Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
December 18, 2020
This is the year that we say a sad, but fond good-by to Nassau County Supervisor of Elections Vicki Cannon, who is retiring after 20 years of registering voters, conducting elections, and providing answers to both simple and complex questions posed by the community. Anyone who ever interacted with Vicki during her 20 years as Elections Supervisor was full of compliments and effusive with praise for Vicki and her exceptionally capable staff.
It seems a bit ironic that Vicki assumed office with the controversial 2000 Election and that her last national election was the controversial 2020 Election. But she had one more election to go: the December 8 Fernandina Beach City Commission run-off election, which was won in a squeaker by David Sturges, who won by a grand total of 40 votes.
Vicki served as long time City Clerk for the City of Fernandina Beach before her election to the position of Supervisor of Elections. There she made many friends as she began her election experience by conducting City elections. She became familiar with polling place requirements and knowledgeable about state election law, making her the ideal candidate to replace the retiring County Supervisor of Elections, Shirley King.
We at the Fernandina Observer had regular contact with Vicki during election years. She not only got us answers to our many questions, but she did it quickly and professionally. And she always, always gave credit to those she called “my incredible staff.”
While many of us in the City hoped to honor Vicki’s service with a Proclamation of Appreciation, that was not to be. Not because the City was unwilling, but because Vicki did not want the attention. She always believed that she was just doing her job to the best of her ability.
So as a compromise and with little fanfare (again in keeping with Vicki’s wishes) the City sent Vicki Cannon a heartfelt letter of appreciation on November 6 signed by all the City Commissioners, the text of which is reproduced below:
Dear Ms. Cannon:
It is with great honor that the City of Fernandina Beach recognizes you upon your retirement following a long and distinguished career as the Nassau County Supervisor of Elections.
You unequivocally served Nassau County’s residents with professionalism and integrity for over twenty years by faithfully and thoroughly fulfilling your weighty Supervisor roles and responsibilities; frequently going above and beyond to ensure the tasks at hand were completed with meticulous attention to detail.
During your tenure, you dramatically improved and expanded voting processes, systems, procedures, increased voter participation, reduced election costs, provided accessible and more efficient voting options and so much more, all while strictly adhering to all applicable Florida Statutes and legislative requirements.
As an elected, Florida constitutional officer, you are widely respected for overseeing elections without a hint of taint and running a tight ship. You never shied away from daunting tasks, and by so doing, blazed a trail of advocacy, innovation and improvement in the transparency and validation of elections. The sincere and conscientious efforts you demonstrated on the job during your two decades of dedicated service noticeably benefitted the citizens of Nassau County.
The City Commission of the City of Fernandina Beach, Florida, hereby expresses genuine and sincere gratitude for your outstanding professional efforts. Please know this letter of appreciation is presented as a permanent matter of record as further testimony of our irrefutable appreciation.
Please accept our best wishes for a long, fulfilling, well-earned, and well-deserved retirement.
So Vicki, as you begin to enjoy your well earned retirement, know that the sentiments above are echoed by the Fernandina Observer on behalf of all the voters you have so faithfully served.
Susan Steger and Suanne Thamm