Friends, family, and colleagues lauded long-serving City Clerk Cheri Smith at the June 8th City Commission meeting. Smith is retiring after 30 years with the City of Key West, and this was her final meeting to preside over as Clerk.
Mayor Teri Johnston and the City Commission started the recognition by proclaiming July 5 as Cheri Smith Day.
The proclamation recognizes her professionalism, humor, and patience during three decades in which she "brought the City Clerk's office into the 21st Century – digitizing documents, presiding over domestic partnerships, recording legislative actions, retaining millions of public records, and reading more 'Whereas’ statements aloud for the benefit of the public and the City Commission than anyone in recent memory.”
“It's difficult to put into words just how much this moment means to me,” said Smith. “After 30 years of dedicated service, I am finally ready to take on my next journey.”
She gave a special thank you to the members of the commission who were seated in 1999 and thanked Commissioner Jimmy Weekley for recommending her to the commission to fill the seat when Miss Josephine Parker passed away.
“I am the luckiest girl in the room,” she said, “as I have had a front-row seat watching our elected officials make the legislative decisions that have shaped Key West as it is today. I want to thank the late City Manager Julio Avael for encouraging me to apply for the City Clerk position. Also, my mentor [retiring City Manager] Patti McLaughlin."
Mayor Johnston then presented Smith with a plaque in honor of her 30 years of service.
Finally, the honors were topped off with a resolution naming Smith City Clerk Emeritus.
The resolution states, "It shall be the duty of the City Clerk Emeritus to serve as an advocate and ambassador for the City of Key West in perpetuity."
In fact, Smith has served as a fine ambassador to the City throughout her tenure. She volunteered in the community -- behind the scenes and on the front line -- at events such as the Holiday Parade, Children's Day, City picnics, and Fantasy Fest.
In the photo: Commissioners Mary Lou Hoover, Lisette Carey, and Jimmy Weekley, Carl and Erin Wagoner (daughter and son-in-law), City Clerk Cheri Smith, Mayor Teri Johnston, Commissioner Clayton Lopez, Vice-Mayor Sam Kaufman, and Commissioner Billy Wardlow.