Pasco County commissioner Kathryn Starkey was the local winner of the 2014 Florida Association of Counties Presidential Advocacy Award.
Starkey received the award for her work with the FAC, especially as it launched its new federal advocacy program, according to a release. Starkey’s interest and knowledge of flood insurance issues helped the association convey to Congress why flood insurance reform was needed.
As a result of this advocacy, Florida’s flood insurance story was told, and Congress ultimately passed legislation they say will help Floridians who were financially impacted by the previous law. President Barack Obama signed the bill on March 21.
“It is public servants like Commissioner Starkey that ensure our local communities have the authority to respond to the demands of their citizens,” FAC executive director Chris Holley said, in a release. “Commissioner Starkey’s willingness to advocate for counties on every level was essential to passing this important legislation.”
The Presidential Advocacy Award is given each year to county commissioners who have shown exceptional leadership in partnering with FAC to advance the legislative agenda of counties.
Other award winners this year included Karen Seel in Pinellas County; Heather Carruthers in Monroe County; Bill Truex in Charlotte County; Larry Kiker in Lee County; Chip LaMarca in Broward County; Doug Smith, Sarah Heard and Ed Fielding in Martin County; Lynda Bell in Miami-Dade County; Grover Robinson in Escambia County; Stan McClain and Kathy Bryant in Marion County; Karson Turner in Hendry County; and Frannie Hutchison in St. Lucie County.
The Florida Association of Counties has represented the diverse interests of the state’s counties for the past 85 years, emphasizing the importance of protecting home rule — the concept that government closest to the people governs best.