SEBRING — Just east of County Road 635 and State Road 66 is Markland Lane.
“It’s still an unpaved road, even today, but the county grades it. People can get back and forth to work, even on rainy days. And that’s because of Guy Maxcy,” said former Highlands County Administrator Carl Cool.
Chester Guy Maxcy, 60, died early Tuesday, reportedly following complications from knee replacement surgery.
“I enjoyed working for him,” Cool said. “The whole time I knew him, he was trying to do the right thing for the people. There was never one time, the whole time I knew him, that he did anything in the category of selfish. It was always what was good for Highlands County.”
Flags were lowered to half staff after the news arrived that Maxcy had died.
Maxcy, who was born and raised in Highlands County, was elected to the county commission in 1992. With 18 years on the job, he was the longest serving commissioner on the board. He resigned to run for tax collector in 2010, and he was appointed DeSoto County’s interim administrator in May 2011. In October 2011, Maxcy was hired permanently.
“He has done an excellent job,” said DeSoto County Commissioner James Selph. “Guy was a great guy, he was a good friend. I can’t tell you the number of people who have told me, ‘You got the best county administrator we ever had.’ It was his ability to handle staff. He wasn’t just working for the commissioners and the county, he was working for our staff as well.”
Maxcy owned and operated Maxcy Insurance Group for more than two decades, was elected past president of the Florida Association of Counties, sat on the Heartland Workforce Investment Board, the Library Advisory Committee, the Health Care Council and Rural Health network, Heartland Library Cooperative, Highlands County Adjustment Board and the canvassing board. Until he was hired by DeSoto County, he lived in Sebring with his wife Jacque and three children.
An avid outdoorsman, Maxcy was a Sebring Fireman, an organization that supports youth sports.
“Guy loved his community, he loved the youth of the community, and he was a good servant of the county,” said his fellow Fireman, Charlie Taylor. “And he was a good father and a good husband to his wife Jacque. He was involved with the Firemen’s organization for many years. Guy loved baseball. It was one his favorite sports. And we’re going to miss him terribly.”
“He was a go-lucky type of guy,” said Edgar Stokes, who served three terms on the county commission with Maxcy. “He just seemed to enjoy life. I was surprised at his capabilities. He was a commissioner for all those years, and then he went over to Arcadia to be the administrator.
Maxcy’s greatest ability as a commissioner? “He was willing to listen and learn before he made a decision. We all liked Guy.”
Commissioner Don Elwell ran for commissioner the same year Maxcy resigned to run for tax collector, so he sought advice from the veteran.
“He told me, don’t even think about trying to please everybody. It can’t be done. Just stick to your convictions, and dedicate enough time to try to do the job right.
“He had an incredible wealth of knowledge of the recent history of Highlands County,” Elwell said. I liked to ask him questions about the things we were going through. I’m going to miss him on many levels.”
Markland Lane was in Maxcy’s district, Cool said. “But it probably wouldn’t have mattered if it wasn’t. Guy didn’t own any property out there. Guy just realized they need the county’s help. And we must have discussed it 20 times. He wouldn’t let up. The other commissioners probably got tired of hearing about it. We had meeting after meeting on that road. He just kept saying, ‘We have got to find a way to help these people.’”
Services are pending at Morris Funeral Chapel.