City Officials from Across the State Honored with 2017 Home Rule Hero Awards

Jun 15 • 2656 Views • View Comments

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More than 70 municipal officials from around the state were honored by the Florida League of Cities as recipients of 2017 Home Rule Hero Awards. These local government officials earned this prestigious recognition for their tireless efforts to advance the League’s legislative agenda and help protect the home rule authority of Florida’s cities during the 2017 regular legislative session.

“Our Home Rule Heroes are shining examples of local advocacy in action,” said Boca Raton Mayor and Florida League of Cities President Susan Haynie. “These dedicated municipal officials take time out of their busy schedules to cultivate relationships with their legislators and help them understand the issues that are most important to their constituents back home. The Florida League of Cities is proud to recognize them and say thank you for all they do to help protect home rule and preserve the quality of life in their cities.”

Home rule is the authority for a city to establish its own form of government and enact ordinances, codes, plans, and resolutions without prior state approval. Recipients of the Home Rule Hero Award are local government officials – both elected and non-elected – who consistently responded to the League’s request to reach out to members of the Legislature and help give a local perspective to an issue.

The 2017 Home Rule Hero Award recipients are:

Mayor Mitchell Reeves, City of Atlantic Beach

Vice Mayor Leo Longworth, City of Bartow

Commissioner Trish Pfeiffer, City of Bartow

Mayor Jordan Leonard, Town of Bay Harbor Islands

Commissioner Thomas Shelly, Town of Belleair

Debra Sullivan, City Clerk, City of Belleair Bluffs

Mayor Susan Haynie, City of Boca Raton

Mayor Peter Simmons, City of Bonita Springs

Mayor Wayne Poston, City of Bradenton

Councilmember Jim Burch, City of Cape Coral

Councilmember Bill Jonson, City of Clearwater

John Titkanich, City Manager, City of Cocoa

Mayor Greg Ross, City of Cooper City

Vice Mayor Dan Daley, City of Coral Springs

Commissioner Scott Black, City of Dade City

Mayor Robert F. Apgar, City of DeLand

Mayor Scott Fischer, City of Destin

Carisse LeJeune, City Manager, City of Destin

Bea L. Meeks, City Clerk, City of Edgewood

Lee Feldman, City Manager, City of Fort Lauderdale

Mayor Jack Seiler, City of Fort Lauderdale

Councilman Forrest Banks, City of Fort Myers

Mayor Randy Henderson, City of Fort Myers

Councilwoman Teresa Watkins Brown, City of Fort Myers

Mayor Linda Hudson, City of Fort Pierce

Michael Beedie, City Manager, City of Fort Walton Beach

Mayor Matthew Surrency, City of Hawthorne

Mark Ryan, City Manager, City of Indian Harbour Beach

Mayor Drinda Merritt, Town of Inglis

Councilmember Matthew Schellenberg, City of Jacksonville

George Forbes, City Manager, City of Jacksonville Beach

Mayor Charlie Latham, City of Jacksonville Beach

Vice Mayor Kimberly Glas-Castro, Town of Lake Park

Commissioner Phillip Walker, City of Lakeland

Mayor R. Howard Wiggs, City of Lakeland

Vice Mayor Jamie Robinson, City of Largo

Mayor Joe Durso, City of Longwood

Mayor Kathy Meehan, City of Melbourne

Councilmember Cal Rolfson, City of Mount Dora

Mayor Bill Barnett, City of Naples

William Moss, City Manager, City of Naples

Councilman William Schaetzle, City of Niceville

Councilman Anthony DeFillipo, City of North Miami Beach

Mayor George Vallejo, City of North Miami Beach

Mayor Linda Yates, City of North Port

Jim Hanson, Town Manager, Town of Orange Park

Mayor William Partington, City of Ormond Beach

Mayor William Capote, City of Palm Bay

Mayor Carol McCormack, Town of Palm Shores

Douglas J. Sale, Attorney, City of Panama City Beach

Councilmember P.C. Wu, City of Pensacola

Kenneth Buchman, Attorney, City of Plant City

Councilperson Dawn Pardo, City of Riviera Beach

Council Vice Chair T. Patrick O’Neill, City of Rockledge

Mayor Kevin Ruane, City of Sanibel

Commissioner Willie Shaw, City of Sarasota

Councilman Dominick Montanaro, City of Satellite Beach

Mayor Leslie Waters, City of Seminole

Commissioner Vincent Barile, Town of Sewall’s Point

Commissioner Tom Campenni, City of Stuart

Mayor Troy McDonald, City of Stuart

Commissioner Scott Maddox, City of Tallahassee

Kent Olson, Deputy Treasurer/Clerk, City of Tallahassee

Commissioner Gil Ziffer, City of Tallahassee

Council Chairman Michael Suarez, City of Tampa

Mayor Heyward H. Strong, Jr., City of Valparaiso

Terry Atchley, City Manager, City of Wauchula

Chevelle Nubin, Village Clerk, Village of Wellington

Mayor Daniel Stermer, City of Weston

Darrel Thomas, Assistant City Manager/CFO, City of Weston

Mayor Gary Resnick, City of Wilton Manors

Mayor Gary Bruhn, Town of Windermere


Founded in 1922, the Florida League of Cities is the united voice for Florida’s municipal governments. Its goals are to promote local self-government and serve the needs of Florida’s cities. Florida’s cities are formed by their citizens and governed by their citizens. The League is founded on the belief that local self-government is the keystone of American democracy. For more information, visit


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