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Hollingsworth, Thompson, win Lehigh Municipal District seats

By MELISSA BILL - | Nov 11, 2020


One newcomer and one incumbent culled wins in the Lehigh Acres Municipal Services District election last Tuesday.

Julie Hollingsworth unseated incumbent Michael J. Welch, incumbent Kenneth K. Thompson held his and Katy Hoover was re-elected unopposed.

Election results for Seat 1 on the LAMSID Board of Commissioners put challenger Hollingsworth at 48.4 percent of the votes, over Welch, with 41.78 percent. Tyler Woodby came in third with 9.81 percent of the vote.

Welch has sat on the board since he was elected in 2008 to the then-known East County Water Control Board.

Hollingsworth, is a long-time Lehigh Acres resident and manager at J. Nathan Stout Accounting. During her campaign, she stated that having been raised in Lehigh Acres and succeeding in business here, she wants to help guide this community as it grows.

“I want to help the people of Lehigh Acres understand the mission and responsibilities of LAMSID, and develop a sincere and effective communication with state and county officials to improve the quality of life in Lehigh Acres,” Hollingsworth said.

Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District Seat 3’s race was close but incumbent Thompson will keep his seat after taking 39.39 percent of the votes, slightly more than candidate David Deetscreek, who had, 35.14 percent with Ren Marshall coming in third with 25.47.

Deetscreek previously served on the board from 2010-2018 and was the past Treasurer at LAMSID.

Thompson, who was re-elected for his third term, began his stint with the district’s board of commissioners eight years ago. He voiced his dedication to moving Lehigh Acres forward throughout the election and looks forward to the future plans of the district.

“I want to thank the citizens of Lehigh Acres for reelecting me. I think we had three good candidates. David Deetscreek actually called me to wish me luck before the election. I’m very happy to be elected again and looking forward to addressing some issues like seeing the district move forward on taking over the Lighting District. I hope to continue our talks with the county,” Thompson said.

Thompson is also hopeful about the progress of the district’s C.R.E.S.T, GS-10 and a proposal for LAMSID to provide water treatment for water that will come from C-43 Reservoir.

“Our goal is to have some of the water coming from the C-43 Reservoir and flow it into Lehigh Acres’ water filtration system and aid in recharging the local aquifer. It’s would be part of the district’s current C.R.E.S.T. program. That water would eventually flow through Section 10 and be filtrated through the quarry systems that area. This would allow the water to be filtrated and aid in removing chemicals,” Thompson said.

Each year, candidates are elected by qualified voters who resided within LAMSID’s district and determined by a popular vote. The Lehigh Acres voters made their decisions as to who will represent them and serve a 4-year term on its board.

LAMSID’s board is made up of five commissioners who hold unpaid board positions. This year seats 1, 3 and 5 were up for reelection, with seat 5 unchallenged, leaving current Board Chair Hoover to serve another four years.

The Lehigh Acres Municipal Services District was formerly known as the East Lee Water District until it was dissolved by Gov. Rick Scott on June 10, 2015. Legislature changes made by Scott gave the new board the power to take on a few functions normally held by local government.

The LAMSID oversees water resource management, canal maintenance and preserve management within Lehigh Acres including drainage and flood control, conservation and mitigation, navigation, roads and bridges, parks and community signage.

Decisions are made by its five-member Board of Commissioners and its seven staff members who handle the day-to-day activities and operations. LA-MSID’s 2020-2021 fiscal operating budget is $8.26 million.

LAMSID will hold its next meeting on Monday, Nov. 16, at 6 p.m., (unless otherwise specified) at the Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District, 601 East County Lane, Lehigh Acres, Florida, 33936.

For more information visit www.myecwcd.net