In a surprise announcement at the outset of Tuesday’s city commission, Pat Floyd, Apalachicola’s longtime city attorney, said he plans to retire from the position at the end of the current terms in October.
“I thank the Lord and each and every one of the mayors and city commissioners who over the years I have had the honor and privilege to work with,” he said. “Each has been very special to me.
Floyd’s planned departure from the post he held for the last three decades adds one more loss of an experienced member of the city’s leadership. The three longest serving elected officials, Commissioners Jimmy Elliott and Mitchell Bartley, and Mayor Van Johnson, have all announced plans to not seek reelection, setting the stage for at least three new faces seated in the commissioners’ chairs beginning in October.
Floyd, a 1970 graduate of Apalachicola High School, where he played on the 1968 state championship football team under coach Bill “Pop” Wagoner, attended the U.S. Coast Guard Academy for two years, before transferring to the University of Florida, where he lettered as a linebacker on the Gator football team.
From there he went on to Nova Law School in Davie, where he graduated in 1978. After four years practicing law in South Florida, handling personal injury defense and plaintiffs litigation cases, he returned here in 1982, moving to Port St. Joe and setting up a law practice there and in Apalachicola.
In the late ‘80s, he succeeded Ben Watkins as city attorney, and since that time served under mayors who included Roger Newton, Jimmie Nichols, Bobby Howell, Alan Pierce, Sandy Howze and Van Johnson.
“They permitted me to live the dream of coming home,” he told Tuesday’s meeting. “It allowed me to work with mutual respect as member of the team.”
Floyd also praised the “many wonderful staff and employees” he has worked with over his 30-plus years on the job.
“It’s been great and may God continue or bless and protect this great city of Apalachicola,” he said. “There’s no place like home.”
Floyd said he decided to give advance notice to give City Manager Ron Nalley and his fellow commissioners ample time to move forward with the selection process for his replacement.
“I thought ti was the right time to go ahead and retire,” he said. “I can help them with the transition. I think Ron’s going to be a position where there’s a lot of people coming in new.”
Floyd, 67, is married to wife Vivian, and they have two sons, John Patrick, a nuclear physicist, and Warren, who is enrolled in a joint MD-PhD. program at Duke University, where he is pursuing a career as in cancer research.
He said that while he plans to step away from being the city’s lawyer, he’ll continue practicing law at J. Patrick Floyd law offices.
“I’m not saying goodbye to anybody in Apalachicola,” Floyd said. “I’m going to still be around.”