Historic City News was watching as Sergeant Major (Ret) Ray A. Quinn, accepted high praise and kind-hearted joking on the occasion of his ceremonial transition back to civilian life; having completed his one-year appointment to the District 3 seat on the St. Johns County Commission.
With an introduction by County Administrator Michael Wanchick, pointing to Quinn’s strict, military nature, he asked, “What time does this 9:00 a.m. meeting start?” as this morning’s meeting got off to late start.
Commissioners, including Mark Miner, in whose seat Quinn was serving, echoed their appreciation for the time, preparation, and efficiency with which Quinn performed his responsibilities. Joe Stephenson remarked that Quinn was frequently present on-site in the field as problems were encountered and that Quinn’s participation always brought the County closer to solutions — not further problems.
Quinn’s comments were brief; seeing his service as an opportunity to assist residents of St. Johns County, and characterizing his most important moments being those where he was able to hear from a citizen, in need of help, and through the cooperation of County staff, resolve their problem before 5:00 p.m.
Quinn said that, in the military, he was accustomed to the benefit of a mentor for advice and counsel. Noting that Florida’s Government in the Sunshine laws prohibited him from discussions with senior commission members, he felt fortunate for Michael Wanchick and his staff for their professional guidance and support as he went about his duties.
His strongest support came from his wife and family, Quinn said — also recognizing veterans who were in the audience which he referred to as his additional support group.
In closing, Quinn promised that today’s meeting is not “farewell” for him in community service; summarizing his view of the last year on the commission, saying, “Thank you for this opportunity — God bless.”
Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News staff photographer