Following the recent passing of Estero Village Council member Don Brown, the remaining members voted to add Jon McLain to the council of seven which governs our young municipality. He and his wife, Mary, have lived in Belle Lago for seven years. McLain brings extensive business background to the council and enthusiasm for preserving and enhancing Estero’s quality of life. He’s the epitome of an active lifestyle in retirement. Not only does McLain represent District Three on the Village Council, but he also works as a realtor and makes time for extensive biking and kayaking excursions.
McLain was a natural choice to spearhead Estero Parkway improvements including new bike and pedestrian paths. As a veteran of the U.S. Army — serving in Korea, Fort Knox, Ky., and Ft. Carson, Colo. — McLain also is organizing the first Village-wide Veteran’s Day event at Estero Park.
When asked about his greatest motivator in life, he referenced his family’s tradition of being “MAD” — “Making A Difference every day and in every activity is a prime motivator as I awake each day. Participating without making a difference is not an option!”
1. What do you envision for Estero Parkway?
Estero Parkway needs to be resurfaced immediately while encompassing design enhancements that ensure safe passage for our pedestrians and bicyclists. I believe the final project will serve as a model for future road and landscape enhancements throughout the Village. The scope of this project also includes landscaping and irrigation improvements and some state-of-the-art lighting. There is a chance that the resurfacing and safety portion of this project could commence toward the end of this year.
2. What do you have in mind for the Village’s first Veteran’s Day program?
This will be the first Village-wide celebration for Estero, and we want all Estero residents, our Veterans and active duty military to participate. We have a full agenda including the Estero High School Color Guard and Marching Band, guest speakers, singing groups, and an Estero firetruck for display. The Village will be providing free hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, water and soft drinks. We have plans in the works for additional celebrations for Christmas and the 4th of July and possibly Memorial Day.
3. How does your business experience apply to governing a city?
The majority of my career was in the paper business. I held numerous positions including marketing, sales and management. I turned around two struggling paper companies by collaborating with the existing organizations, suppliers and customers to make the appropriate strategic changes resulting in making these companies viable business enterprises. I bring my knowledge, experience, skills, good health and enthusiasm to serve on the Village of Estero Council.
4. Why did you choose to pursue a real estate license upon retiring to Florida?
During my career, I had the opportunity to move 11 times from the West Coast to the East and to the Midwest. I know real estate from my personal moving experience, and I felt that I could reinvent myself as a Realtor. It’s been a good fit. I have met and provided services for many new Floridians and Estero neighbors.
5. What are your favorite recreational pastimes?
I have two bikes. One I ride in Belle Lago and The Vines when going to the gym. The other is a road bike, and I ride it on Estero Parkway (very carefully) and then down Three Oaks to Bonita Beach Road and back home. I occasionally ride to and around FGCU. I also enjoy kayaking down the Estero River. Kayaking gives one a unique opportunity to really enjoy the natural beauty of Florida. Every resident of Estero should give it a try. I also like fishing out of my kayak. It’s great to get into the shallow waters of the Estero River and Bay and try to catch the “really big one”!
6. What might your Estero neighbors be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a little crazy about sports car racing from Auto Cross to endurance racing. When I go to Sebring and Daytona, people are surprised that I actually pitch a pup tent. There are not many hotel rooms available during these events close to the track, so camping is a good choice. I guess I revert back to my Army days.
7. What is the most interesting place you have traveled to?
Recently we completed a trip to Ireland and Scotland in search of our ancestry. We enjoyed the trip immensely; however, we found that we now need to schedule a trip to Denmark because in addition to being Irish and Scottish, I have some Danish ancestors.