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Frank Mann tribute at County Commissioners meeting

The Lee Board of County Commissioners paid tribute during its Tuesday meeting to Commissioner Frank Mann, who died this morning at his home in Alva. 

The board approved the dedication of the GS-10 Preserve to Mann, renaming it Frank Mann Preserve. It was a Lee County Conservation 20/20 area that Mann was instrumental in the creation of, according to Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass. 

“He was the real-life Lorax, the person who looked out for the trees and the environment,” Commissioner Brian Hamman said. “This is truly a fitting way to recognize and remember him.”  

The area sits in the heart of Mann’s District 5. 

Pendergrass reminisced about Mann and his advocacy for parks and recreation, green spaces and the environment. Mann was also remembered for his love of fishing and the outdoors. 

“If there was one overarching theme of his entire public service career, it was to maintain and enhance the quality of life here at Lee County by protecting and preserving the beauty that he enjoyed since his times as a boy,” Mann’s son, Frank Mann Jr., said.  

Frank Mann

Frank Mann

  

Mann was a lifelong resident of Lee County and began his career in public service in 1974. He served eight years in the Florida House of Representatives and four years for in the Florida Senate, representing Lee, Charlotte and Collier counties. Mann also served more than 15 years on the Lee Board of County Commissioners.  

Former state Sen. Pat Neal served in the House and Senate with Mann, honoring his colleague and friend by sharing what he described as Mann’s legacy. 

“Frank worked tirelessly for land acquisition for the people of Lee County,” Neal said. Neal touched on the multitude of ways Mann fought for Florida’s natural resources, like the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Panther Protection Act and Florida’s first Wetland Act in 1983.  

“He was a servant for the people of this state and servant to the people of Lee County,” Neal said. “We’ll miss him for all the person he is but will live on with him for all that he’s done for the people of Lee County.” 

Mann, along with many others, would describe Florida as paradise. Throughout his decades in public service, Mann championed the integrity and protection of paradise. His motto, “Be careful with paradise,” will live on through his work and the dedication of the preserve in his honor. 

Many community leaders and members shared their stories about Mann and the legacy he left behind.  

“It’s a sad day, but the sun came up this morning and it’s going to come up again tomorrow,” Frank Mann Jr. said. “Our family is going to be fine. Lee County is going to be fine. I thank you again for this well-deserved recognition.” 

Services for Mann are planned for 11 a.m. July 2 at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2439 McGregor Blvd., in Fort Myers. 

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