Naples CEO to retire in June

RETIREMENT – Naples Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) Renee Carter poses in front of her shelves of art supplies. Carter will retire from his post in June.
(Photo courtesy of Renee Carter)

By Dawn De Busk


NAPLES – The Code Enforcement Office is rarely a boring place.

The phones are ringing. The emails line up in the queue. People apply for building permits while others need a construction or plumbing inspection on their home. It has been reported that someone is breaking a shore ordinance by cutting down trees and another person has built the bridge too close to the water. Then, the recent passage of the adult recreational marijuana law sparked a whole host of questions from potential entrepreneurs.

Enforcement of the code is topical these days.

Renee Carter, Naples Code Enforcement Officer (CEO), will be leaving the busy department for retirement – after nearly a decade of employment with the City of Naples.

Some might aim for peace and quiet as a retirement goal. But, Carter has creative goals on her agenda. She hopes to immerse herself in her artistic side. She was granted permits to teach classes to children and adults when social gathering restrictions were lifted.

His last day as CEO is June 25 of this year.

She answered a few questions about her time with the city of Naples and what she plans to do when she has more free time.

B-News: You retire after 36 years in applying the code, will your end date be 36 or 37?

Carter: I started working at Harrison in 1985, so it’s been 36 years. I worked in Harrison for 10 years, then I worked in the town of Gray for 5 years, then in the town of Windham for 12 years. i have been here [in Naples] since October 2012.

I am very grateful to the city of Naples for hiring me when they did. You see, I had just had a serious head-on collision in July 2012, and I came to the interview with my walker. I told the maintenance committee how honored I was to be asked not only to be interviewed, but to be alive, because if I hadn’t had the firefighters and rescuers from Naples to my accident, I would not have survived. Their quick response was what saved my life, and I will be forever grateful.

B-News: You have been working in Naples for 10 years. What are the main achievements of the code enforcement department?

Carter: When I interviewed the committee, they kept asking me if I was having problems with the application and follow-up of prescriptions as they are written. If you remember when you first interviewed me I said, “A new sheriff has come to town. And, I worked hard to enforce the city ordinance because these are the laws of Naples and I honored them. When I started we had many “one” ordinances and we had to organize them all into one land use ordinance that we hope to pass this year at the town meeting. One of the many orders we changed was to get rid of the in-laws’ apartment and make an order for the accessory apartments. It gives taxpayers the option of having an apartment, but it also allows them to rent out these small apartments and I think in this economy the City needs it.

B-News: You told the Naples Board of Selectmen that when you retire you hope you have time to make art. What type (s) of art do you do? Are you thinking of making art just for fun? Is there a home business or do you go to craft fairs in your future, do you go to workshops and art classes?

Carter: I built a small studio on my land where my home is in Harrison. I was in the town of Harrison before COVID hit for a sitemap review to schedule classes. I do all mediums and all materials. One of the reasons I built the studio was that I wanted to run classes for adults and children. I firmly believe in art and the joy it can bring to people. I will offer courses in oil, acrylic or just drawing. I also built my studio for my photography. I like art and photography, for which I didn’t have time.

In addition to all this, I have decided to offer consultations to anyone in need of land use planning services. Given that I have worked with cities for 36 years and know the permit processes and requirements, I feel I have a lot to offer. I don’t plan on doing this full time and it will be on a case-by-case basis. However, I am state licensed as a third party inspector and with my years of working with zoning and shoreline planning it would be a shame not to make good use of it independently.

B-News: What else will take your time in retirement?

Carter: I have three grandchildren, Olivia 1½ years old, Henry, 1 year old and Emma, ​​the youngest is only 7 weeks old. I see them as often as I can and make them suffer the Grammy by taking endless photos in different outfits in her photography studio.

B-News: What skills and characteristics should the next code enforcement officer have?

Carter: When I started in Naples I didn’t know how many lakes, streams and rivers there were in Naples and any new candidate should have a solid background in shoreline enforcement and zoning. I trust John Hawley to make this decision. He saw the time and the care that the City took with all the ordinances and all its waterfront. Naples has rightly earned the name of Heart of the Lake District. So many people have shared their love for this beautiful city. I wish them good luck.

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