7/3/17 ~ Wakulla County Commissioner Ralph Thomas Receives Leadership and Advocacy Award


Wakulla County Commissioner Ralph Thomas Receives Leadership and Advocacy Award


During the Florida Association of Counties 2017 Annual Conference, Commissioner Ralph Thomas received the 2017 “Marlene Young Presidential Advocacy” Award.  This award is presented to a county elected official who has shown extraordinary leadership and commitment to the mission of the Florida Association of Counties.  “We are honored to recognize you for your strong commitment to address important local government issues during the 2017 Legislative Session, stated Davin J. Suggs, Director of Public Policy for the Florida Association of Counties.  Your dedication to improve and maintain a high quality of life for all Floridians and to strengthen public policy is especially appreciated.”  Commissioner Thomas is the first Wakulla County Commissioner to receive this prestigious award.  The Marlene Young Presidential Advocacy Award is named after the late Marlene Young, who served as a County Commissioner in Polk County from 1988-2000.  She was a founding member of the Florida Counties Foundation, and in 1993 she became President of FAC.

Commissioner Thomas was also one of 31 Commissioners to receive the designation of “Torchbearer”.  Torchbearers are Commissioners who have completed the Advanced County Commissioner certification and continue to participate in FAC activities and educational offerings once they complete their ACC certification.

Commissioner Thomas was also selected to serve as a Policy Leader of the Finance, Tax, and Administration Committee for the upcoming 2017-2018 Fiscal Year.  His duties will be to assist the Association in leading the development process of policies that will guide the formation of the Florida Association of Counties’ agenda for the 2018 legislative session.  Additionally, Commissioner Thomas was re-elected for a second term as the Chairman of the Small County Coalition.  The Small County Coalition consists of 37 counties with populations less than 150,000.

“Some legislative issues that originate in Tallahassee may be well intentioned but have unintended consequences that could be devastating to local Governments, stated Commissioner Thomas.  When it comes to serving the needs of Florida citizens, County Government is where the rubber meets the road, literally.  Counties are responsible for roads, bridges, parks, boat ramps, Law Enforcement, Fire and EMS services, Courts, Tag Office and the list goes on and on.  County Commissioners are vital in the process of discovering unintended legislative consequences and communicating them to the Legislature.  We are all servants of the people and serve best when State and Local Governments work together.”
For additional information related to this story, please contact Jessica Welch, Communications & Public Services Director at (850) 926-0919 ext. 706 or [email protected]