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City Council

Meet your City Council


MayorMayor
Carolyn Freeland
District 3 - Term 2013 - 2015
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Born in Ft. Myers, Carolyn Freeland relocated to Punta Gorda from Washington, DC, with her husband Tom, in 1997. As a partner in Smith, Bucklin & Associates' DC Office, she served for over thirteen years as Executive Director for a number of education and health care associations and, among other contributions, established a continuing education Management Institute for colleagues.

She taught in higher education institutions for ten years prior to her time in Washington, having obtained her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Purdue University in communication theory and educational psychology. More recently, Carolyn served for four years as the Executive Director of the Charlotte Community Foundation, the organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in Charlotte County.

Carolyn's experience includes heading organizational audit teams that assess all aspects of an organization's management systems. She has served as a facilitator and strategic planning consultant for professional and trade organizations, governmental agencies, foundations, businesses and educational institutions, including several here in Charlotte County.

While she has held elective office on several national boards, locally she has served as Public Relations Chair for Charlotte County Foundation's Learning in Retirement Board and as Planning Governor for the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association. Between 2004 and 2006, she served as President-Elect, President and Past President for PGICA. Carolyn is also a member of the Punta Gorda Chamber of Commerce, the Visual Arts Center, the Arts and Humanities Council of Charlotte County and the Mariners of PGI.

Recognized as an accomplished executive and skilled analysist, negotiator and coalition builder, Carolyn looks forward to working with City Council, staff and residents in making decisions about our City's future - not only doing "things" right, but doing the "right" things for Punta Gorda.


District1Vice Mayor
Kim Devine
District 1 - Term 2012 - 2014
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Kim Devine's vision for Punta Gorda sees a city of diversity and opportunity that welcomes newcomers, cherishes long-timers, celebrates tradition and plans for the future with the best possible tools to meet the challenges ahead.

Kim put down her Punta Gorda roots more than 20 years ago. Since then, she has been an enthusiastic presence in the City's business, professional and non-profit communities. Her 1991 founding of Punta Gorda-based Partners in Development and her management leadership since then have established her as a steady and respected member of the City's business and professional circles.

Her business interests have helped put a Punta Gorda address in front of an international market that extends to Hawaii and the Bahamas with specialized cardiac care practices and medical strategic planning. Kim is recognized for her highly effective professional practice management, development, marketing and financial planning services that help our community's caregivers fulfill their personal and professional goals. In addition to medical professional planning and development, her expertise has grown along with the City and includes affiliations with downtown real estate partnerships, such as the City's landmark Bank of America building and the 11-acre Central Park medical offices center across the bridge in Port Charlotte. Kim has been an active partner in local publishing and web start-up companies.

Kim has applied enthusiasm and an entrepreneurial spirit to benefit the community at large. She gives regular and significant support to Punta Gorda's leading non-for-profit organizations: YMCA, American Heart Association and American Cancer Society. She is a spark plug fund raiser and spokesperson for BackPackKids, a nutritional program for needy school children that picks up where school lunch programs leave off. Her commitment to Expressions from Beautiful Minds has helped advance a unique arts and humanities program for people suffering memory loss.

Originally from Michigan, Kim maintains her Wolverine connections via her brother who lives not far from their childhood home. Kim's daughter and grandson live in Denver; she shares Punta Gorda with her mother, brother, sister and aunt.


District2Councilmember
Rachel Keesling
District 2 - Term 2012 - 2014
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Rachel grew up in Charlotte County, completing K-12 in Charlotte County Public Schools. She graduated Charlotte High School in 1987 and went on to graduate from the University of Florida in 1991. Rachel earned an Education Degree and taught middle and high school in Lee and Charlotte counties. Rachel has been an active volunteer in the local schools and in the community. She has recently completed a Master's Degree in Educational Technology at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Rachel is in her second term on the Council, previously serving as the Vice Mayor. Rachel co-chaired the City's 125th Anniversary Celebration in 2012, which entailed organizing many community events for all to enjoy.

Rachel and her husband, Klint, have been City residents for 20 years and are raising their family here. The Keeslings enjoy boating, traveling and attending sporting events (Go Rays!). Rachel strives to make a difference in her community and to preserve the unique character of Punta Gorda for the next generation.


District4Councilmember
Tom Cavanaugh
District 4 - Term 2012 - 2014
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Tom Cavanaugh grew up in the Bronx, New York, attended Queens College of Liberal Arts, subsequently completing Construction Technology courses at the State University of New York in Farmingdale. Tom earned an honorable discharge from the New York State Army National Guard. He moved to Punta Gorda from Long Island New York with his wife Helen in 2004, just in time for Hurricane Charley.

Tom Cavanaugh worked as a New York City building contractor for more than 25 years. His company completed contracts on many of New York's signature skyscrapers. During that time period, Tom served on the Board of Directors of the NYC Sheet Metal Contractors Association, participated in labor/management contract negotiations and represented the Sheet Metal Contractors on the NYC Building Trades Association.

After arriving in Punta Gorda, Tom was able to put his skills to work volunteering on TEAM Punta Gorda's Operating Committee and subsequetly heading up TEAM Punta Gorda's Resource Center which was charged with the implementation of the Citizen's Master Plan. Tom served as Chairman of the Punta Gorda Building Board and represented the Punta Gorda Sailing Club on the Boaters Alliance.

Tom is looking forward to working with the community and his colleagues on Council, continuing the effort to make Punta Gorda the "best it can be".


District5 Councilmember
Nancy Prafke
District 5 - Term 2013 - 2015
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Originally from Springfield, Ohio, Nancy moved to Punta Gorda in 2005 from Evergreen, Colorado. She began volunteering in Burnt Store Isles where she and her husband John live. Nancy was drawn to helping our community get back on its feet after Hurricane Charley and began volunteering with TEAM Punta Gorda, a grass-roots civic organization, in 2006. She became the volunteer CEO at the end of 2007 and provided leadership that resulted in the completion of many collaborative solutions for our community. During her tenure, Nancy worked with many government and civic leaders throughout Punta Gorda and Charlotte County. She resigned her CEO position in April 2013, to run for the City Council position.

Nancy also served as Ride Director of the annual Punta Gorda Pedal and Play in Paradise Bicycle Tour from 2011 to 2013 that brought riders to our community from all over Florida and beyond; is a member of the City's One Community – One Message marketing team; was a co-creator of the marketing theme "Punta Gorda – It's Happening on the Harbor"; was a recipient of the 2012 Joanie Award for her exceptional commitment to volunteerism and leadership; serves on the Board of Directors of the Punta Gorda History Center; is a member of the Punta Gorda and Charlotte County Chambers of Commerce; is a graduate of Leadership Charlotte Class of 2009; is an active University of Florida Master Gardener; and a member of the Charlotte County Landscape Committee.

With experience in education and retailing, Nancy spent most of her career in telecommunications with AT&T and subsequent spin-offs Lucent Technologies and Avaya. She is a graduate of Bowling Green State University, BS; The Ohio State University, MS; and Colorado State University, MBA.

Nancy believes "We need to support existing businesses and attract new ones to create more jobs. Attracting a diverse population of young and old year-round residents will help sustain our business community. We must move forward while maintaining our city's unique charm and personality. There’s a quality of life here you can’t find elsewhere."


City Hall
326 West Marion Ave.
Punta Gorda, FL. 33950
Tel. (941) 575-3369
Fax. (941) 575-3365
E-mail all the Council Members