LEON COUNTY – Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay was elected as president of the Florida Association of Counties (FAC) June 10 during the association’s virtual board of directors meeting. Commissioner McKinlay previously served as president-elect, 1st vice president, and 2nd vice president for the association.
“It’s an honor to be elected FAC president by my county commission peers from across the state,” said Palm Beach County Commissioner and newly elected FAC President, Melissa McKinlay. “This next year, it’s my goal that Florida’s counties are further involved in the policy making process both locally and nationally.”
As president, Commissioner McKinlay will lead the Association by directly overseeing and governing the legislative policy and advocacy strategy, including the adoption of the association’s priorities for the 2021 Legislative Session and appointment of policy committee chairpersons and at-large positions on the board of directors. Commissioner McKinlay will also have input on the association’s administrative functions.
During her presidency, Commissioner McKinlay will also have the unique opportunity of showcasing her home county as part of the Association’s Policy & Innovation Conference. Commissioners from the association’s 67 member counties will descend upon Palm Beach County to experience firsthand some of the innovation and advancements made by the county.
“It is clear that through her active participation with FAC, Commissioner McKinlay has established herself as a leader and constant advocate of our mission to preserve and strengthen home rule,” said FAC Executive Director, Ginger Delegal. “Her voice resonates not just throughout Palm Beach County, but also to those in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C.”
Commissioner McKinlay has chosen her theme for her presidential term to be “Farm to Metro” which celebrates the diversity of all of Florida’s communities, and is symbolic of the area she represents. While Palm Beach County is known as a populous urban region, Commissioner McKinlay represents District 6 which encompasses the largely rural agricultural communities of Belle Glade, Pahokee, and South Bay alongside the more populous areas of Loxahatchee, Wellington, Royal Palm Beach and portions of West Palm Beach.
“The beauty of Florida is in the unique differences between its communities, life in the Panhandle is vastly different than life in South Florida, yet we’re still one state. My theme honors that,” said Commissioner McKinlay.
With Commissioner McKinlay now assuming the presidency, other members of the executive committee advanced in position, with: Wakulla County Commissioner Ralph Thomas becoming president-elect, Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine becoming 1st vice president, a new 2nd vice president to be elected on Friday, June 12 at the association’s annual Business meeting, and Leon County Commissioner Nick Maddox serving as immediate past president.
The association is governed by a board of directors comprised of one county commissioner from each state senate district (40); five executive officers; six county commissioners appointed at-large with no more than three of the six from counties with population of 75,000 or more; and the past presidents of the FAC.
Founded in 1929, the Florida Association of Counties has represented the diverse interests of Florida’s counties, emphasizing the importance of protecting home rule – the concept that communities and their local leaders should make the decisions that impact their community. The Florida Association of Counties helps counties effectively serve and represent Floridians by strengthening and preserving county home rule through advocacy, education and collaboration.