1000 Friends of Florida is pleased to present Lee Constantine with its prestigious Bill Sadowski Award. Explains 1000 Friends of Florida Chairman Tim Jackson, “Commissioner Constantine is being honored for his leadership, vision, and on-going commitment to conservation and water resource protection in Florida.” The award was presented at the February 25, 2014 meeting of the Seminole County Commission.
“Florida needs more statesmen like Lee Constantine,” says Jackson. “He is known as the go-to person when complex environmental problems arise that require statewide or regional solutions.”
Widely known for his longstanding commitment to conservation, Constantine has had a distinguished career in public service. A Commissioner for Seminole County since 2012, Constantine was first elected to the Altamonte Springs City Commission in 1978, the youngest person elected in the city’s history. He went on to serve for 14 years, including as Mayor. He was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 1992, where he served for 8 years. He then was elected to the Florida Senate, serving until 2010 when term limits necessitated his retirement.
Constantine has been a leading force on major environmental efforts in Florida over the last 30 years. Most recently, he co-founded the Florida Conservation Coalition which has brought statewide recognition and workable solutions to better protect this state’s imperiled water resources. As a legislator he sponsored the Wekiva Parkway and Protection Act in 2004 to protect the river and associated ecosystems while building a beltway for Central Florida, serving as the Wekiva River Basin Committee’s Chairman for three terms. Other ground-breaking legislation he sponsored as a legislator include Save Our Everglades from 1997 to 2000, Affordable Housing-Front Porch Florida in 2002, Growth Management Reform in 2002 and 2006, the Florida Energy Act in 2006 and 2008, 2009 legislation which purchased and authorized the commuter rail system, SunRail, and the Springs and Water Resources Protection Act of 2010.
After Hurricane Andrew and subsequent storm events, Lee also was a leader in sponsoring legislation that led to unifying the morass of building codes in Florida, establishing the Florida Unified Building Code and the Florida Building Commission to implement the Code. The legislation that Senator Constantine sponsored has led to a system that is the envy of the nation.
“Constantine continues to serve as a leader in Florida’s conservation efforts,” notes 1000 Friends of Florida President Charles Pattison. “The people of Florida and iconic ecosystems from the Everglades to the Wekiva have benefitted from his dedication to crafting workable solutions to complex environmental problems.
The Bill Sadowski award is presented to public servants at the regional level whose work exemplifies the high level of commitment to growth management and philosophy of negotiation for which the former Secretary of the Department of Community Affairs was known.