Historic City News learned the City of St. Augustine’s organizational structure for the 450th Commemoration which articulates the roles of the city commission, federal commission, city employees and consultants, and community organizations.
The St. Augustine City Commission came to the unanimous decision to seize this unique opportunity and celebrate the legacies that make St. Augustine what it has become today and to make the community a better place for tomorrow. The City Commission developed goals that will be used to guide planning efforts for the commemoration.
City Commission Members include:
• Joseph L. Boles, Mayor
• Leanna Freeman, Vice Mayor
• Errol Jones
• Nancy Sikes-Kline
• William “Bill” Leary
The responsibilities of the City Commission include:
• Create and staff a 450th Commemoration office
• Develop the structure of planning
• Provide leadership in community, national and international initiatives
• Direct available resources to the commemoration
• Serve as hosts to 450th Commemoration events
A Federal Commission for the 450th Commemoration event was enacted on March 30, 2009, when Congressional House Bill 146 became Public Law 111-11 by order of United States President Barack Obama. The congressional act and public law created a 14-member Federal Commission appointed by the United States Secretary of the Interior, Kenneth Salazar.
Federal Commission members include:
• Joseph L. Boles, Jr. , Mayor of St. Augustine
• Katharine H. Dickenson, Historic Preservationist
• Katherine Fernandez Rundle, Miami-Dade State Attorney
• Michael Francis, Professor of History, University of North Florida
• Michael Gannon, Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus of History, UF
• Bob Graham, former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator
• Jay Kislak, President, Kislak Mortgage Corp. and National Park Foundation Board Member
• Eduardo Padron, President, Miami Dade College
• Bruce Smathers, Former Florida Secretary of State
• Robert Stanton, Senior Advisor to the Secretary, Department of the Interior
• Thomas S. Willis, Pastor, Cathedral Parish, St. Augustine, Florida
• Gordon Wilson, Superintendent, Castillo de San Marcos National Monument
• Andrew Young, former U.S. Representative, Mayor of Atlanta, and U.N. Ambassador
The responsibilities of the Federal Commission include:
• Plan, develop and carry out programs and activities appropriate for the commemoration
• Facilitate activities relating to the commemoration throughout the United States
• Encourage civic, patriotic, historical, educational, artistic, religious, economic, and other organizations throughout the United States to organize and participate in anniversary activities to expand understanding and appreciation of the significance of the founding and continuing history of St. Augustine
• Provide technical assistance to States, localities and nonprofit organizations to further the commemoration
• Coordinate and facilitate for the public scholarly research on, publication about, and interpretation of, St. Augustine
• Ensure that the commemoration provides a lasting legacy and long-term public benefit by assisting in the development of appropriate programs
• Help ensure that the observances of the foundation of St. Augustine are inclusive and appropriately recognize the experiences and heritage of all individuals present when St. Augustine was founded
City Employees & Consultants
The City of St. Augustine currently has two staff members who are dedicated full-time to the 450th Commemoration and include:
• Dana Ste. Claire, Development Director
• Jennifer Zuberer, Communications & Resources Manager
Ste. Claire and Zuberer will work closely in planning the 450th Commemoration. Ste. Claire will focus on the federal and national level of the planning process, including signature events, while Zuberer will work closely with the local community.
Both of the 450th Commemoration employees are managed by:
• John Regan, City Manager
As possible funding becomes available, plans are to hire a 450th Commemoration Director. If this takes place, then the 450th Commemoration Director will report to City Manager John Regan. This position will also manage Ste. Claire, Zuberer and sponsor development.
The ideal candidate for this position includes someone who has experience in all aspects of large-scale event planning, such as the Olympics. This position will allow City Manager John Regan to refocus more of his efforts on the day-to-day city operations.
Consultants will be hired as needed for certain aspects of the planning process, including sponsor development, volunteer management and collectible creation.
An integral part of the organizational structure of the 450th Commemoration is community organizations and involvement. The majority of the events, including a number of signature events, will be coordinated and funded by community organizations. This commemoration would not be possible without the support and resources of such organizations.