Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Fernandina Beach commissioners did the expected last night during their post-election reorganization meeting and ratified the straw poll of the citizens by electing Commissioner Sarah Pelican city mayor for 2013. However, to the surprise of many, they set aside years of tradition to bypass the mayoral runner up, Arlene Filkoff, to elect Commissioner Charlie Corbett as Vice Mayor.
Many thought that Filkoff, who had been a popular and active mayor during her 2012 term, would be a shoo-in, since she lost the election straw ballot contest for mayor by only 236 votes. Corbett requested his name not appear on the ballot. Yet when newly elected Mayor Pelican called for nominations for Vice Mayor, Commissioner Pat Gass immediately nominated Corbett. After a brief pause, Commissioner Ed Boner seconded the nomination. The commission elected Corbett with a unanimous vote.
Also joining the Fernandina Beach City Commission officially last night were new commissioners Ed Boner, replacing commissioner Tim Poynter; and Pat Gass, replacing commissioner Jeffrey Bunch. City Hall Chambers were full of family members and supporters of the new commissioners, mayor and vice mayor.
Mayor Pelican delivered prepared remarks thanking the citizens for placing their trust in her, stating that she was “humbled and honored.” She welcomed the new commissioners and thanked outgoing mayor Arlene Filkoff, saying that Filkoff “has left awfully big shoes to fill.” Pelican recapped highlights of the past year and cited optimism for the future, singling out her hopes for strengthened relationships with both Nassau County and the Ocean Highway and Port Authority.
Outgoing mayor Filkoff began the reorganization meeting, which lasted only a half hour, by honoring outgoing commissioners Bunch and Poynter with plaques and remarks. As outgoing vice mayor, Bunch also presented Filkoff with a plaque marking her past year’s service as mayor. Filkoff will continue to serve on the FBCC as commissioner through 2013.
The final actions taken during the reorganization meeting related to filling committee assignments. Mayor Pelican made the following appointments:
- Tourist Development Council – Charlie Corbett, who joins Arlene Filkoff
- Juvenile Justice Council – Ed Boner
- Nassau County Economic Development Board – Ed Boner
- Northeast Florida Regional Planning Council – Pat Gass
- Nassau Humane Society – Sarah Pelican
- Vision Into Action Committee – Sarah Pelican
There was no discussion of adding a commissioner to the CRA Advisory Board, as recommended by that Board during the previous City Commission meeting.
December 19, 2012 11:30 a.m.