The Florida League of Cities (FLC) announced that last week Lake Hamilton Vice Mayor Marlene Wagner is this year’s recipient of the League’s E. Harris Drew Municipal Official Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Marlene never turns down an opportunity to serve or help in any way,” said Orlando City Commissioner Tony Ortiz, the immediate past president of the FLC. “She is the embodiment of a dedicated local government official and truly has a servant’s heart. On behalf of the Florida League of Cities and its members, we’re honored to recognize Marlene and her dedicated service.”
Presented annually, this is the League’s most prestigious award. It is named for Supreme Court Justice E. Harris Drew, the man who coined the League’s motto: Local self-government, the key to American democracy. The award recognizes and honors local elected officials who have made lasting and worthwhile contributions to the citizens of Florida through their efforts and dedication in the performance of their duties at the local level.
“I’m speechless,” said Wagner, who was unaware that she had even been nominated for the award, let alone selected as this year’s recipient. “There are so many people throughout the state that have done so much for their cities. I sincerely appreciate being selected among my fellow city officials to receive this award. Thank you!”
Since moving to Lake Hamilton in 2000, Wagner has been active in local government – first attending Town Council meetings as a citizen and subsequently winning her seat as mayor in an unopposed election in 2006. During her tenure as Mayor, Wagner was instrumental in the inception and implementation of numerous city projects, including securing construction of a new, upgraded water treatment facility, bringing a Polk County Fire and Rescue substation to town and creating an interlocal agreement with the neighboring town of Dundee to assist with water treatment. After 13 years, Wagner stepped down from her role as mayor and is now serving as vice mayor for the town of Lake Hamilton and its residents.
In addition to her service with the town, Wagner is an active member of the Ridge League of Cities, where she has served as president, treasurer, secretary and vice president. She also serves on several Florida League of Cities committees, has served on its Board of Directors for the past four years, and is a four-time recipient of the League’s Home Rule Hero award. She also serves as a board member for the Florida League of Mayors.