Councilman Stephen R. Shelley
Current & Previous Experience
Councilman Stephen R. Shelley was elected to a two-year term as Vice Mayor and four-year term as Councilman in November 2017 to represent Council Seat #1, which includes the city's northwest district. In January 2019, Councilman Shelley assumed the seat of Mayor in accordance with the City Charter and held the seat of Mayor until the City's regularly scheduled election in November 2019. Councilman Shelley was first elected to the Homestead City Council in 2009. He was subsequently elected in November of 2013 to a four year term as Councilman and a two-year term as Vice Mayor. Prior to running for City Council, Mayor Shelley was a member of the City of Homestead's Planning and Zoning Board from 2005 through 2009. He was appointed to be the Vice Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Board in 2009.
Councilman Shelley has been a resident of Homestead since 2004. He was born in Athens, Ga., but spent most of his youth on the west coast of Florida, growing up in Largo. Councilman Shelley married his wife, Jenn, in October of 2009, and had his first son, Jackson, in July of 2014. Mayor Shelley is an avid outdoorsman who loves to fish, camp and photograph nature.
In August 2006, Councilman Shelley opened his own law practice in Downtown Homestead, the Law Office of Stephen R. Shelley, PLLC. In January 2012, Councilman Shelley started his own fine art photography business in Homestead, Stephen Shelley Photography, focusing on Everglades and Biscayne National Parks, the Florida Keys, Big Cypress National Preserve and South Florida.
In 2011, Councilman Shelley was named one of the “40 under 40” attorneys in Miami-Dade County by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and was honored at their annual black-tie gala in Coral Gables.
Councilman Shelley obtained a bachelor’s degree in business and economics from the University of Florida and a law degree from Barry University, Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law, completing his last year of legal studies at the University of Miami.
Councilman Shelley is also a graduate of the Good Government Initiative Class of 2012, the Florida League of Cities Institute for Elected Municipal Officials and the Florida League of Cities Advanced Institute for Elected Municipal Officials.
Councilman Shelley donates his time to numerous community activities, associations and nonprofit organizations. Councilman Shelley sits on the board of directors and is the treasurer of the Youth Fishing Foundation, a local 501(c)(3) organization. He is also the chairman of the St. Johns School Board; a member of the Rotary Club of Homestead; a member of the Military Affairs Committee; and is Vice Chairman of the Florida National Parks Association; the official non-profit arm of the National Park Service for Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve and Dry Tortugas National Park. Councilman Shelley is also a member of the Homestead / Florida City Chamber of Commerce, in addition to donating his time and pro bono legal services to other nonprofits throughout Homestead and South Dade.
Military Appreciation Day
In 2012, Councilman Shelley spearheaded and implemented the First Annual Military Appreciation Day in Downtown Homestead. The Military Appreciation Day is now an annual event that continues to grow and focuses on honoring the service and sacrifices made by our local military men and women throughout the world.
Homestead "Gateway to Everglades and Biscayne National Parks"
Councilman Shelley also championed the resolution, which was approved by the Homestead City Council in March of 2013, to brand Homestead as the "Gateway to Everglades and Biscayne National Parks." This tagline brands the City of Homestead as a partner to our neighboring National Parks with the goal of increasing tourism and generating awareness about the unique natural resources that surrounds Homestead's City Limits.
As part of the "Gateway" concept, Councilman Shelley also proposed and spearheaded the creation of the Homestead Trolley to the National Parks which launched to a standing room only crowd in January of 2014 and transported more than 5,000 people to the national parks in its first season of operation. The Homestead Trolley takes visitors free of charge from Downtown Homestead to Everglades and Biscayne National Parks, as well as Homestead-Bayfront Park from November to April each year. You can learn more about the National Parks Trolley at www.cityofhomestead.com/gateway.
Jingle Bell Run 5K
In December 2013, Councilman Shelley worked with the local Homestead YMCA to implement the first annual Jingle Bell Run 5k, the first such event to be held in Miami-Dade County. The Jingle Bell Run 5k is held annually in December and takes the participants from Homestead Hospital to the YMCA right before sunset. It is intended to be a family fun regional event and participants are encouraged to wear festive attire such as Santa hats, bells, and other holiday themed costumes. The inaugural event had more than 350 participants.
Artist in the Spotlight Program
In 2010, Councilman Shelley created the Artist in the Spotlight program to give both amateur and professional artists alike a venue to display and promote their work. Each participating artist is given the opportunity to display his/her artwork for a two month period at the Homestead Community Center. The artist is also given the opportunity to give a special presentation at a City Council meeting to promote their artwork. All genres of art are open to participate. For more information about the program or to apply to display your artwork please contact Michelle Wells at (305) 224-4447.
From 2007 to 2010, Councilman Shelley also sat on the board for the annual City of Miami Fishing Tournament, with the proceeds benefiting children in Miami and South Dade. In 2009, Councilman Shelley created and implemented a youth scholarship program for college-bound students, giving away five $1,000 scholarships annually, with funding for the scholarships coming from the fishing tournament proceeds.