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Civic Association elects new officers

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Jan 20, 2021

news@breezenewspapers.com

Because of the uncertainty created by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, the North Fort Myers Civic Association moved its calendar ahead and decided to hold its elections for new board members and officers a month early.

The result of the elections, held last week, was for the first time in three years, an all-new board, with Danny Ballard taking over as new president, along with an all-new vice-president, secretary and treasurer.

Ballard, a commissioner for the North Fort Myers Fire & Rescue District, has been a regular at Lee County Board of County Commissioner meetings during his three years as vice president and he plans to continue advocating for the community at the county level.

Ballard, who replaces Doug Dailey (who will remain on the board), will take over an organization that is in much better shape than it was when he joined the board in 2018.

“I don’t think we’ll do much different. Doug has some great ideas for fundraising, which is why I made him the fundraising guru,” Ballard said. “I will continue to work with Lee County government and will chair the meetings and do all the same things I did.”

Ballard said that as president, county government will perhaps take him a little more seriously than in the past.

“When they ask me who I am, I can say the president. I don’t think it will change anything other than that county commissioners and officials want to talk to the president. So maybe that will help,” Ballard said.

Ballard will have a lot to deal with with issues such as homelessness and drugs becoming more prevalent within the community. There is also Hancock Square Plaza and the upcoming construction of Paradise Isle.

Debra Ballard and Teri Halm were both reelected to their places on the board, while Toni Hill was the lone newcomer voted on. Melvin Scroggins and Steve Davis, were the other two candidates.

Hill was not only named to the board, but was also named an officer as treasurer. She will join Ballard, vice president Christy-Lee Iwanow and secretary Halm as organization leaders.

Iwanow, who joined the civic association in 2019 and joined the board last year, has brought a younger set of eyes to the board and will continue to do so as second in command.

“I’m ecstatic. Ever since Benches for our Babes I’ve wanted to continue to work for our community,” Iwanow said, adding that planning events are her forte. “I want everyone to join and know that we are a great community.”

As for Dailey, who took over the group in 2018 and made it a local force, said it took the work of everyone to make the North Fort Myers Civic Association what it is today.

“I’ve had the honor of leading the organization, but it doesn’t get done with one person. It’s the community,” Dailey said. “It’s not just community, it’s family. We have disagreements, but also love. We will move forward, it’s a new chapter, and we will keep moving forward.”