Citing increasing demands on his schedule and his expectation that the trend in management of the St Augustine Beach City Commission’s agenda will continue to grow, Commissioner Gary Snodgrass offered his resignation shortly after 6:00 p.m. at the commencement of the regular city commission meeting last night.
Snodgrass said that it had been a real privilege to serve nearly 7-years in office, two terms of which he served as the city’s mayor. But during that time, he explained how the demands of his office are exceeding his ability to continue to participate.
“When I began, we held 16 meetings a year, the next two years it was 17 meetings, and last year it was 27 meetings and we are starting an hour earlier,” Snodgrass told the Board and audience. “Having talked this over with my wife, I feel this is the best decision for me, my family, and the city.”
Snodgrass has been involved in heated debates at the commission dais during his years of service, not always in agreement with other members of the Board. He has been on the winning and losing side of issues involving the city government.
Pointing out his near perfect attendance record at meetings and important events, Snodgrass said balancing his civic duties, his business, and personal life have left him with regular changes to his schedule.
Snodgrass enumerated eight or ten successes since he took office, mentioning his satisfaction that public safety is remaining a high priority and recognizing the state accreditation held by the police department. He mentioned Chief Robert Hardwick and his staff as well as City Manager Max Royle, saying that they are “doing a super job of managing the city”.
“Before departing,” Snodgrass said, “I want you all to know that the state of the city is good — it’s very good.”
Mayor Rich O’Brien said that Snodgrass’ announcement and resignation came as a surprise. Apparently, none of the other commissioners were expecting the abrupt departure, either. Mayor O’Brien said, “Commissioner Snodgrass has been a mentor to me and many others here at the city”
In closing Snodgrass said that he and his wife would be writing a check to pay for the cost of the annual employee’s Christmas party and they would be making a $2,500 donation to the YMCA at St Augustine Beach to be used for scholarships for local children.
And then, without further ado, Commissioner Snodgrass concluded, “I bid you a fond farewell, and good night.” He quietly stood up from his seat and left the meeting as fellow commissioners, city staff, and members of the audience stood to offer their applause.