LAKEWOOD RANCH — Longtime Lakewood Ranch Community Development District Supervisor Don O’Leary is stepping down from his District 2 post to accept a position as a fire commissioner for East Manatee Fire Rescue.
O’Leary submitted to the board Sept. 15 his letter of resignation, which takes effect Oct. 1.
“I feel very honored about it,” the retired New York City firefighter said of his appointment as a fire commissioner. “It’s very comfortable for me.
“I enjoyed serving the members of District 2,” he said. “I did it for (about) seven years. It was challenging. I liked getting things done the right way. I’ll probably enjoy the fire department the same, if not more.”
O’Leary said he is eager to get started with his work as a fire commissioner after he is sworn in Oct. 17. Several new stations — one in the Panther Ridge area and one farther east on State Road 64 — need to be built in the coming years to complete the district’s coverage for residents.
“It’s nice to get back (to fire work) and continue again,” O’Leary said.
O’Leary retired from the New York City Fire Department in 1989, after suffering an injury to his shoulder. He and his wife, Audrey, moved to Sarasota, purchasing a home in Sarasota and then in The Meadows, before coming to Lakewood Ranch about 13 years ago.
Since then, O’Leary has worked to get fire stations built and funded on the Ranch and lobbied for traffic lights and increased patrols by the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, among other tasks.
Lakewood Ranch Town Hall is accepting résumés from individuals who wish to take over O’Leary’s seat. CDD 2 supervisors are set to appoint a replacement for O’Leary at their October meeting.
CDD 2 Chairman Bob Stepleman said the board may consider moving another board member into O’Leary’s seat and putting the appointed representative into a seat coming up for election, so residents can vote on the representative as quickly as possible. O’Leary has three years remaining on his term.
Individuals interested in serving on the CDD 2 board should submit their resumes to Town Hall Executive Director Eva Rey by 5 p.m. Oct. 12.
All résumés will become public record. Candidates must be residents of District 2.
Résumés should be delivered by hand or mailed to: Lakewood Ranch Town Hall, Attn: Eva M. Rey, Executive Director, 8175 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202.
Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].
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