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Sanibel celebrates former mayor’s 100th birthday

By Staff | Jun 7, 2019

TIFFANY REPECKI Former Sanibel Mayor Myron “Mike” Klein, seated, with Mayor Kevin Ruane, Vice Mayor Mick Denham and Councilmembers Jason Maughan, Holly Smith and Richard Johnson on June 4.

A prior Sanibel mayor received a show of community appreciation on his milestone birthday.

On June 4, the city hosted a celebration and presentation of a proclamation for former Mayor Myron “Mike” Klein at Mackenzie Hall in recognition of his 100th birthday. With city officials and staff, residents and more present, he accepted the proclamation and blew out candles on his birthday cake.

Klein also received a card and sat in his old council chair for pictures, gavel in hand.

“I wish that Sanibel will continue to thrive as a pristine island and a beautiful place to live,” he told those gathered in his honor. “Thank you very much.”

Klein served as a member of city council for two consecutive terms from 1980-1988, according to the city. He also served as vice mayor from May of 1981 through December of 1982 and as mayor from December of 1982 through December of 1983 and December of 1987 through November of 1988.

TIFFANY REPECKI Mayor Kevin Ruane reads a proclamation on June 4 in honor of former Mayor Myron “Mike” Klein's 100th birthday, recognizing his service to the community.

In 1983, Klein was the mayor when the Sanibel City Hall on Dunlop Road was finished.

During his terms as mayor, the council adopted 61 ordinances and 227 resolutions.

Among the legislation adopted during his tenure on council were numerous ordinances concerning implementation and development of land use and building codes. Some of the legislation passed during his tenure included:

– Establishing a moratorium pertaining to prevention of overdevelopment of commercial properties

– Conveyance of land owned by the city to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation

TIFFANY REPECKI Former Sanibel Mayor Myron “Mike” Klein reads his birthday card aloud for attendees.

– Approving an agreement with Community Housing and Resources to serve as the city’s housing foundation

– Amending comprehensive land use plan protecting wildlife habitats and gopher tortoises and their burrows

– Prohibiting imposition of impact fees

– Granting permission for fire control department

– Setting up refuse collection

PHOTO PROVIDED Myron “Mike” Klein

Originally from Rochester, New York, Klein graduated in 1943 from the University of Rochester with a degree in physics. He worked for Eastman Kodak Company before enlisting in the U.S. Army. Klein spent several months at the University of Nebraska before being transferred to the Army Night Vision and Electro-optics laboratory in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He was involved in the early attempts to build infrared night vision telescopes. The work resulted in present-day night vision binoculars used by the United States Armed Forces. Klein also received the Legion of Merit for his work in this field. He retired as an associate director of the U.S. Army Night Vision and Electro-optics laboratory.

Klein was a Sanibel resident from 1975-1999 and bought his first home in 1968. In 1979, he alongside Ikki Matsumoto, Polly Matsumoto and Pete Smith formed the non-profit organization The Barrier Island Group for the Arts, or BIG ARTS. Klein currently resides at the Shell Point Retirement Community in Fort Myers, where he is an active participant in pottery classes.