St. Johns County Commissioner Mark P. Miner reported to Historic City News this afternoon that he anticipates being deployed in early 2010 and taking a temporary leave of absence from his elected duty as County Commissioner.
Miner, who is an Infantry Non-Commissioned Officer in the Florida National Guard and has previously served one tour of duty in Iraq, expects to be placed on involuntary orders beginning in January to deploy for a one-year term with HHC 2-124th Infantry of the Florida National Guard’s 53rd Infantry Brigade in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
During the deployment, Miner reluctantly plans to take a temporary leave of absence from his position as County Commissioner, during which time the Governor has the option to appoint an interim replacement. Miner has requested from Governor Charlie Crist the interim replacement to be Sergeant Major (Ret) Ray A. Quinn, an active member of the community and current Chairman of the St. Johns County Veterans Council. However, the interim appointment will be decided by the Governor.
Ray Quinn, 63, retired from the Florida National Guard in 1995 with 30 years of service, of which 22 years were spent on active duty. From 1995 until 2008 he served as the Director of Executive Services and Chief of Protocol for the Florida Department of Military Affairs and the Florida National Guard. Quinn is past president of the Kiwanis Club of Historic St. Augustine and a charter member and Vice President of the First Militia Chapter of the Association of the United States Army. He was recently appointed to the Advisory Board of Directors for the Association of the United States Army and also serves as a member of the Jacksonville National Cemetery Advisory Committee. Quinn is a longtime resident of St. Johns County District 3, which Miner currently represents.
Miner is very saddened to step away from his responsibilities as County Commissioner, but is also committed to serving and protecting the country through his military service. “My heart will remain here with the people of St. Johns County, but I have an equal responsibility to fight and defend the freedom on which America is built,” he said. “I am hopeful Governor Crist appoints Sgt. Major Quinn to serve in my absence. I have complete trust and confidence in his ability to serve the people of St. Johns County and make decisions that will be in their best interest. I look forward to returning after the deployment to again focus on the business of St Johns County.”
Miner, now 26, was elected to represent District 3 of St. Johns County in August 2008, with a four-year term lasting until 2012. At the age of 25, he was the youngest Commissioner ever elected to serve St. Johns County.