Carrabelle Mayor Brenda La Paz stepped down Saturday. [ File Photo ]

Carrabelle mayor La Paz steps down

After announcing in a March 25 letter she would not seek re-election, Carrabelle Mayor Brenda La Paz stepped down from office on Sunday.

In a letter to City Administrator Courtney Dempsey, La Paz said “the reasons for my resignation range from personal, health, family, and financial.

“I will not get into specifics as these matters are personal. These obligations will not allow me the time needed to perform my duties as mayor,” she wrote.

La Paz was first elected to the mayor’s post in September 2015 after a term serving on the city commission.

“Nearly every waking moment over the past 12-and-one-half years has been dedicated to performing my duties as a public servant to the citizens of the Carrabelle community,” La Paz wrote. “My daily work as a public servant has been much more than a fulltime job. Therefore, it is not possible for me to continue the level of public service that I have provided over these many years.”

La Paz said she made the decision “after much prayer, combined with long and thoughtful consideration with my husband. Without the unwavering support of my dear husband, Greg, these many years of public service would never have been possible.”

Her husband, Greg Kristofferson, has been a steadfast presence at the city meetings, including filming the proceedings for placement on social media, prior to the city striking a deal with Forgotten Coast TV to broadcast the meetings online.

“I am proud and thankful the citizens have entrusted me with their leadership. It has been a true honor, privilege, and pleasure. Every day brought new educational opportunities and challenges,” La Paz wrote. “Sometimes the outcomes of final decisions on the commission level were discouraging, but I would pick myself up by the bootstraps and continue my work, always towards a positive future for Carrabelle.

“I am inspired about returning to life as a private citizen. This will now put closure to recent speculation and allow others who may be interested in this challenging public position to come forward,” she wrote. 

City Clerk Keisha Messer said last week that two individuals, Danyell Robison and Vance Pedrick, had declared their intention to run for mayor this fall. In addition, the at-large commission seats held by Sebrina Brown and Keith Walden will be on the ballot.

At the upcoming April 4 city commission meeting, the four commissioners could appoint someone by majority vote to fill the mayoral seat; or could appoint one of their own four members to serve as Mayor-Commissioner until the Nov. 5 general election, in which case a commission seat would be vacant and appointment to that seat would be in order.

In addition, the city commission could request that interested members of the public submit a letter of Interest for the vacant seat which they may take action at a special scheduled meeting or at the May 2 city commission regular meeting. They also could appoint a member of the public to fill the vacant seat without receiving letters of interest.

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