By Cathy Kruse
I have been honored to serve as a Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District Commissioner for the past 8 years, the last 5 as Board Chair, and once again I am asking for your support to allow me to continue to represent you and the best interests of our community as it pertains to fire and rescue emergency services.
As a 32 year Lehigh Acres resident and 27 year teacher in this community, I’ve continued with my own education to better serve as a Fire Commissioner. Through completion of various educational classes such as Fiscal Management, Ethics, Sunshine Laws, Strategic Planning, and much more, I have earned the distinction as a Certified District Official through the Florida Association of Special Districts. I have had years of leadership and mentoring trainings and experience opportunities, which have proven to be beneficial in my role. I have a thorough understanding of the Fire District, how it operates, the various positions within the department and the history behind them.
As you well know, the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District has had its’ share of challenges over the past handful of years. The economic downturn, the closing of a fire station, and loss of firefighters, Hurricane Irma, and multiple stations destroyed, etc., all presented major hurdles for us to overcome. As a member of the Board of Commissioners, I, along with our administration and staff, worked hard to curb unnecessary spending and keep assessments in-check while still providing a high level of fire and emergency services to our Citizens. I am proud of the difficult decisions and measures that were initiated during this difficult time.
Knowing that we must always look toward the future, our five-year strategic growth plan was updated to reflect the needs of our growing community so that we may provide better response times and service to all areas of our district as we become able to. I, along with the other Board members and our administration have been proactive in planning for the future of the Lehigh Acres Fire Control and Rescue District as we continue to grow.
One of my most rewarding accomplishments has been working hard to build positive relationships with our State Legislatures, State Representatives, County Commissioners, LA-MSID, and our community members, as well as the men and women of the Lehigh Acres Fire and Rescue District. It is important to me that people know what is happening at their Fire Department and that I hear from all stakeholders, in order to make informed decisions when considering service to our citizens.
Even with all that we have accomplished, there is still more work to do. With our recent change in methodology, the voters have entrusted us to grow to meet the service demands of our community. With this trust comes responsibility. I believe I have the necessary experience and leadership skills necessary to move the Lehigh Acres Fire and Rescue District into the future in a fiscally responsible manner that we can all be proud of! I hope I can count on your vote!