By: Commissioner Larry Kiker, Lee County Commissioners, District 3
It is an honor to serve you this year as the Chairman of the Lee Board of County Commissioners. Reflecting back on 2018, I believe it was a very successful year for Lee County, particularly for your community.
It was a busy year looking at some of the events Mother Nature presented us with, mainly Hurricane Irma, which happened to follow heavy rain falls and flooding throughout the entire county that left behind serious damage. I witnessed first hand the strength and camaraderie from neighbors helping neighbors during and after the storm.
Luckily, Lee County was financially ready and there was no wait time for federal government assistance. In addition, it put the county on a new path for doing business that should address most of the immediate concerns with plans to re-do our entire stormwater system. Input from various agencies, residents and business owners was gathered, which became valuable information for us to work with moving forward.
During the summer months, the county experienced a significant algae bloom along the Caloosahatchee and many of its tributaries. Once again, we relied on input from the same folks who had stepped up in the past and taken one for the team. On both occasions, one only had to volunteer with the Red Cross or Harry Chapin Food Bank for just a day to see how entire families suffered, but somehow kept pushing on.
Lee County was fortunate enough to receive assistance from our neighboring counties. In return, the same generosity spread when Hurricane Michael hit northern Florida. Our EMS crew, county staff and local service companies travelled there to assist several small communities that experienced what we had just gone through. The crew provided 24-hour EMS coverage, provided food and supplies, helped to clean debris, and assisted with managingthe day-to-day operations of some of the cities greatly affected.
All this puts special emphasis and pressure on the many organizations that we all have supported in the past and thank you for that; it paid great dividends. It allows us to maintain our focus and realize that everything we do really does count. This is a time to appreciate how far we have come. Once said, “always give without remembering and always receive without forgetting”.
There are many great memories from 2018 and this year there are more great memories to be made. Thank you for allowing me to serve you. It is truly an honor and a privilege. On behalf of myself and my family, I wish the good people of Lee County a prosperous New Year and the very best of all that is good.
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