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COVID-19 and Local Leadership

In times like these, it’s reassuring to hear positive thoughts from our leaders in all sectors and levels of our great country. Many of our Aces find Central Florida home; Winter Haven is a small, friendly community between Tampa and Orlando that houses some talented leaders. One of which is the City Mayor, Brad Dantzler. The last name may sound familiar to our readers since his brother Todd is a Senior Consultant for Two Blue Aces. Here’s a great letter Brad penned addressing the current events we are all dealing with and how he believes his community can get through it. We felt it was a letter showcasing great leadership at a local level. How do you think your local community is handling COVID-19?

Dear Winter Haven Citizens:

Approximately three months ago, the City of Winter Haven was focused on plans for a successful 2020 and beyond as the state-of-the-art AdventHealth Fieldhouse was opened.

Today, we find ourselves in a very different place, where guidelines on how to live in the COVID-19 era are driving our lives. And while the virus has interrupted our lives, I am inspired and encouraged by what I see locally nearly every day.

Neighbors are helping neighbors, and businesses are helping businesses. City partners such as the Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Winter Haven are sharing their skills and knowledge to help local businesses move forward and get the assistance they need. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Winter Haven. I, along with my fellow City Commissioners, give a standing ovation to the many grassroots efforts to support the local economy, including the amazing groups promoting our restaurants and businesses, along with the community response. Please continue to support these efforts as we work to find ways to support our businesses and help them during this period of adversity.

While we all adapt to this new way of living, which we hope is relatively short-lived, the City of Winter Haven remains committed to moving our community to the next level. Road improvements are ongoing, including multiple complete street projects. Continued renovations to Downtown along 0 St. NW remain scheduled. Fire Station No. 3 construction will begin shortly. Utility infrastructure improvements continue. The amphitheater in MLK Park and a skate park are under construction, preparing for the day we can all gather together again. The City of Winter Haven remains open for business, addressing the needs of today and working to improve the quality of life for tomorrow.

It is up to each of us to tackle this virus, and acting individually and together, we are up for the challenge. It is everyone' s responsibility to contribute to the personal and economic health of our community by seriously observing the 6 -foot separation rule and the 10 person or fewer social gathering guidelines. And wash your hands frequently. If you are in a " high risk" category, please stay indoors as much as you possibly can. Keep an eye on the City' s COVID- 19 page on our website along with our Facebook and Nextdoor pages.

Though we must physically distance ourselves from one another, we are still together. We look forward to the day we can once again be with each other to celebrate what makes Winter Haven so special. For now, keep doing what you are doing to be well, and take care. We wish you and your family good health.


Brad Dantzler

Mayor, City of Winter Haven



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