Message from the Chair

I am honored to be your 2022-2023 CCLGL chair. For the past 15 years, I have had the opportunity to work with many of our section committees and members. As chair, I am committed to leadership, education, and using technology and other resources to recognize and enhance the efforts of the amazing members of our Section!

This year, we have a fantastic Executive Board. Tammi E. Bach is Chair-Elect, Peter Sweeney is Treasurer, and Victoria Mendez is Secretary. I am proud to be working with these talented attorneys. We are fortunate to have members of this team steering our Section through 2026, each with his or her unique and exceptional ideas and innovations.

The tragedies and unprecedented challenges of the pandemic brought our Section together like never before. I watched and was privileged to participate as our Section’s members guided and assisted each other. As a city attorney during that time, I personally don’t know what I would have done in March 2020 if it were not for our Section. I watched as local government attorneys proved to be “first responders” to our first responders and to all who stepped up to serve and lead our communities through those dark days. We must keep that leadership and momentum going and continue to grow our Section. I am committed to further a culture of inclusivity and network of trust among our CCLGL membership, so we continue to work together and collaborate even when the pandemic has passed.

I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to reflect on the changes and successes, I have seen in the very short time that I have served on the Executive Board. Starting with past chair David Miller, who was vigilant in his platform to get our Section Bylaws approved by the Florida Bar and provide a new dynamic website. This mission was carried forward by past chair Donald Crowell, who spent endless hours refining the Section’s website and overseeing our finances. I also have to send a special thank you to our immediate past chair, Amanda Coffey, as she put forth extraordinary efforts to survey our membership and act upon their requests to enhance and increase section communication through the website and all social media outlets. Amanda now serves as the Communications Chair and I know she will use this position to continue her goal of timely and quality communication to our members. I also need to recognize our Section Liaison, Ricky Libbert, who works tirelessly for our Section and our members. She truly is an advocate for CCLGL and after serving as the Chair-Elect and planning the 45th Annual Conference, I fully understand she is available from morning to night to ensure the success of this Section.

As Chair-Elect, our Executive Board worked very hard on the 45th Annual Conference and those efforts seemed to be well received by the members and their families who attended the event. As always, our speakers were top-notch and provided education that is necessary in our daily roles as government attorneys. For the first time, CCLGL had a sponsorship program that raised approximately $41,000 for this section event. Through this sponsorship, our section had its first Casino Night networking event, including the amazing Rogue Theory Band, which encouraged networking and creating new friends among the membership. After a fun-filled night of getting to know one another, we expanded our networking at the barbecue lunch where our members brought their families and were given the opportunity to meet and interact in a fun, social environment.

I am excited about the upcoming year, but I also know that I cannot be successful without all the volunteers in our Section committees. I want to encourage each member to get involved with our Section as a volunteer or a Friend of the Section sponsor. We are planning the 46th Annual Conference, which is also the 50th anniversary of our Section, so this year members can also get involved by attending this historical event.

I look forward to working with all of you and encourage you to reach out to me or any of the officers to let us know your needs from the CCLGL section.

Janette Smith Headshot
Janette M. Smith, 2022-2023 Chair