Former Longboat Key Mayor Lewis “Lew” Pollock died June 3. He was 98.
Pollock was elected to the Longboat Key Town Commission in 1986, after he defeated incumbent Commissioner Stanley Ochs. He went on to serve for a year as mayor from 1988 to 1999.
Born Sept. 14, 1915, in Cleveland, Ohio, Pollock attended Cleveland Heights High School and Western Reserve University. He was known for his athleticism and played semi-professional baseball during college. He served as a base intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force during World War II and continued playing baseball for the base league.
Pollock worked in advertising and opened his own firm in 1972. He sold the firm in 1980 and retired to the Key. One year later, he joined the Longboat Key Planning & Zoning Board and was its chairman when he won a commission seat. He was involved in public service before moving to the Key, having served on the planning commission of Highland, Ill., for eight years.
Pollock’s campaign platform emphasized the need for building out the Key “in a sane and sensible manner” so that growth would “not outstrip the town’s ability to offer services, handle traffic and supply potable water.” He refused to accept contributions from real estate developers or any amount over $100.
Pollock’s fellow commissioners unanimously chose him to serve as mayor in 1988. At the time, he told the Longboat Observer that beach nourishment and completion of the town’s Comprehensive Plan were his top two priorities.
His six years on the commission occurred at a contentious period in the commission’s history, when many development issues divided the Key. Pollock said in 1988 that, while he was aware of occasional disharmony among commissioners, he would do his best to keep commissioners working together.
Pollock was a Plymouth Harbor resident at the time of his death and a longtime docent at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium.
Pollock is survived by his wife of 72 years, Peggy; daughter, Betsy Pollock, of Los Angeles; son, Michael Pollock, of Urbana, Ill.; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
A celebration of life took place June 7, at Plymouth Harbor. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Pollock’s name to Mote, mote.org.
Contact Robin Hartill at [email protected].