LAKEWOOD RANCH — Florida Sen. Bill Galvano didn’t have much time before heading back to Tallahassee for committee hearings Monday, but that didn’t keep him from finding an hour in his schedule to meet with his constituents.
More than 20 East County residents gathered 7 a.m. Monday, Jan. 14, at the First Watch restaurant in Lakewood Ranch, for “Breakfast with Bill,” a campaign to introduce the new state senator to residents within his seven-county district.
“These type of things are good, and it lets my constituents know I’m here and I’m accessible,” said Galvano, who served in the Florida House of Representatives since 2002, until being elected to the Senate in November. “The idea is to make sure I’m continuing to connect with the people of the district.”
Attendees enjoyed breakfast as Galvano made his way from table to table, answering questions and hearing concerns about topics such as gun control, education, health care and more.
Resident John Howell, for example, questioned whether Florida was planning to pass laws to increase restrictions on firearms.
“I want to make sure the Second Amendment to the Constitution is not subverted,” he said, noting at least 20 states are considering such legislation.
Residents from the Willowbrook community, who have been fighting against the poor workmanship of their East County homes, asked Galvano to push for a lemon law for housing, as Galvano’s predecessor, former Sen. Mike Bennett, had promised to do.
“He expressed interest; it’s reassuring,” Willowbrook homeowner Nick Sommer said. “There are a lot of things he’s already involved with that we’ve already started working on.”
Other constituents simply came out to meet their representative.
“I just wanted to see his general demeanor and what kind of guy he is,” said James Kohne, who came to breakfast with his father-in-law, ElRoy York. “He exceeded my expectations.”
Galvano said he plans to start hosting town hall-style meetings throughout his district, as well.
Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].