Upchurch officially takes office today but public ceremony will be Monday

Historic City News learned today that 62-year-old Tracy Wilson Upchurch, who is a resident of Old Quarry Road on Anastasia Island, officially became St. Augustine’s 120th mayor since the end of the city’s colonial period in 1821.

A ceremonial investiture will take place prior to Monday night’s regular meeting of the St Augustine City Commission.  Today’s activities were made necessary because the City Charter only allows 10-days from the effective date of any vacancy for the remaining members of the commission to select and install a replacement.  Otherwise, the appointment authority goes to the governor.

So, although there were no speeches, no political glad-handing, no kissing of babies or torturous smiling for awkwardly posed photographs; Darlene Galambos, the city clerk, administered the Oath of Office to Mayor Upchurch making the transaction official.  That act satisfied the requirement that the oath be administered within 10 days from the February 28th resignation of former mayor Nancy Shaver.

Just prior to the regular meeting of the St Augustine City Commission on Monday, March 11th, Mayor Upchurch will stand for a second, ceremonial investiture and oath in a brief ceremony in a more formal setting and in the company of his family, friends and fellow Commissioners.

If you plan to attend, the ceremony begins at 4:45 p.m. followed immediately at 5:00 p.m. by the regular commission meeting. Both the public ceremony and the meeting will be held in the Alcazar Room of City Hall located at 75 King Street.

For your convenience, the Monday night ceremonies will be broadcast live on GTV/Comcast channel 3 as well as streamed live and available for on-demand viewing the next day.

It was just a week ago today that Nancy Shaver announced her resignation from the office of mayor, a position she held since 2014. Shaver experienced a stroke on February 25th and made the decision to resign three days later to focus on her recovery.  Last Monday morning, Upchurch was unanimously selected by the remaining four commissioners to complete Shaver’s unexpired term of office, which ends December 31, 2020.