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Sandelli sworn in to fill District 3 commission seat

By Staff | Aug 6, 2019

Beach residents have a new representative on the Lee County Board of County Commissioners.

Raymond Sandelli, a Bonita Springs business executive, was sworn in Tuesday to fill the seat left vacant by the passing of Commissioner Larry Kiker, who died in April.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the appointment of Sandelli, who had not applied for the District 3 seat, on Friday.

“Although he did not seek this position, he has graciously accepted to the call to serve,” DeSantis said in a prepared statement. “Raymond’s great business and military background will be of benefit to the community. In addition, he will do a good job protecting taxpayers and attending to the needs of businesses as well.”

Sandelli said he is happy to serve.

“I am grateful to Governor DeSantis for asking me to serve on the board of the Lee County Commission,” Sandelli said in the announcement from the Governor’s Office issued Friday. “I look forward to serving the constituents of Lee County alongside my fellow commissioners, a responsibility I do not take lightly. This is a great honor and I thank Governor DeSantis for his leadership.”

He took his seat on the dais Tuesday morning following the swearing in preceeding the board’s regular meeting.

“I’m honored to be here,” he said. “And honesty surprised.”

He reiterated his vow to serve the residents of Lee County.

Beach officials bid Sandelli welcome.

“On behalf of the town council and the staff here at town Hall we congratulate commissioner on his appointment!” said Mayor Anita Cereceda. “I look forward to getting to know Mr. Sandelli and to many years of productive work together for the town of Fort Myers Beach and all Lee County.”

Sandelli completed eight years of military service as a Naval officer and aviator, receiving his wings and designation in March 1971, the release states.

“While deployed aboard the USS Independence (CV-62), he completed two cruises to the Mediterranean Sea. He participated in Sixth Fleet operations during the October 1973 Middle East War and 1974 Cyprus conflict. He reported to VT-86, Naval Air Station, Pensacola, Florida, in March 1975 as an Advanced Training Command Instructor for Naval Flight Officers. His final tour was as a member of the Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels. Sandelli is a managing partner at CRE Consultants where he advises clients on healthcare, office, retail, industrial, land and property management. He began his brokerage career with CBRE, Inc. as an office leasing specialist in Seattle, Washington. In 1995, he became the senior managing director of the CBRE Tampa office and in 2000 he assumed responsibility for the Florida region. In 2007, he began managing statewide oversight for lender and servicer representation for the reposition of all property types through CBRE’s Recovery and Restructuring Services program,” according to the bio provided by the Governor’s Office.

State Rep. Dane Eagle, R-77, is listed among the firm’s commercial real estate brokers.

Before being elected to the Lee County Commission, Kiker served on the Fort Myers Beach Town Council, one year as vice mayor and five years as mayor. He served at the county level for six years, twice as chairman.

He was diagnosed with lymphoma in January. He passed away April 23 at Hope HealthPark with his wife Paula by his side.

Kiker and Paula, a Beach business woman, were married for 14 years and residents of Fort Myers Beach for 22 before moving to South Fort Myers three years ago.

Paula Kiker was among those who sought the governor’s appointment to fill the county commission vacancy. She is running for the District 3 seat.