The Lee County Board of County Commissioners selected Gregg Makepeace as the recipient of the Paulette Burton Citizen of the Year Award for 2014. The award -- announced Tuesday at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of County Commissioners -- is granted to the citizen who has provided outstanding civic contributions to Lee County government.
Makepeace, 80, has been a determined civic leader and team builder in North Fort Myers and surrounding neighborhoods for more than a decade.
"It has been a really enjoyable 12 years," Makepeace said. "I believe in helping communities and helping neighborhoods."
County commissioners chose him from a field of seven people nominated by members of the community. The finalists included Janet Bunch and Ann Pierce Gardner.
Makepeace was a leading advocate for the construction of the $9 million North Fort Myers Recreation Center completed last year.
A fixture at county commission meetings, committee meetings and fire district board meetings, Makepeace was recently temporarily sidelined with a broken hip and took to working the phones instead. Now, he is back to making his appeals in person, often in a green North Fort Myers Civic Association T-shirt. He has been president of that group since 2005.
Other memberships include the Navy Fleet Reserve Group 118, the North Fort Myers Community Planning Panel and the North Fort Myers Design Review Panel. He serves on the North Fort Myers Library Task Force.
The Burton Citizen of the Year award was created in 1991 in honor of Mrs. Burton, who died tragically in an automobile accident. Mrs. Burton, a long time Sanibel resident and government watchdog, spent many years serving as a voice of the people to the Lee County Board of County Commissioners as well as playing an active role in Sanibel politics.