COMMISSIONER

CECIL L PENDERGRASS

ACCOMPLISHMENT HIGHLIGHTS 2012-Present
• Voted Chairman of the Board by a unanimous vote of his colleagues in first year in office.
• At first meeting, voted to resolve MedStar issue by pursuing a public/private partnership to provide air ambulance service to the county, thereby saving jobs and ensuring the public would be served in the most efficient and effective manner.
• Decisive action on MedStar issue led to forgiveness of nearly $1.8 million in accrued fines by the Federal Aviation Administration.
• Approved the Jet Noise Study to work with FAA to adjust flight patterns.
• Approved a change to the IT storage method for Lee County, saving taxpayers $862,000 annually.
• Encouraged the Board of County Commissioners to accept the $25,000 tax exemption for seniors.
• Nominated to membership on the Lee County Trauma District Regional Advisory Committee.
• Voted on March 5, 2013 to make Lee Plan amendment procedures more business friendly by allowing privately initiated amendments to be submitted any time rather than waiting for an annual review cycle.
• Reduced impact fees by 80% in March, 2013 to stimulate the local economy.
• Brought forward a resolution which was unanimously approved by the Board, formally declaring support of the Second Amendment and the people’s right to keep and bear arms.
• Received Business Ambassador Award from Governor Rick Scott for Lee County’s leadership in job growth.
• Promoted the relocation of Hertz headquarters to Lee County, bringing 700 new jobs to the area and 1700 community-wide due to construction jobs and consumer spending.
• Ensured that Hertz was moving into an area already appropriately zoned for commercial land use along the US 41 business corridor.
• On June 25, 2013 voted against proposed revisions to the Personal Watercraft ordinance which would have allowed additional jet ski traffic in our back bay and estuaries.
• Voted to privatize non-emergency ambulance transport freeing up 2.5 ambulances per shift for emergency transport in the county.
• Negotiated employment contracts with the new County Manager, new Hearing Examiner and new County Attorney saving taxpayer dollars by providing no severance package in the contracts.
• Passed Lee County’s first balanced budget in four years without millage increase or pulling from reserves.
• As Chairman, organized and instructed County manager to hold a strategic Planning & Policy Meeting with the Board of County Commissioners in September 2013 to obtain policy direction and board priorities for the future.
• Encouraged the county manager to re-institute the process of annual strategic planning, or a Strategic Planning & Policy Meeting, by the Board – a process that had not been used for several years.
• Passed the Vacant Property Registry ordinance in September, 2013 to address the problem of vacant and foreclosed properties in Lee County.
• Named 2013 Public Official of the Year by News-Press.
• Voted against LCEC franchised TAX in March 2014.
• Voted in favor of Term Limits for Lee County Commissioners during June 3, 2014 meeting.
• Voted in favor of to support Amendment 1, which provides hundreds of millions of dollars state-wide to acquire conservation lands.
• On May 20, 2014 BoCC meeting, approved license agreement for Edison State College (Florida SouthWestern State College) Buccaneers baseball team to use the City of Palms Park Complex for the next 10 years.
• On June 18, 2014, received County Commissioner Certification (CCC) from Florida Association of Counties (FAC), making him the only certified County Commissioner currently serving on the Board.
• Appointed by Florida Association of Counties (FAC) to serve on the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation, effective January 1, 2015.
• Entrusted by his fellow BoCC colleagues to renegotiate the County Attorney and County Manager contract agreements, which were unanimously approved during on October 20, 2015 with a 4-0 vote (Commissioner Mann absent). Contract renewal for 3 years with a base pay increase, but with no severance package.
• BoCC re-wrote the Island Plan as a result of Bert Harris claims. The county was able to settle eight of the Bert Harris claims, resulting in saving millions of taxpayer dollars from financial claims.
• On October 23, 2015, Algenol CEO, Paul Woods resigned following Commissioner Pendergrass’ investigation into Algenol’s use of taxpayers’ funds provided by the prior BoCC. Commissioner Pendergrass continues to be the watchdog over taxpayer money used as incentive for bringing companies to Lee County.
• October 2016 approved a reduction in property taxes from 4.1506 to 4.0506 mills, the first decrease in 8 years.
• November 22, 2016 appointed BoCC Vice-Chairman of the Board.
• Appointed Chairman of the Board for the Tourist Development Council, which manages a vital program that brings in billions of dollars per year to our local economy.
• In March 2017, VR Labs executives were indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, wire fraud and illegal money transactions as a result of Commissioner Pendergrass’ involvement in the investigation and determination to seek restitution of taxpayer dollars.
• Acquired hundreds of acres of conservation land under Conservation 2020 program.
• Secured $60 million for local projects to clean stormwater and flowways before the water enters our estuaries and rivers.