Feb. 6 will always be meaningful to Lee County Tax Collector Larry Hart. The date is the annual celebration of “Honorable Larry D. Hart Day,” which Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson proclaimed last year to recognize Hart’s years of service and impact on the community.
Even though his name is on it, Hart insists the day isn’t really about him. Instead, it’s further motivation to continue to find groundbreaking ways to serve the citizens and organizations of Lee County.
“Larry Hart Day represents the direct opportunity Lee County has given me to help shape the culture of this county and to be able see the impact,” Hart said. “As a resident and volunteer, I am committed to helping the community grow by providing opportunities for others, and it is my life’s work to serve citizens and residents of Lee County,” Hart said.
He initially made his mark through a 22-year career in law enforcement, rising to become the first African-American chief of the Fort Myers Police Department. He served as chairman of the board of trustees for Florida Gulf Coast University prior to his appointment as Lee County Tax Collector in 2012 to fill out the term of the late Cathy Curtis. Voters chose to retain him as tax collector later in 2012, and he was re-elected in 2016.
Hart is also a U.S. Air Force veteran and a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He serves as vice chairman of the board of directors for SalusCare, board trustee for the Quality Life Center, and as a board member for the United Way, Hope Hospice, the Florida Gulf Coast University Advocacy Program and The Children’s Advocacy Center of Southwest Florida.
“I am honored to have received this day,” Hart said. “It is a direct reflection of my community, my mentors, and family. Born and raised in Fort Myers, a graduate of Riverdale High School and Edison College (now known as Florida SouthWestern State College), I will continue to do my very best to make Lee County a better place to live.”
On Feb. 6, Lee County Tax Collector agents will wear pins with the signature Larry Hart Day logo, also available for download on www.leetc.com. Visit the website for more on Hart and for information on Lee County Tax Collector initiatives, like TagsToday, which drastically reduces the wait time for vehicle registration renewal.