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State senator stresses communication with constituents

September 6, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , North Fort Myers Neighbor

One of the reasons State Sen. Denise Grimsley ran for public office was because she wanted to help people navigate the sometimes cumbersome process of communicating with state agencies, something her state representative did for her years ago.

As the senator representing the 26th District,

Grimsley is now trying to reach as many people as possible not only in the northernmost portions of Lee County but throughout a wide swath of rural areas in Hardee, Polk, Highlands and Desoto.

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Denise Grimsley

On Thursday, Grimsley will hold mobile office hours at the Shell Factory in the Chamber of Commerce office from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Grimsley said that while her main job is to pass legislation and pass a budget, that's just a small part of what she does, which is why she holds such hours throughout her district in addition to availability at the three main offices she has in Punta Gorda, Lake Placid and Lake Wales.

"One of the things I've tried to do as a senator is to make sure were accessible in all areas of the district. That's the genesis of the mobile office hours," Grimsley said. "We try to do them monthly and I try to remind people about them when I speak."

Grimsley said she remembers how, in her younger days, how state government impacted her life. As a business owner, she also remembers how state government had their hands in their business.

Grimsley said she didn't know that if, for example, she had an issue with the Department of Transportation, that she could call her state representative.

"It wasn't top of mind to me and I don't think it is with most others. So, when I sold the company in 2004, I decided to run for and make myself accessible and remind them to call us first before you call an attorney," Grimsley said.

Grimsley said her state representative at the time, Lindsay Harrington, was very helpful when she had an issue with the DOT.

That really stuck with her and inspires her to help others, to the point where she will meet people, if her schedule allows.

"If people can't make the mobile office hours, I've met them at night and at 7 a.m. and have talked to them on the phone. It's easier for us to help them," Grimsley said. "People are dealing with all this state burocracy. Let us help you. That's what we're here for."



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