2022 Outstanding Local Public Official: Howard Levitan

Howard Levitan has shown outstanding leadership and commitment to the vision of Estero for more than 11 years. He was the first Vice Mayor for the Village of Estero, Florida’s newest city, when it was incorporated on Dec. 31, 2014. He was elected by an overwhelming majority of residents and served two terms on its council, followed by a term as co-chair of the Planning, Zoning and Design Board.

He is an impressive local official who has championed sound planning practices, even prior to his election, as a citizen-activist serving on non-elected community planning boards for several years. In only six short years on the council, he became the driving force behind the adoption of the village’s first comprehensive plan and first land development code, formulating future public policy and setting the stage for more sustainable and diverse growth patterns. The plan and code are both based on Estero’s history of extensive citizen participation and transparency.

He advocated for the creation of a “Village Center” downtown area where none existed. His vision and passion for smart growth and sustainable development have created a legacy for the village. His planning efforts that focused on creating sustainable development will have a significant and enduring impact on the community for decades.

Mayor Woods, in his letter of support, stated: “As Chairman, I wish to recognize the efforts of Vice Mayor Levitan that shaped these valuable plans. Because of this commitment, Estero is well-prepared for the future. Our motto is that Estero is “The Village with a Vision”. Vice Mayor Levitan’s leadership was integral to developing this vision.”