Humans of SWFL

Meet The Mayor: Randal Henderson

He speaks with a calm authority, a skill obviously honed from his years of experience as a public figure. Mayor Henderson has been mayor of Fort Myers for almost a decade, and it shows in the way he talks about his city.

In his early years, he was invited to Fort Myers by his then-girlfriend, who was a native of the area. He was captivated by the sights, the sounds, and the inescapable feeling that life for him was nothing without this city. “It had a profound effect on me….and I moved here” he explains, apparently getting caught up in the joyous memories of the past. On the topic of new families trying to find their way, he states that “Moms and Dads should feel welcome,” a statement pulled directly from his experience as a young parent trying to find the perfect place to raise children. He shares fond memories of his youth, speaking of riding through the town on bicycles, taking in every last beautiful detail he could find.

Passion is nothing without the drive to execute it, and the drive is certainly inside of Mayor Henderson. When asked what he does as mayor, he explains that he watches over council meetings, keeping everyone on track and focused. Regarding physical changes he has made, Mayor Henderson just says: “Look around”. His efforts through the years have breathed new life into an old standard, blending modern with well-established, well-aged infrastructure. “None of this was here” he proudly exclaims, gesturing to the many shops, streets, and sculptures surrounding the finely-polished metal bench he sits upon. Restating one of his favorite quotes from colleague Mike Flanders, the mayor says “The downtowns of great cities are like everyone’s living room, they belong to everybody,” a statement he holds dear to his heart.

As the interview draws to a close, Mayor Henderson sums everything up with a single statement, a fact that he understands and holds true to his soul. “It’s a good time to be mayor of Fort Myers”.