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Larry Patrick resigns from Fort Walton Beach City Council due to health concerns

During Tuesday night’s Fort Walton Beach City Council meeting, members of Council-member Larry Patrick’s family spoke before the council and announced his resignation effective immediately. Patrick was absent at both […]

Council-member Larry Patrick during a Fort Walton Beach City Council Meeting (City of FWB Public Information Office)

During Tuesday night’s Fort Walton Beach City Council meeting, members of Council-member Larry Patrick’s family spoke before the council and announced his resignation effective immediately.

Patrick was absent at both Monday night’s budget workshop and Tuesday night’s meeting. According to his son Jeremiah Patrick, his absence was due to recent health issues.

  • “We ask that you keep him in your thoughts and prayers during his recovery,” said Jeremiah Patrick. “We also ask that our privacy is respected during his time of healing.”

Jeremiah then read a letter from his father to Mayor and fellow council members:

“It is with much regret that I must resign my seat on our Council. My resignation is in no manner related to the recent allegations regarding my residency, as I always have been and hope always to be a resident of this great city. My decision is solely based on very recent health-related events that preclude my participation at the level needed to perform the office to which I was elected.”

“I do hope that once my health is restored, that I can again become an active participant in the ongoing effort to provide our citizens with a form of government which is representative of the majority, is fiscally conservative, and provides a great quality of life for our residents,” Patrick continued. “I will forever be thankful for the many friends and supporters that once again entrusted me with the opportunity to serve on this council.”

“I am also very appreciative of the cooperation and assistance that staff has provided to me during my brief tenure. I have also greatly enjoyed the camaraderie with my fellow council members,” he added. “My resignation is to be effective upon your receipt of this letter.”

Residency controversy surrounded Patrick last month as an election complaint accused the newly elected council-member of falsifying residency documents. Patrick dismissed the complaint in an interview with Get The Coast and claimed it was politically motivated, denying any wrongdoing.

What happens next

According to the city’s charter, if a vacancy occurs on the city council with more than 60 days remaining before the next primary election, then that vacancy shall be filled by a majority vote of the current council.

According to City Manager Jeff Peters, nominations will be accepted during the next two council meetings on August 22 and September 12. The council can nominate any current city resident. The city council will then select one of the nominees to fill the vacancy at the third regular meeting on September 26.

  • Voting will be confined only to those who were nominated and discussed at either or both of the public meetings at which nominations were accepted, according to the city’s charter.

The newly appointed council-member will fill the seat only until the next general election for the city (2 years on council, not 4). The vote would take place with 6 voting council-members with the Mayor being the tie-breaker.

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