In early May, Lee County received $135 million of federal CARES COVID-19 relief funding as part of the $150 billion to assist state and local governments to cover community-wide expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency. Lee County is the only county in Southwest Florida receiving these funds.

Many people and businesses are hurting badly, and we need to use the funds to best Address these urgent needs. The federal guidelines allow these funds to be used for direct financial assistance to individuals as well as businesses impacted by COVID-19. We urge you to strongly respect the intent of the CARES Act and keep this money in our community by spending it locally.

Tell them that no plan should be presented to the Board until the major community partners have a seat at the table to help draw up a community-wide plan that represents the broad COVID-19 related community needs in Lee County. To help those who are have been impacted by this crisis through no fault of their own. Including directly assisting these individuals and families to buy food, pay utility bills, rent, car payments, mortgages, etc

Here are the email addresses and phone numbers of each County Commissioner.
Please email and call them.

Commissioner John Manning
Phone: 239-533-2224
Email: dist1@leegov.com

Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass
Phone: 239-533-2227
Email: dist2@leegov.com

Commissioner Ray Sandelli
Phone: 239-533-2223
Email: dist3@leegov.com

Commissioner Brian Hamman
Phone: 239-533-2226
Email: dist4@leegov.com

Commissioner Frank Mann
Phone: 239-533-2225
Email: dist5@leegov.com

The sample copy below may be cut and pasted into your email to each Commissioner. You are also encouraged to use your own words to express your feelings and considerations.


Dear Commissioner,

At your May 12th meeting, you will be discussing the $135 million of federal CARES COVID-19 relief funding as part of the $150 billion to assist state and local governments to cover community-wide expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency.

Many people and businesses are hurting badly, and we need to use the funds to best address these urgent needs. The federal guidelines allow these funds to be used for direct financial assistance to individuals as well as businesses impacted by COVID-19. We strongly urge you to respect the intent of the CARES Act and keep this money in our community by spending it locally.

No plan should be presented to the Board until the major community partners are included in the process of creating a community-wide plan that represents the broad COVID-19 related community needs in Lee County. The focus should be helping those who are have been impacted by this crisis through no fault of their own. Including directly assisting these individuals and families to buy food, pay utility bills, rent, car payments, mortgages, etc.

Other Considerations Include:

  • With school out until August and our economy reopening, working Lee County parents will require reliable childcare. Funds should be directed to families in need or provided to childcare facilities to enable them to accept children at reduced rates.
  • The county should assist in implementing screening criteria for children and staff to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
  • The county should also consider funding PPE for childcare providers and facilities to assure children and staff are safe and childcare centers adequately disinfected.
  • The county should explore through the Parks and Recreation Department funding enhanced programs to accommodate elementary age children and work with existing summer camps to ensure that they follow CDC guidelines.
  • Consider the creation of a small business enterprise fund, optimally directed to our tourism and hospitality businesses, especially those with less than 50 employees.
  • Offer grants/loans to local startups – those just having gotten started in the last few years.
  • The county must be prepared to handle a predicted second wave and have on hand PPE for all its workers.
  • Provide more beds in shelters for the homeless.
  • Consider funding for face-to-face mental health therapy in anticipation of a surge in need.

Thank you for your consideration,

[Your name]
[Address]
[Telephone number]