The Florida League of Cities (FLC), celebrating its 100th anniversary as the united voice for Florida's municipal governments, recently recognized three city officials -- Commissioner Chris Cloudman, Assistant City Manager Mike Grebosz and Mayor Bob Apgar -- with a 2022 Home Rule Hero Award for their hard work and advocacy efforts during the 2022 Legislative Session. All three worked tirelessly throughout session to promote local voices making local choices, protect the Home Rule powers of Florida's municipalities and advance the League's legislative agenda.
"On behalf of the League and its legislative team, we're very proud to present this year's Home Rule Hero Awards to a deserving group of municipal leaders," said FLC Director of Legislative Affairs Casey Cook. "We had a record number of Home Rule Heroes this year, which shows the dedication and impact of local officials on behalf of their residents and businesses in protecting local decision-making. These local officials were constantly engaged and actively advocating for their communities throughout the 2022 Legislative Session. They're heroes for Home Rule and we thank them for their efforts."
This is the first time DeLand has had 3 recipients in the same year.
Home Rule is the ability for a city to address local problems with local solutions with minimal state interference. Home Rule Hero Award recipients are local government officials, both elected and nonelected, who consistently responded to the League's request to reach out to members of the legislature and help give a local perspective on an issue.
"I am proud of the work our city has done to protect not only our residents but municipalities across the state," said Mayor Bob Apgar. "For some time now, state legislators have been eroding the rights of local government to self-govern when they should be collectively focused on solving problems affecting our entire state like out-of-control rent, funding for affordable housing or rising seas.
"I want to congratulate Commissioner Chris Cloudman and Assistant City Manager Mike Grebosz who have received this award 2 years in a row. As I leave office later this year, I am happy to know there are others who will continue to advocate for our city and I encourage all of our future commissioners to be active advocates for DeLand at the state level."
Commissioner Chris Cloudman was born in Boynton Beach and grew up in Port Orange. He moved to DeLand in 2008 and was appointed to Seat 4 of the City Commission in 2014 and has served ever since.
Assistant City Manager Mike Grebosz, a city resident and Stetson University graduate, has worked for the city for 17 years including the last six years as Assistant City Manager.
Mayor Apgar has won the Home Rule Hero Award multiple times since its inception in 2009. He has been very active in the Volusia League of Cities, Florida League of Mayors and the Florida League of Cities in various capacities during his time as mayor.