Wanchick will not get final year as county administrator

During the regular Tuesday meeting of the Board of St Johns County Commissioners, a vote was taken to immediately terminate the remaining contract with 69-year-old Michael David Wanchick, the embattled County Administrator whose last contract was not renewed.

In May, county commissioners Jeb Smith, Jimmy Johns, and Paul Waldron each voted not to renew the county administrator’s Professional Services Agreement for two more years when it expires on January 1, 2020.  

The Board was required to provide the administrator 180-days prior written notice of its intent not to renew the Agreement.  Otherwise, the Agreement would automatically renew for two more years.  Since the deadline to provide such notice was July 5th, the May 21, 2019 decision avoided a 20-week’s salary penalty plus benefits under what many Historic City News readers have referred to as Wanchick’s “Golden Parachute”.

Clerk of Court and Comptroller Hunter Sinclair Conrad has been named as the Interim County Administrator.

Conrad will have to resign his elected office to serve as county administrator.  Governor Ron DeSantis could appoint a new Clerk of Court and Comptroller to serve the remaining year of Conrad’s term.

“The trust and confidence the County Commission has placed in me is incredibly humbling,” Conrad, who is an elected constitutional officer, said.  “I do not take this position lightly and cannot do this alone.”

We are sure that an extra $100,000-a-year and less risk made the decision a little easier for the 33-year-old Conrad. He would have to run for re-election and win in 2020 to keep his $139,129.77-a-year job for four more years.  As county administrator, Wanchick was an appointed employee who earned $237,453.58 plus benefits.

“Whether it be serving as a prosecutor, as your Clerk and Comptroller, or, as a member of the United States Air Force, I have been dedicated to public service,” Conrad said in a statement yesterday.  “I am honored to answer another calling today by serving as Interim County Administrator for St Johns County.”

Conrad told Historic City News after yesterday’s meeting that his parents raised him to have a “servant’s heart” and to put the needs of others above his own. He says that he is proud to carry that out in all facets of his professional life.

“Over the coming weeks, I look forward to meeting with and hearing from individuals and families across St. Johns County,” Conrad announced.  “We have both opportunities and obstacles ahead, but I am confident we can reach our full potential as a County when we work together.”