A couple of years ago, they gave him a roast. This time around, it was a toast.
An unsuspecting Herb Savage — lured to the Aug. 3 City Council meeting ostensibly to lead the pledge of allegiance — showed surprise and delight when council Chairman Rob Popoff afterwards began to read out a proclamation in his honor.
It was the city’s highest civic honor, The Golden Eagle Award, which has so far been given to just a handful of other people.
A visibly touched Savage — an affable, iconic octogenarian whose roots go back to the island’s original development through high-ranking association with the Deltona Corporation developers — listened as Popoff read the proclamation.
It stated, in part, that Savage more than met the awards requirements by having a “long, honorable history of service to fellow citizens.”
It continued that Savage “thrives on helping others, and has made endless civic and charitable contributions to Marco Island during his lifetime.”
Also mentioned was his contribution as the island’s architect during his tenure as vice-president with the Deltona Corporation, and his “countless military services and remembrances ... dedication and service to his country during World War II.”
For once a little short on words, Savage instead responded with his equally traditional and sonorous rendition of God Bless America.
Afterwards, Chairman Popoff said honoring deserving citizens with the Golden Eagle Award is paramount.
“We’ve had so many divisive issues on the island, we’ve lost track,” he said. “We need to do more of this.”