Filling the vacancy for St Augustine mayor

With Nancy Shaver’s resignation as St. Augustine Mayor yesterday, Thursday, February 28th, the clock started running for the remaining four members of the city commission to select an interim mayor to complete her term of office.

Following are some of the most asked questions of Historic City News reporters about that process with answers provided by city staff.

When will the new mayor be selected?

  • The City Charter gives the remaining commissioners 10 days to appoint a replacement; otherwise, the Governor will fill the vacancy. The commission will initiate that process at a special meeting on Monday, March 4 at 9:00am in The Alcazar Room, City Hall, 75 King St. The meeting is open to the public and will be broadcast live on GTV/Comcast channel 3 and streamed live at www.CityStAugTV.com where it will be available for on-demand viewing the next day.

Who is qualified to be appointed to fill out the term?

  • There are no qualifications for the new mayor above those required for anyone who would have sought the office through a regular election, being anyone who is a qualified elector, i.e. a resident of the city and of voting age.

Why doesn’t the vice mayor automatically fill the position?

  • The City Charter provides that the vice mayor, or another commissioner, may fill in for the mayor during temporary absences, but not automatically fill the office in the event of a permanent vacancy, such as in case of a resignation.

When will the new mayor take office?

  • The new mayor takes office immediately after being selected by the commission’s majority vote and being sworn into office which must occur within the 10-day window allowed by the City Charter. The new mayor is selected to complete the current term of office which expires on December 7, 2020, the first Monday in December following the next regular election.

Does the mayor have powers not afforded other members of the commission?

  • Since St. Augustine has a city manager form of government, as opposed to a strong mayor form, the position of mayor is largely ceremonial with the city’s day-to-day operations being handled by the city manager. The position of mayor, in this form of government, carries no more authority that the other members of the commission, although the mayor does chair commission meetings and signs official documents on behalf of the commission. Also, the mayor is often the most visible member of the commission largely by virtue of being most often called upon to represent the city at formal events.

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