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Carrabelle Commissioner Frank Mathes dies at 87

Frank Mathes, a longtime Carrabelle city commissioner, passed away last week at the age of 87.

Known for his brusque tongue, he served as a colorful voice on the commission for more than two decades, interrupted only by a two-year absence between 2005 and 2007.

Mathes died on Tuesday afternoon, June 7, leaving behind daughter Shirley Ham. son Buddy Mathes and several grandchildren.

Mayor Brenda La Paz made the announcement the next morning.

“It is with a heavy heart that I report the truly sad news that Carrabelle’s long-time, iconic City Commissioner Frank Mathes passed away late yesterday afternoon,” she wrote.

“He was a great guy!” commented Carrabelle-area County Commissioner Jessica Ward. “Thank you for your dedicated service to Carrabelle and its residents all these years.”

Mathes’ passing on the eve of qualifying week added to the scramble to see who might run for what are now three contested seats on the city commission.

City Clerk Keisha Messer has been giving out packets to those interested in filling the two remaining years in Mathes’ term, ending on Nov. 5, 2024. The two other open commissioner seats, now held by Tony Millender and Cal Allen, are for the usual four-year terms, ending on Nov. 3, 2026.

The qualifying week ends at noon on Friday, June 17.

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Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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