Commissioner Hamman Speaks to CCA’s Government Class
20-November-2015 — North Fort Myers, Fla. – Learning about local government is an often neglected subject in schools; however, local government has great impact on the daily life of citizens, asserted Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman, who visited Classical Christian Academy on Nov. 6.
“I get concerned we’re raising a generation of kids not knowing about government,” he told CCA’s high school Government class. “You need to study all forms of government, but especially local government because it’s where you can affect the most change.”
Hamman said he eagerly accepted the invitation to speak with CCA students and wishes more local schools would extend the opportunity. He talked about the many jobs of a county commissioner, which include decisions on transportation, zoning, parks and economic development.
Commissioner Hamman was not always in politics. He began his career as a television news reporter and also worked in marketing for CenturyLink. He said his background as a journalist helps him ask good questions and break down information to make it understandable.
There is no “correct” or “best” background for being a county commissioner, he said, because the board is supposed to represent the entire population of the county, with its diversity.
Hamman became a county commissioner in 2013, appointed by Florida Governor Rick Scott after another commissioner was arrested. He is now chairman of the Board of Commissioners and received more than 60 percent of the votes in the most recent election.
Josh P., an 11th grade student at CCA, asked Commissioner Hamman about term limits in local government, an issue Hamman recently addressed. In Lee County, Hamman is considered the “father of term limits,” having initiated a new law which limits county commissioners to three terms (12 years).
Commissioner Hamman commended Josh for his thoughtful questions and on his choice of style, as Josh was wearing a sharp bow tie to class that day.
“If you wear a bow tie, you’re looking for a fight,” Hamman joked. “The scrappier politicians wear the bow tie in Tallahassee.”
Commissioner Hamman also shared part of his faith story with CCA students. As a Christian, he said he wanted to make sure it was God’s will for him to run for Lee County Commissioner. He began praying if God did not want him in the job, that doors would be closed (a prayer he advised students to make when facing major life decisions). Not only did doors open, his employer a the time, CenturyLink, gave him the first contribution toward his political campaign.
Students said they enjoyed learning more about county government from Commissioner Hamman.
“I wanted my class to learn about the local government from a government official because we mostly talk about just the federal government in class.” said Mrs. Shannon Schram, CCA’s Upper School Social Studies teacher.
Story written by CCA student journalist Maggie E. Photos by Riley S.
About Classical Christian Academy:
Classical Christian Academy is the premier hybrid school in Southwest Florida. CCA offers families an academically rigorous and Christ-centered K-12 education option that blends the best aspects of private and homeschooling. Classical Christian Academy is a registered 501c(3) organization. For more information, visit www.discovercca.org and like CCA on www.facebook.com/DiscoverCCA.