd. N.
The decision means the association can build a 258-square-foot men’s and women’s beach restroom at the park. The facility will only be used by association members.
■ City Council approved a request by the E.W. Scripps Co., which owns the Daily News, to replat 10 acres of land on or near 1075 Central Ave. That decision cleans up property lines – transforming 10 parcels of land to two parcels of land – for future development.
The nearly 10-acre property is under contract to purchase, and Michael Fernandez, the contract purchaser and the owner of Planning Development, Inc., has said the plan is to create a mixed-use development on the property that includes both residential and commercial space.
■ Bob Pritt will continue to represent the city for two more years.
City Council approved a two-year extension to Pritt’s contract. Pritt and his law firm, Roetzel & Andress, has acted as the city attorney for about 10 years. The contract was set to expire Sept. 30. The new contract will last through Sept. 30, 2012.
Connect with reporter Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster at www.naplesnews.com/staff/jenna-buzzacco