by SC Publisher Shannen Hayes
Sanibel Police Corporal James Serrago and Mayor Holly Smith were recognized at the city council meeting on Feb. 1 for their achievements.
Serrago earned a bachelor of applied science in public safety administration from Florida Southwestern State College. He is now pursuing a master’s degree in public administration.
“I think it’s very important to encourage our young officers to pursue an education,” said Police Chief Bill Dalton. Serrago has been “an excellent addition to our family at the police department and I couldn’t be more proud of him,” Dalton added.
Serrago was hired by the department in August 2017 and promoted to corporal in May 2021. He is part of the city’s tuition assistance program. Sanibel Mayor Holly Smith said the program “allows everyone to do their job and still excel privately, as well as in their professional avenues.”
Smith was recognized for her completion of the four leadership academies offered by the Florida League of Cities, based in Tallahassee. FLC Ambassador Shwanda Barnette presented Smith with a certificate.
Smith said the League has been important to her and helps officials become better leaders. The relationships formed through the League help officials do “good work for all of our cities, villages and towns throughout the state.”
The academies are part of FLC University’s Institute for Elected Municipal Officials I & II. IEMO consists of a comprehensive overview of Florida municipal government. Barnette said the classes are “designed to hone each official’s leadership skill sets.”
“The League and FLC University are so proud of Mayor Smith’s commitment to her own learning, her advocacy efforts and her commitment to Sanibel,” said Barnette.
Smith serves on the FLC Board of Directors for the southwest region, as chair of the FLC Advocacy Committee and the Florida League of Mayors. She has been recognized by the League as a Homerule Hero from 2018 to 2021.
“We are humbled by (Smith’s) support of the League and its programs, and we are honored to witness your commitment to learning and growth and continued involvement in the Florida League of Cities, hopefully for many years to come,” said Barnette.