'Naples Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle': Sports and publishing industries are in the spotlight

The sports and publishing industries are in the spotlight for the "Naples Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle’’ program aired this morning at 10 on ABC7.

Collier County Commissioner Tim Nance discusses his idea for a sports stadium for Collier County, and oil/gas drilling in Golden Gate Estates.

Frank Mann, a commissioner in Lee County, which has a vacant ballpark, is asked whether Lee might work with Collier’s sports plans. And what about Estero cityhood? Bill Barker, new publisher of The Naples Daily News, discusses the future of the newspaper and its role in the community.

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NewsMakers - Bill Barker

New Publisher of the Naples Daily News

Bill Barker

Lytle: Let me ask you about one of the buzz words in many facets of business these days, collaboration ...

Barker: Yep.

Lytle: ... in a meaningful way, not just giving lip service, but collaboration, working together, connecting the dots, if you will, for a larger, more powerful end product. Do you have any ideas or any vision for community collaborations with organizations on projects, or something like that?

Barker: I can see us being more of a gateway to the community where various constituents come together, bring issues to the newspaper. We, as the newspaper, collect all of that information and then assimilate that to the marketplace so that people can engage around various topics.

For example, moving something forward that’s very important to Naples overall, why would not the Daily News be the place to bring that to market? To help bring solutions and resolutions to issues?

So in doing that, we’ve got to invite people in. We’ve got a wonderful facility here. We’ve got great conference rooms. We need to bring people in here and have conversations. This needs to be an open-door organization to the community.

And our reporting can then reflect back to the marketplace what we’re hearing, what we’re seeing and create dialogue and debate ... There’s nothing worse than having a community that doesn’t have a way for its citizens to get involved in what’s happening. So they don’t just have to feel like things are being done to them; they’re controlling what happens to them, by having a voice.

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NewsMakers - Tim Nance

Collier County Commissioner

Tim Nance

Lytle: We’ve heard about spring training baseball now for decades.

Nance: ... Absolutely.

Lytle: We’ve had fits and starts. You’ve been around for many of those stories. So what have we learned from our failures, and how can we apply those to this round of discussions so that we don’t spin our wheels?

Nance: Well, you know I think it all goes back to shovel-ready properties and a site. You know, when they talk about coming to Collier County, the first thing somebody comes up with is, you know, where will we put such a thing? We’ve always focused on the urban coastal zone, but if you look out east a little bit, it’s really, you know, not as far as you think.

Lytle: Also, comes down to the money, Tim.

Nance: Comes down to money, so we have to have private money to go in there with, you know, public initiative, and we want to make things possible, then you need venture capital ... and I don’t think we’re going to have a problem with that. I think if we allow it in Collier County, the free market will drive it forward.

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NewsMakers - Frank Mann

Lee County Commissioner

Frank Mann

Lytle: Watching the issue of Estero cityhood from afar, do you have a dog in that hunt?

Mann: Not really. As a general rule, as I’ve watched the evolution of cities increase and pop up, I have come to the conclusion — and I’ll use Lehigh Acres as an example in Lee County — there’s 80,000 people down there who I frankly hope someday will decide to become a city. There are things that they can do to affect their own destiny that they can do best as a city. When you get to like Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach where there’s 28 and 30 cities ...

Lytle ... that’s inefficient, waste.

Mann: Yeah, yeah. With Estero ... it’s ironic there that the same group that is today pushing for it ...

Lytle: ... opposed it ...

Mann: ... opposed it vigorously for quite a number of years until it looked like they were going to be gobbled up by Bonita.

Lytle ... So his is Bonita’s "fault’’ ...

Mann: ... and frankly I don’t think that was ever a real threat, but it was enough to generate the excitement you see today, and I suspect it’s going to go forward and pass without much objection.

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