I moved to Lee County in 2004, six months before Hurricane Charley decided to visit our community. Living in northern Pine Island, in Bokeelia, and along with the other Lee County Islands, we saw some of the hardest impacts of the hurricane. I lost my house, boat, and most of my personal possessions, but still believed that our area represented something unique in America and I was determined to stay and rebuild; and, I did. In the process, I gained first-hand experience as to the challenges of coastal living and insurance in SWFL, as well as, an appreciation for the resilience of those who live here.
In 2015, I was appointed to fill a vacated seat on the Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control Board (MPIFCD), and shortly thereafter on the community-owned island water utility, Greater Pine Island Water Association. I have been subsequently reelected to both of those positions and currently serve as the vice-chair for the fire district. It has been an absolute delight and honor to serve with both of these agencies, as they serve the people at the most local of levels. As a community leadership team, we have upgraded much of our water service infrastructure and done so utilizing processes of measured priority. We have also increased the bench strength of both agencies, by emphasizing employee development and rewarding employees for their increased value to the community. One of the accomplishments I am most proud, is the construction of fire station number 4, which increases emergency response capabilities to Matlacha and parts of Cape Coral. That was only made possible with the support of our community.
Since I found my public voice, I have made good use of it and intend to continue to do so. Whether it’s offering up a bucket-list motorcycle ride to an elderly citizen, standing on bridges with signs for a just cause, or authoring proposed legislation to address our at-risk veterans (Camo Alert), I continue to engage because I want to and because I know if I don’t it might not get done. Civic engagement is an important principle for me, one I hope to continue as your Lee County District 1 County Commissioner.