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Three Cape Officials Recognized as "Home Rule" Heroes by Florida League of Cities

The Florida League of Cities recently announced their 2015 Home Rule Hero Awards, and Cape Coral had three award recipients – the most of any Florida city.  Mayor Marni Sawicki, Councilmember Jim Burch and City Manager John Szerlag were honored for their efforts to protect home rule powers of Florida’s cities during the 2015 legislative session.  This is the second consecutive year that Councilmember Burch has received the award, while Mayor Sawicki and Szerlag are first-time recipients. 

“These are some of the Florida League of Cities’ biggest advocates for municipal issues, always willing and ready to contact legislators and travel to Tallahassee to be sure a local voice is heard on issues that are important to cities,” said Florida League of Cities Legislative Director Scott Dudley. “It is clear that these public servants have devoted themselves to Florida’s citizens and will remain loyal to their cities and state far into the future.”

Mayor Sawicki and City Manager Szerlag worked vigorously during this past legislative session to derail a bill advanced by the utility companies (electric, phone, cable), which would have shifted the costs to relocate utilities for transportation projects from the utility company to the taxpayers.  Councilmember Burch continued to advocate on behalf of Cape Coral and other pre-platted communities, encouraging the state to recognize that these types of communities face different challenges than other cities. 

The FLC recognized 70 city officials in 2015.  A representative from the FLC will present the awards at an upcoming City Council meeting.