1000 Friends presents Community Steward of the Year award to Martin County Commissioner Sarah Heard

Commissioner Heard was honored for her strong advocacy and leadership on maintaining the integrity of the Martin County comprehensive plan, explained 1000 Friends President Charles Pattison, who presented the award during the  9:00 AM public comment at the meeting. She was nominated for the award by Al Forman, editor of the Martin County Defender.

Martin County’s second longest serving commissioner, Sarah Heard has served since 2002. She is noted for her consistent advocacy for maintaining the integrity of Martin County’s comprehensive plan, keeping the Primary Urban Service Boundary intact to prevent sprawl, and promoting fiscal responsibility regarding the expansion of infrastructure.

Sarah Heard

Commissioner Heard has been an assertive advocate for implementation of Everglades Restoration projects, reflecting her strong understanding of the linkage between protection of wetlands and the quality of surface waters. She worked out a mutual agreement between the Federal Aviation Administration and the County regarding the operation of the County’s Witham Field airport. To promote community dialogue in the sunshine, she oversaw moving planning rules from the “Consent Agenda” to public discussion.

Commissioner Heard also is a conservation voice on regional committees. She serves on the Loxahatchee River Management Coordinating Council, the Marine Resources Council, the multi-county Coalition for the Responsible Management of Lake Okeechobee, the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie River Estuaries, and the Pal-Mar Water Control Board of Supervisors.

“Commissioner Heard is a consistent voice on behalf of conservation and smart growth,” notes Pattison. “She always keeps the community’s adopted comprehensive plan in the forefront in her decision making.”

1000 Friends’ Community Steward Award is presented annually to individuals, organizations, local governments, agencies, and public/private partnerships that have brought about positive and lasting change in the way their community manages growth. 1000 Friends of Florida is also presenting five other awards over the course of 2010. A statewide nonprofit organization, 1000 Friends was founded in 1986 to serve as Florida’s growth management watchdog. It has been presenting awards for innovative growth management efforts since 1990. For more information on 1000 Friends, visit www.1000friendsofflorida.org.

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