Historic City News editor Michael Gold was in attendance this morning when St Johns County Judge Charles Tinlin administered the oath of office to each of the five constitutional officers who officially begin their new four-year terms today.
Lightning struck twice this election cycle when, for the second year in a row, each of the independent officers was elected to office without any opposition.
“I think it sends a message that we like you,” Judge Tinlin told the agency executives, their families and co-workers in the audience. “More than that, it shows how much each of you is trusted to do the very best job possible for our citizens.”
Tinlin administered the oath by seniority in office; beginning with Tax Collector Dennis Hollingsworth who was first elected in 1984.
Property Appraiser Sharon Outland was next, followed by Clerk of Court Cheryl Strickland. Both women were first elected the same year — 1996.
Sheriff David Shoar followed. The former City Police Chief in St Augustine was first elected Sheriff on the retirement of long-time sheriff Neil Perry in 2004.
Supervisor of Elections, Vicky Oakes, took her oath to begin her first full term as Supervisor; having previously been appointed by Governor Rick Scott to fill the unexpired term of former Supervisor, Penny Halyburton.
All five constitutional officers submit budgets to the St Johns County Board of County Commissioners; but, they operate their individual offices in accordance with state laws governing their duties. They do not report to County Administrator Michael Wanchick, the way that regular department heads do.
The Tax Collector, Property Appraiser, Clerk of Court, Sheriff and Supervisor of Elections each serve four-year terms. Along with the St Johns County Commissioners for District 1, District 3, and District 5, they stand for re-election in Presidential Election years.
Photo credits: © 2013 Historic City News staff photographer