Jan Platt, Hillsborough political force, environmental advocate, dies at 81

Jan Platt (Hillsborough County)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Jan Platt, one of Tampa’s most notable public servants, has passed away, leaving behind a lifetime full of accomplishments.

Her cause of death has not been disclosed.

For more than 20 years, Platt, 81, served the Tampa Bay area on both the Hillsborough County Commission and the Tampa City Council.

“Hillsborough County has suffered a great loss today with the passing of former Hillsborough County Commissioner Jan K. Platt.  Commissioner Platt was the epitome of good, honest government,” said Chairman Stacy White on behalf of the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners. 

“She has left behind a great legacy that will have an impact for generations to come. On behalf of all the citizens of Hillsborough County, I offer condolences and prayers to the Platt family. ”

Platt is best known for her work on environmental issues and her fervent support of libraries—Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library in South Tampa is named in her honor.  She was also appointed to various local, state and national committees, board and task forces. She also taught history at her alma mater, Hillsborough High School, and at H. B. Plant High.

Platt was called “Commissioner No” due to her opposition to any development she worried might harm the environment.

Perhaps her most important legacy is the historic cleanup of Tampa Bay. With the help of Roger Stewart, who later became head of the Environmental Protection Commission of Hillsborough County, Platt led efforts to have Pinellas County to treat or reclaim its sewage.

In 2013, Hillsborough’s land preservation program, “ELAPP” was renamed after Platt. The program has preserved 61,000 acres of environmentally sensitive wildlife habitat and corridors.

“Jan Platt inspired me to be a better public servant.  She was honest, ethical and loved our Tampa community – from the waters of Tampa Bay to the pristine, wooded areas she worked to protect,” U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) said in a statement.  “A passionate leader, Jan’s love of the environment led her to dedicate herself to protecting and preserving our community’s natural resources, which has left an indelible legacy and future generations will be able to enjoy our bay and its waters the same way she did as a child.”

“I hope her commitment to ethics in government will inspire another generation of thoughtful leaders to serve,” Castor continued.



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