Jay Morris 

Chair / District 4

Board of County Commissioners

  P: 904.209.0304   

C: 904.814.9403





Planning and Zoning Agency 

May 15


Tourist Development Council  

May 19


Board of County Commissioners
May 20
June 3


Planning and Zoning Agency 

June 5


Ponte Vedra Zoning and Adjustment Board 

June 9


Tourist Development Council
June 16


June 17

June 19


All meeting dates are subject to change. Please visit www.sjcfl.us for current meeting information. 



Memorial Day Holiday 

May 26 


Vilano Beach Sunset Celebration 

June 7 

May 20

May 23

May 25

May 31

June 6

June 7

June 14

Goo Goo Dolls/Daughtry
June 19

June 27
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Thank you for registering for the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners District 4 newsletter. Inside you will find an update regarding projects and events in District 4 and timely information about St. Johns County programs, services, and initiatives.

St. Johns County District 4 Update 


Your St. Johns County commissioners typically discuss good news items taking place in the county during commissioner reports at board meetings, but I wanted to take the time in this article to acknowledge several recent recognitions and accolades St. Johns County has received.


* St. Johns County Credit Rating Increased to AA+

First of all, St. Johns County is one of the strongest counties financially in the state of Florida and in the nation for that matter. To prove this, from an independent standpoint, Standard & Poors (the top credit- rating agency in the nation) just upped our credit rating by TWO levels from AA- to AA+. The credit ratings of most other counties are headed in the opposite direction. This will be huge for St. Johns County and future, lower interest rates. Standard & Poors cited in the substantial credit increase "St. Johns County's strong economy, per capita buying power, low unemployment rate, optimistic expense savings and revenue increase projections, strong liquidity within the county's finances, strong management, good financial budgetary flexibility and low tax structure as significant factors that factored into this substantial credit rating's boost".   Again, this is not coming from the county but from the premier independent credit-rating agency in the country. This is a huge acknowledgement of the county's financial strength.


* Award Winning Financial Management

The independent Government Finance Officers Association just recognized St. Johns County with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award. This honor recognizes local governments that prepare transparent budget documentation adhering to national guidelines and best practices related to transparency and quality, accounting standards. Again, an independent agency.


 * Nationally Recognized Transparency

To continue this track record, the Sunshine Review organization has honored the county with The Sunny Award for governmental transparency for the second year in a row. Receiving an A- both years, the county's website was noted for transparently providing convenient access to a variety of budgets, meetings, services, contacts and project information.


 All of the above are major financial achievements for your county. The following are some add-on accolades you might be interested in:


 * St. Johns County has just been named the healthiest county in the state of Florida for the 3rd year in a row.


 * St. Johns County is ranked 5th in the nation by CNN and Money Magazine for job creation.


 * USA Today listed St. Augustine as the #2 town in which to retire in America and Fodor's Travel Guide listed St. Augustine as one of the 10 best small towns in America.


 * The county has cut spending over the past 7 years by $128 million, or 18%.


 * Budgeted salaries for county employees in 2014 are lower than actual salaries paid in 2008.


 * USA Today named St. Johns County as one of the top ten places to retire in the U.S. - - - citing low cost of living and housing, low tax rates, low crime rate and great medical facilities.


We are truly blessed to live in one of the greatest counties in America. Please feel free to contact me at 904.209.0304 or bccd4@sjcfl.us if you have any questions or comments regarding District 4 or St. Johns County. Have a great spring!




Jay Morris 

Chair / District 4

St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners 

St. Johns County Welcomes New Company and 120 Jobs

Ideal Aluminum Products, a leading manufacturer of aluminum fence, gates, and railing, announced on April 1 that the company will relocate its headquarters and manufacturing plant from DeLand to St. Johns County. Making the announcement during the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners meeting, company officials noted that starting this year up to 120 jobs will be created or relocated to St. Johns County.
Ideal made the decision to relocate to St. Johns County after considering multiple locations in Georgia and Florida. Moving its plant will allow for increased manufacturing efficiencies, improved logistics, better access to Ideal's fast growing customer base, and operational savings. The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners has identified Economic Development as a top priority and continues to pursue the recruitment and retention of corporate partners who will bring new jobs to the community, diversify the tax base, and contribute to the overall quality of life.

Frontier Airlines Launches Passenger Airline Service at St. Johns County's Northeast Florida Regional Airport

Frontier Airlines began nonstop passenger airline service between St. Johns County's Northeast Florida Regional Airport and Trenton-Mercer Airport, in Ewing, N.J. May 2.
Adding passenger air service to St. Johns County's portfolio will help the County, St. Augustine, and the region capitalize on the strength of the tourism industry and burgeoning business environment. Frontier's investment in St. Johns County and the decision to choose Northeast Florida Regional Airport for their entry into this market provides recognition that the County is peaking greater interest in business and leisure travel, which will significantly benefit the local community and the region as a whole. In addition, having direct-connect service to a Northeastern market is particularly valuable in targeting key corporate partners from Philadelphia to New York City, and can significantly boost St. Johns County's economic development efforts. For additional information, please visit the Frontier Airlines website.

Administrator's FY 2015 Budget Hearings

In conjunction with the annual budget process, St. Johns County invites members of the public to attend the Administrator's Budget Hearings this spring. Hosted by St. Johns County Administration and the Office of Budget and Management, the hearings will provide a departmental line item review of the proposed Fiscal Year 2015 St. Johns County budget in its formative stage prior to it being presented to the Board of County Commissioners. Hearing dates and tim es are subject to change due to schedule availability. Please visit the St. Johns County website or call the Office of Budget and Management at 904.209.0572 for additional information.

St. Johns Named Healthiest County for Third Consecutive Year

For the third year in a row, St. Johns County has been ranked #1 in Florida in the Annual County Health Rankings Report released by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The County Health Rankings Report measures a variety of health indicators that relate to quality and length of life, and serves to illustrate that health is not a singular effort, but a combined work in progress across all community partners.


"As we track and measure health outcomes and factors related to health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment, we are reminded that there is no finish line in our efforts for better health. Building and maintaining a culture of health requires the ongoing collaboration and combined efforts of a wide range of community partners from all sectors," said Dr. Dawn Allicock, Director and Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County.


The Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County champions the St. Johns County Health Leadership Council, a collaboration of community stakeholders dedicated to community health assessment and community health improvement planning.  Work on St. Johns County's fourth Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan is currently in progress, and scheduled for release in August 2014.

Construction Underway on New St. Johns County Health and Human Services Building

St. Johns County hosted a groundbreaking ceremony  on March 24 to celebrate the initiation of construction on the new Health and Human Services building. Opening remarks were followed by comments from several local dignitaries, a groundbreaking ceremony, and photo opportunities. Speakers included Jay Morris, St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners Chair, Stewart-Marchman-Act CEO Chet Bell, Seventh Judicial Circuit Judge Clyde Wolfe, and David Abramowitz, Regional Managing Director with the Florida Department of Children and Families. The facility is scheduled to be complete March 2015.

COA and St. Johns County Celebrate New Partnership with Republic Services

Members of the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners and representatives from the Council on Aging gathered on April 16 to celebrate a new partnership with Republic Services that will provide sponsorship funding for the Community Senior Center in Ponte Vedra. In addition to supporting the valuable services and programs hosted at the facility, Republic will provide additional support for the senior community with a variety of projects and programs including enhanced recycling efforts, gardening, and tree planting.

 Sea Turtle Nesting Season - May 1 through October 31

St. Johns County Beaches are home to several species of endangered or threatened sea turtles. Residents and visitors have a special opportunity and responsibility to protect these magnificent creatures and their vulnerable nesting sites as they arrive every spring and summer to nest along the beaches. In 2013, St. Johns County experienced another record year along its 41 miles of shoreline with 746 nests, including 671 loggerhead, 59 green, and a record 16 leatherback nests.


Sea turtle nesting season began May 1, and St. Johns County officials are asking residents, visitors, and businesses to help protect the natural habitat by observing all nesting season laws and regulation. Between May 1 and October 31, vehicular traffic on the beach is allowed between the hours of 8 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. In addition, all beachfront properties are required to reduce the impact of their interior and exterior lights which may disrupt nesting sea turtles. These measures are enacted to ensure compliance with the St. Johns County Habitat Conservation Plan and Incidental Take Permit. Beach goers can also have a positive impact on nesting sea turtles by taking the following actions while enjoying the beach:


* Use trash and recycling receptacles.

* Refrain from using fireworks and open fires.

* Remove ruts and fill in holes on the beach.

* Refrain from leaving chairs, umbrellas, or canopies overnight.

* Avoid entering sand dunes and conservation zones

  (15 feet seaward of the dune line).

* Refrain from using balloons for events, as they harm marine life.

* Avoid disturbing or handling sea turtles, their eggs, or their nests.


Never push an injured animal back into the ocean. If an injured, sick, or deceased sea turtle is encountered, please call the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office non emergency dispatch line at 904.824.8304. Leave only your footprints, providing the turtles with a safe and clean habitat in which to nest and hatch. St. Johns County thanks its volunteers, residents, visitors and businesses for supporting habitat conservation efforts and keeping our beaches beautiful. For more information, please contact St. Johns County Habitat Conservation and Beach Management at 904.209.3740 or visit www.sjcfl.us/hcp.


New GTV Video Streaming and On-demand Video Archive

Continually striving to increase transparency and operate in the sunshine, St. Johns County recently launched a new online streaming service and on-demand video archive for GTV, the County's governmental cable TV access channel. The multi-platform streaming feed is now available 24 hours a day on most desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and mobile devices, including Apple products. The convenient on-demand video archive allows viewers to watch replays of specific agenda items from various County board and commission meetings simply by clicking indexed agendas. GTV is available on Comcast channels 3, 29, or 261, and AT&T U-verse channel 99. For more information, please visit the GTV Webpage.

New Video Highlights Vilano Beach Shopping and Dining

Vilano Beach Main Street recently released a new video highlighting the unique style, personality, and history of St. Johns County's Vilano Beach. The Vilano Beach Town Center is a walkable half mile area between two waterfronts with a unique sense of place. Located two miles over the Intracoastal Waterway from St. Augustine, Vilano Beach became a Florida Main Street Community in 2003. Visit the Main Street website or watch the video to learn more about the shopping, dining, and recreational opportunities in this unique community.

Miss California Returns to St. Johns County to Discuss Importance of a Quality Foster Program

Speaking to a group of potential St. Johns County foster care parents, Christina Meredith, the reigning Miss California United States, recently shared her personal journey from growing up as a foster child in the St. Johns County Foster Care Program to thriving as a successful advocate and leader in the non-profit, child welfare arena. A St. Augustine native, Ms. Meredith experienced the local foster care system first-hand and discussed the importance of recruiting quality foster care programs for a community. As one of eight children in a family that battled the challenges of child abuse and neglect, Ms. Meredith lived with numerous relatives until eventually being placed in St. Johns County Foster Care where she remained until age 18.


Lacking traditional family support and with minimal resources at her disposal, Ms. Meredith overcame homelessness and made her way to California where a fresh start and deep appreciation for her misfortunes led her to pursue work aimed at helping young girls and women address similar life challenges. Today, Ms. Meredith is proud to support the St. Johns County Foster Care Program by promoting and strengthening child welfare initiatives aimed at recruiting quality foster homes and ensuring support for youth who "age out" of care. For more information about becoming a St. Johns County foster parent, please contact Joy Meyerpeter at 904.209.6131 or jmeyerpeter@sjcfl.us

Marine Rescue Staff Recognized for Life-Saving Efforts

Four St. Johns County Fire Rescue/Marine Rescue personnel were recently recognized by the United States Lifesaving Association and the Florida Beach Chief's Association with the Meritorious Act Award for their efforts in the surf rescue of a St. Johns County beach patron during summer 2013. Eric Jones, Jeremy Watkins, Derek Droege, and Joshua Clingerman received the 2013 Meritorious Act Award as a result of their lifesaving actions that rescued a man who was swimming in Anastasia State Park when he was overtaken by a wave, slammed into the ocean floor, and was unresponsive, not breathing, and without a pulse when lifeguards reached him. Suffering from cardiac arrest, he received CPR and was treated with an AED. He regained a pulse en-route to the hospital, and has since made a full recovery.

St. Johns County Employee of the Year

St. Johns County is pleased to recognize Kristine Benoit as the 2013 St. Johns County Employee of the Year. As the Youth Services Librarian for the Southeast Branch Library, Ms. Benoit has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to inspiring innovation and fostering increased visibility of the Southeast Branch Library Youth Services Department, both within and beyond the scope of her assigned duties. Ms. Benoit voluntarily serves as a community member on the School Advisory Council of Gamble Rogers Middle School and Hartley Elementary, and has represented the Southeast Branch Library at numerous community events. In addition to crafting programs for teen patrons, Ms. Benoit has expanded the technological horizons of the Youth Services Department by introducing the use of iPads in both the Baby and Family Story Times. Ms. Benoit leads her efforts through a hands-on philosophy of engaging, interactive learning which has helped boost program attendance and re-vitalize the Southeast Branch Library Youth Services Program from the ground up.

St. Johns County and Junior Service League of St. Augustine Open Five New "Little Free Libraries"

The St. Johns County Public Library System and the Junior Service League of St. Augustine recently partnered to open five "Little Free Libraries" at various locations throughout the County. "Little Free Libraries" is a national effort to expand the joy of reading within local communities by bringing books closer to residents' doorsteps. All members of the public are invited and encouraged to use the little free libraries where books can be freely borrowed, traded, or donated. In addition, there is no need for a traditional library card, no time limits on lending, no overdue fees, and no due dates for returns. Visit one of St. Johns County's new little free libraries at any of the following locations:


  • St. Johns County Ocean Pier, 350 A1A Beach Blvd.
  • Crescent Beach Pavilion, 6930 A1A S.
  • Treaty Park, 1595 Wildwood Dr.
  • Fire Station 14, 1255 W. King St.
  • Homeless Coalition of St. Johns County, 62 Chapin St.

Skate Park Opens with Improved Facilities

St. Johns County's Robert Laryn Skate Park recently reopened to the public after being closed for repairs and maintenance that included safety improvements, cement restoration, fence repairs, sod installation, and deep cleaning.
Located at Treaty Park, 1595 Wildwood Dr., the 47-acre skate park is open from 2 - 9 p.m., Monday - Friday and 12 - 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting. Features include 28,000-square-feet of concrete for skaters of all abilities, 1/2 pipes, rails, a 9.5-foot kidney-shaped pool with a 6-foot shallow end, and a Little Dudes park for beginning skaters and those under the age of 12.
The park opened with a new operator who will manage a pro shop staffed with knowledgeable skaters offering lessons and equipment rental. In addition, the shop will be stocked with skateboards, gear, snacks and drinks. For more skate park information, please call 904.829.3555.

Butler Park West and Boat Ramp Closed Through Nov.

St. Johns County's Butler Park West and the Butler Park Boat Ramp will be closed  through November 30 for the Treasure Beach Canals Dredging Project. During the closure, structural improvements will be made to the Butler West Boat Ramp will provide improve use and public access during lower tides. Nearby locations that provide public access for both motorized and non-motorized boats to the Intercostal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean during include: 

  • Green Road - 180 Green Road

  • Palmetto Road - 395 Palmetto Road

  • Light house Boat Ramp - 442 Ocean Vista Avenue

  • Devil's Elbow - 7507 A1A South (fee)

St. Johns County would like to thank the community for their patience and understanding during this time of progress. For additional information, please call 904.209.0333 or visit www.sjcfl.us  for a complete listing of other St. Johns County boat ramps, parks, and recreational facilities.

St. Johns County Memorial Day Hours

All administrative departments of the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners, the St. Johns County Library system, and the Pet Center will be closed Monday, May 26 in observance of Memorial Day. Please visit www.sjcfl.us for information regarding the holiday garbage, recycling, and yard debris collection schedule.

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