HOLMES BEACH – With Mayor-elect Judy Titsworth ready to take the reins at city hall, commissioners and city hall staff joined together to say goodbye to outgoing Mayor Bob Johnson during his final commission meeting Nov. 13.
The group recognized Johnson’s work at city hall over the past four years with a standing ovation as each commissioner stepped down from the dais to personally congratulate him on his retirement from administrative service to the community. He congratulated Commissioner and Mayor-elect Judy Titsworth with a hug and words of encouragement.
City Clerk Stacey Johnston recounted Johnson’s service to the community, beginning with his tenure on the Island Congestion Committee, and being elected to serve on the Charter Review Commission, where he served as chair, in 2014. He was elected as mayor in the fall of 2014, winning an additional two-year term in 2016. She read off a list of accomplishments including building up financial reserves for the city, implementing Citizen Serve software which consolidated the city’s three databases into one, reconstructing the building department, overseeing improvements at Grassy Point Preserve, enacting staff outreach programs and helping with the two-year-old vacation rental certificate program.
Johnston presented Johnson with a gift on behalf of the city staff and commission.
“I want to thank you for everything you’ve done,” she said.
“We as a city have done a lot in the last four, five, six years,” he said, crediting the city commission with creating initiatives and city staff for working to implement them.
“It has just been a pleasure for me to be associated with this staff that we have in the city, watching their growth over these last few years, their modernization out of the paper world into the beginnings, the very beginnings of the coming, automated world,” Johnson said. “I can’t thank the commission enough for the way they’ve taken care of the city, their output of policy and so forth. The discussions that you have in these meetings is tremendous and that is the key.”
“I thank you for the opportunity to serve you, the citizens of this city, so much,” he said. “I will miss this, I don’t mind telling you that.”
For his part, Johnson said he’s looking forward to retiring for a second time and traveling the world with his wife, Denise.
Titsworth will take over as mayor when she’s sworn in with members of the Charter Review Committee and Commissioners-elect Pat Morton and Kim Rash at 9 a.m., Nov. 29 at city hall.