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The Clerk’s Report – October

What a way to end September! In my 34 years here in Collier County, and almost 40 in Florida, this storm was the worst hit to our coast that I’ve experienced.

Hurricane Ian wasn’t the first to rock our beautiful county. Many of our new residents may not remember that it was just five years ago that Hurricane Irma blew through our community and caused significant damage. And we’ve seen damage from storms like Hurricane Charlie and Hurricane Andrew. Though we lost power, and our community was challenged, we worked together to rebuild Southwest Florida into the paradise coast that we all know and love.

I want to thank the first responders and essential workers who are working to restore Collier County and Southwest Florida to the vibrant place to live, work and play. The Collier County Sheriff’s Office, local Fire Departments, and EMS personnel stood to protect and serve during the crisis. Additionally, I want to thank our medical professionals, business owners, truck drivers, FPL linemen, waste collection professionals and thousands of workers on the front lines that are helping restore power, secure food and gasoline, and the everyday necessities that we take for granted. While many are still in need, we have great teams that have worked through the night to get us back online as quickly as possible.

I also want to take the opportunity to thank the many “behind the scenes” workers at Collier County and at the Clerk’s office for all that they continue to do for our community. Many may not know that September 30th marks the end of the fiscal year for Florida Counties. Year end is always a very busy time particularly for Clerk’s Finance, County departments and the Budget offices as we close one year and open the next October 1. The workload rapidly increased due to the storm, not only did payroll process bank files early to make sure employees received their pay deposits during the storm, but the books were successfully closed, and October 1 opened for business to allow the county to get what will be needed during the cleanup. These workers were here to make sure the processes continued to support our community. A Big thank you to those who put in the hours!

On a more personal note, I want to also thank my neighbors Bob and Jennifer for offering a generator plug in until we were able, with the help of our other neighbors John and Jody, to get our generator working. This is truly what our community is about – neighbors helping neighbors! While we have seen the horrible damage caused by this storm, we have also seen at every turn the immense outpouring of support to help us recover.

Please take care, stay safe and strong! We will get through this together!