By KATI BEXLEY
Publication Date: 03/14/08
City Commissioner Susan Burk will not seek re-election and instead endorsed her law partner for the position.
Leanna Freeman, 37, announced she will vie for St. Augustine City Commission seat 2 that Burk now holds. Burk, who had previously said she would run again, will step down after 12 years on the board.
"I didn't feel I could leave until I found someone I was comfortable with replacing me," said Burk. "I felt I had to be up there to say things that other people wouldn't say. ... (Leanna) will do that. We share the same vision for the city."
Freeman, 37, will now battle candidate Dan Sullivan for the seat.
Burk and Freeman have been law partners for nearly 11 years.
Freeman has gained respect while serving five years on the city's Planning and Zoning Board, including when she was chairwoman from 2006-2007.
She oversaw issues such as Fish Island Development's request to build a massive dock south of the Mickler O'Connell Bridge (S.R. 312). The project was denied and is now in litigation, but Circuit Judge Michael Traynor ruled that PZB's denial was legally sound.
"I believe my experience on the PZB and understanding of the legal process makes me the right person for this," Freeman said.
She grew up in Lincolnville and has lived in St. Augustine. Her two young children also attend school in the city, and her husband owns a business on St. George Street.
"I have a vested interest in the city," she said. "I don't want to change the face of our city; that's not my goal. I want to protect (it)."
Sullivan, who is retired, feels the job calls for someone who can dedicate more time.
"I just don't think we can afford to have a part-time commissioner," he said. "I'm in it for the long haul."
Sullivan has been chairman of the city's Parking and Traffic Committee for five years.
Although Burk will no longer be a commissioner, she said she will stay involved with City Hall.
"I will miss not having a vote," she said. "That will drive me crazy."
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