Hamman looking ahead to another term
With no opposition, Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman has earned another four-year term serving parts of Cape Coral and North Fort Myers.
It was the first time since 2004, when the late Bob Janes did it, that a county commissioner was unopposed.
Hamman said he was surprised at the result, but that the hard work he has put in has paid off.
“I have worked very hard to serve the people of Lee County the best I could. I’m very grateful I have the opportunity to serve them another four years,” Hamman said.
Perhaps most surprising is that he did it in such a polarized political climate. Hamman said that local politics are a different ball game than state or national because you see your constituents every day.
“It’s a tough time because we seem to be very polarized. What’s important about local office is that you are part of the community and while you can’t give everyone the answer they want to hear, you can give them an explanation on how you voted and treat them with the same kind of respect you’d like to be treated with,” Hamman said.
Hamman said he looks forward to continuing the work the county board has done, for example in North Fort Myers regarding redevelopment, applying the conservative principles to which he has always adhered.
“I will try to keep taxes low, make sure we look out for wasteful spending and that we grow our local economy and create a place where future generations can find good paying jobs,” Hamman said. “I also want to watch the size of government and make sure we don’t increase our size and scope beyond what we want to do.”
Another thing he wants to do is address the problems with the Caloosahatchee River and the discharges from Lake Okeechobee. On Monday, Hamman rode on a boat with Gov. Rick Scott and saw the algal blooms in the water.
Hamman said local governments can pressure the state and federal governments to provide the resources needed to address the issue, something promised 18 years ago to address the drainage issues in the state and the Everglades.
“I’m upset, I’m mad, I can’t imagine how it must smell because I don’t live on a canal. I’ve seen it and my heart goes out to those folks,” Hamman said. “I’m glad the governor came to see it for himself. We need a strong partnership with the federal government, which is responsible for paying half the cost for the long-term fixes to the drainage system in the state and are behind $1 billion.”
Hamman urged his constituents to contact lawmakers nationwide and pressure them to understand the situation here and deliver the funding.
“A healthy environment means a healthy economy for us. I believe we’ll survive this summer tourist season, but we can’t have this every year. We need help,” Hamman said.