was elected to the Alachua County Commission in 2000, and is now
serving in his fourth term. He has served as Chair of the County
Commission (three times,) Chair of the Metropolitan Transportation
Planning Organization (twice,) and Chair of the Alachua County Library
District Governing Board. He serves on the board of several local
non-profit organizations, including Friends of Paynes Prairie and
Current Problems, a local organization that works for clean water.
He was born in Georgia and grew up in a dozen different communities
before moving to Gainesville, where he graduated from Buchholz High
School in 1982. He holds undergraduate degrees in Zoology (Clemson
University,) and Journalism (University of Georgia,) and completed two
years of graduate study in Ecology at the University of Tennessee.
Mike has worked a huge variety of jobs over the years, from teaching
biology lab to bartending. He currently owns and manages rental
properties primarily in the Gainesville area. He is married to Busy
Shires Byerly, who works for the Conservation Trust for Florida, a
nonprofit land trust (until she makes it big on the competitive dressage
circuit.) They live near Micanopy in an off-the-grid solar home with
their baby daughter.
Mike likes to travel, when he's not kayaking, hiking, skiing,
reading, growing things, or poking about in the woods with his camera.