Mann called ‘tireless defender of his district’ | News, Sports, Jobs – SANIBEL-CAPTIVA


PROVIDED PHOTO Commissioner Frank Mann

Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann died June 21.

Mann, 80, was the District 5 representative and a longtime resident of Lee County. His public service career began in 1974, when he served eight years in the Florida House of Representatives and four years in the Florida Senate, representing Lee, Charlotte and Collier counties.

Mann then served twice as Lee County Commissioner.

He was first appointed to the Lee County Commission in 1993 by the then Governor. Lawton Chiles replacing Vickie Lopez-Wolfe, who resigned. His second term on the elected council began in 2006. Over the years, Mann served as chairman of the Lee County Commission, Lee County Port Authority, and Tourism Development Board.

His priority during his career in public service was the preservation of quality of life in the face of almost overwhelming growth.

“Commissioner Mann was a tireless defender of his district,” Lee County Board of Commissioners Chairman Cecil Pendergrass said at the June 21 council meeting.

Pendergrass spoke about Mann’s involvement in a recent Conservation 20/20 acquisition in Lehigh Acres – in the heart of Mann District – which will help alleviate flooding in eastern Lee County and bring amenities such as a network of trails, a paddle craft area, pavilions and restrooms. A motion has been approved for the 624.91 acre site to be named the Frank Mann Preserve.

Mann’s son, Frank Mann Jr., said a green space in his father’s name is a most fitting commemoration.

“I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that dad leaving us on the same day (the commission) chose to honor him with this most fitting honour,” said Mann Jr.“If there was one overriding theme of his entire career in public service, it was to maintain and enhance the quality of life here in Lee County by protecting and preserving the beauty he has enjoyed since he was born. he was a horse and cattle boy where Cape Coral Town Hall currently sits. »

Mann Jr. said he spoke to his father in the days before his death and wanted to let him know how much the naming of the reservation meant to him.

He said his father reiterated, “Please let them know how much this means to me and how much I appreciate it. And please also let the stewards know that (I) will be watching them.

Mann Jr. added that his father really enjoyed his time with the county commission and was a co-worker to hundreds of dedicated county employees who make everything possible.

“It was the true honor of his life, and he wanted (everyone) to know it,” he said.

Commissioner Brian Hamman said he remembers how hard Mann fought for the preserved property (GS-10) and how appropriate it was that the area now bears his name.

“I will never forget him saying his vision was to see grandfathers and grandchildren fishing together and enjoying the land,” he said. “I will miss him, and it’s been a joy to sit next to him for the past few years.

“He was the real Lorax; the person who watched over the trees and the environment, and it really is an appropriate way to acknowledge and remember him,” Hamman added.

Mann’s friend and former colleague Porter Goss said: “Frank was a great friend (and) a wonderful mentor. What you have done here to help preserve a legacy, which is going to be preserved in so many ways and benefit so many over the years, for the things that he has done and his public service is very close to my heart.

The City of Sanibel and Mayor Holly Smith released the following statement:

“It is with great sadness that I reach out to inform the citizens and friends of Sanibel that Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann passed away on the morning of June 21, 2022. He was a man of character, d ‘integrity and service. Commissioner Mann has a long-standing commitment to public service in Lee County and the State of Florida. I know many of us have very fond memories that will keep Frank alive in our hearts. Commissioner Mann lives through all he has accomplished for Lee County. Please keep all of Commissioner Mann’s family and loved ones in your thoughts. It was a sad day for Lee County.

Another former colleague of Mann’s during his time in the House of Representatives and the state Senate, Pat Neal, spoke about some of Mann’s accomplishments in these contexts. He said Mann worked tirelessly to acquire land for the citizens of Lee County and helped create the Conservation and Recreational Lands (CARL) program. Neal said Mann was a strong advocate for manatees, as well as the Florida panther, and helped draft legislation to protect the species. He said Mann had worked on the Wetlands Act in 1983 and the Hazardous Waste Protection Act.

“Every major environmental piece of legislation that has passed the Florida Senate had Frank Mann as a sponsor, maker, or pest trying to make sure we did what we needed to do to save Florida,” says Neal.

He explained how Mann was his party’s 1986 nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Florida and throughout his career ran for 17 public offices.

“He was relentless and tireless” says Neal. “People loved Frank. He believed in what he believed. He stood up for what he believed in. He was a servant of the people of this State and of Lee County. We will miss him for the person he (was), but we will live with him for all he did for the people of Lee County.

Mann and his wife, Mary Lee, celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary on the first of the month. Mann loved to spoil his three grandchildren. He was an active member of the Covenant Presbyterian Church. As part of his church activities, Mann was a member of the choir for over 50 years and also played the baritone horn in the church orchestra.

Services are scheduled for July 2 at 11 a.m. at the Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2439 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers.

Video of the portion of the Lee County commission meeting devoted to Mann’s death can be found at https://youtu.be/7ZALEuiLmdI.