When the St Augustine City Commission convenes on Monday evening, one of their responsibilities will be to fill the vacant seat on the Historic Architectural Review Board resigned by John Valdes. I would like to tell you why I believe Walter J. O’Kon would be an excellent choice for that seat.
I cannot overstate the importance of this appointment. If you take a moment to acquaint yourself with what it is, exactly, that can be acted upon by the favorable nod of just three of the members of this five-man board, I am confident you will understand why I feel that it is important to “weigh in” before tomorrow’s meeting.
I have known Walter O’Kon since he moved to St Augustine in 1980. In those past 34-years, my dealings with him have proven him to be a seasoned and veteran professional who excels in his craft. He is experienced in working with small and large groups of people and will show positive leadership and creative problem solving while serving on the Historic Architectural Review Board.
All members of the Historic Architectural Review Board shall have either thorough training or experience in:
- history or related fields
- architectural history
- historic architecture
- art history
Walter can claim training and experience in all five — and more. To his professional credits, in addition to providing acoustical consulting, he has designed over $400,000,000 worth of custom single, multi family, and group housing projects; he has designed school wings, churches, restaurants, fire stations, funeral homes, chocolate factories and other specialty buildings; he is experienced in the adaptive re-use of property, historic preservation, and qualified to testify as an expert witness.
We are at a point in our history where we need to hear the voice of a man like Walter O’Kon. A master with the working tools of his craft, you can always expect to meet O’kon on the level. He is well invested in the community, is a business property owner and taxpayer within the city limits of St Augustine. Expect him to act on the plumb because Walter O’kon possesses the integrity and moral character to rise above the call. When dealing with Walter, we always part on the square.
If the City Commission selects his application for appointment, Walter O’Kon will be of enormous value to the other members of the Historic Architectural Review Board — as well as the entire community.