Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
February 16, 2022
At the February 15, 2022 Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) meeting Mayor Mike Lednovich read a Proclamation honoring former Mayor, Vice Mayor, and Commissioner Ron Sapp for his 24 years of public service to the City over four decades.
The Proclamation called out Sapp as a staunch supporter of conservation and controlled development within City limits,, His accomplishments included the introduction of the Open Space Bond Issue which was the primary funding source for the Egan’s Creek Greenway, opening and preservation of over forty public beach accesses, establishing construction height limits, eliminating beach front lot consolidation, initiating the Seaside Park and North Beach Park projects, representing the City in negotiations with the Nassau County School Board to purchase the Peck High School property, collaborating with key African American community leaders to secure state and local funding for the Peck Center rehabilitation project, as well as introduction and sponsorship of the Main Beach Revitalization project which resulted in boardwalk construction, new expanded lighting, and landscaping.
Lednovich expressed sincere thanks and gratitude to Sapp for “his loyal and distinguished service, his uncompromising efforts to maintain and protect the City’s charm and character, his lifelong commitment to community service, and his innumerable civic achievements.”
Sapp thanked the City for the recognition, visibly moved by the tribute and the audience standing ovation. He said, “One of the first things I learned when I became Commissioner in 1978 is that one Commissioner can’t do much of anything; you better have at least 2 other Commissioners on your side. … I’ve been able to serve with so many wonderful Commissioners over the years. I’ve served with nine City Managers, seven City Attorneys, and five City Clerks. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of [the accomplishments listed in the Proclamation] without the help of other Commissioners, and City staff. We were a team.”
Sapp continued on personal reflections on growing up in Fernandina Beach. “The African saying ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ is certainly true,” he said. “The people of Fernandina Beach sure raised me.”
He thanked the Mayor and the City Commissioners for the recognition and also, “the people of Fernandina Beach for putting up with me.”
Ron Sapp is a lifelong resident, a Fernandina Beach High School graduate (Class of 1965), a Georgia Military College graduate, University of North Florida graduate, and United States Air Force veteran. After receiving his education, Mayor Sapp began teaching at the Fernandina Beach High School; a truly revered educator, instructing over 7,000 local students over the course of his twenty-eight-year tenure.
Sapp was accompanied by his wife Kasey and daughter Sherri.