The City of Clermont has lost a longtime councilman and advocate.
Clermont City Councilman Ray Goodgame, 85, passed away on July 28.
“Ray was a great supporter of the City of Clermont,” Clermont City Manager Darren Gray said. “He will be missed. Our thoughts go out to his family during this difficult time.”
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sat., Aug. 10 at the First United Methodist Church of Clermont. Goodgame is survived by his wife, Judy, and his children and grandchildren.
Goodgame passionately served the citizens of the City of Clermont for 15 years. He was recently nominated for the Florida League of Cities’ “E. Harris Drew” Municipal Official Lifetime Achievement Award.
“If you have recently moved to Clermont, know that you are living in the best-managed city any place,” Goodgame wrote in a column published in the “South Lake Tablet” in July 2018. “We have one of the highest ranked Fire Departments around. Our Police Department is outstanding as well. Take a look around and study any other city and I believe you will find out you are living in the greatest city in the USA. Thank you for the privilege of serving as your representative.”
The Kings Ridge resident of 17 years was sworn into office on Nov. 9, 2004 from a Special Election to fill the unexpired term for Seat 2. His current term was set to expire in November 2019.
During his time, he was appointed by council to the role of Mayor Pro Tem. Goodgame has served as the past chairman of the Lake-Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization, past president of the Clermont Historical Society, a member of the South Lake Transportation Task Force, a member of the West Orange-South Lake Transportation and Economic Development Task Force, a board member and liaison of the Cooper Memorial Library Association, a board member of the Community Foundation of South Lake, a member of the Clermont Kiwanis Club, a member of the Lions Club and a member of the South Lake Chamber of Commerce. He also served on the Tourism Development Council and on the Firefighters Pension Board of Trustees.
Goodgame has been a big proponent of affordable housing for seniors and has worked closely with New Beginnings. He has attended neighborhood watch meetings, praising the Clermont Police Department for its community efforts. He advocated for the city become involved in a Feed Clermont program to donate food to hungry citizens by providing collection boxes and collaborating with local businesses and food banks. Goodgame also suggested a veterans monument for Clermont; implementing an incentive for local contractors when bidding on projects; and having the county provide more funding to existing parks and to purchase additional land for parks. He was honored by the Boy Scouts.
The councilman helped lead Lake County’s largest city through an exciting time of unprecedented business and population growth, as well as the adoption of Clermont’s award-winning $30 million Downtown-Waterfront Master Plan in 2015 and the city’s rebranding to Choice of Champions in 2014. He helped approve the recent annexation of the 250-acre Olympus Project into the city, which is estimated to create over 4,000 jobs and over $1.4 billion in economic impact.
During his time as a council member, the city has earned numerous awards, including Best Central Florida City to Live In, Best Central Florida City to Launch a New Business, Top 20 City in America for Retirees and Top 20 American Cities Leading the Way in Economic Development and Quality of Life.
Goodgame attended First United Methodist Church and was in a weekly men’s Bible study. The retired mechanical engineer and Army veteran earned his bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Auburn University and was from Birmingham, Alabama.