Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
December 16, 2020
Following the November General Election and the December Run Off Election, two newly elected Commissioners and one reelected Commissioner were sworn in by City Clerk Caroline Best at the City’s Organizational Meeting on December 15, 2020 to serve on the Fernandina Beach City Commission, where they will make policy to guide the City for the next four years.
Bradley Bean defeated a single opponent and was elected to take the seat vacated by Commissioner Mayor John Miller, who retired due to term limits. During remarks at the end of his first meeting, Bean said, “I am fired up to be serving the people of Fernandina Beach. This is a great first meeting and we’ve already had a lot of important votes. I’m excited about more coming up. I appreciate the people of Fernandina Beach for putting me here. I appreciate my fellow Commissioners. It’s a pleasure to start working, and I’m looking forward to serving.”
David Sturges defeated two opponents to win the seat being vacated by retiring Commissioner Phil Chapman. During his remarks at the end of his first meeting, Sturges said, “I want to begin by thanking all the staff for their help and I truly look forward to working with the staff of the City of Fernandina Beach. I appreciate everyone’s condolences on the passing of my Mother. It’s very hard to deal with that 6 hours before your final day of campaigning. I appreciate everyone’s support during this time. I loved this meeting, and I love being part of the actual working of the government. I look forward to serving the people, and I am enjoying every minute.”
Chip Ross, the only incumbent Commissioner to seek reelection, defeated a single opponent in the General Election. During his remarks in the meeting that followed the Organizational Meeting, Ross welcomed both new Commissioners. “I hope we have the same collegial relationship that Commissioners have enjoyed over the past 2 years,” Ross said, noting that during 94 percent of the votes taken during that time, votes were unanimous.