Longtime St. Augustine city manager announces retirement

St. Augustine Lighthouse

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – City Manager John Regan has announced his retirement -- effective Friday, June 2, 2023 -- after 25 years serving the city of St. Augustine.

Regan, who submitted his letter of retirement on Monday, joined the city of St. Augustine on May 28, 1998, as the Utilities Director, coming from the city of Gainesville, Florida, where he had been the Senior Environmental Engineer for 10 years.

In 2003, Regan was promoted to Chief Operations Officer, which is equivalent to the current position of Assistant City Manager.

When former City Manager Bill Harriss announced his retirement in April 2010, the City Commission voted and appointed Regan to City Manager in May 2010, and he assumed his current position on July 1, 2010.

Of Regan’s 25 years with the city of St. Augustine, 13 were as City Manager. Several major projects were completed under the direction of Regan, including the Downtown Historic Parking Garage, the Avenida Menendez Seawall, and construction of the reverse osmosis Water Treatment Plant.

As City Manager, Regan was also responsible for the oversight and operations of many major events and city initiatives such as Mumford and Sons: Gentlemen of the Road, the 450th Commemoration, Hurricanes Matthew, Irma, Dorian, Ian, and Nicole, as well as the land conservation initiative to retain Fish Island Preserve, COVID-19, and the relocation of the Confederate memorial from the Plaza de la Constitución to private land.

“My time with the city has been filled with so many challenges and opportunities, but I would have to say the accomplishments I’m most proud of were those that were not overnight successes, but took many years to achieve,” Regan said in a news release announcing his retirement. “We are a nationally recognized municipality when it comes to Sea Level Rise and Resiliency mitigation, our Fire Department achieved an ISO-1 Rating, our Police Department is now fully accredited, and we have implemented financial policies and procedures that ensure fiscal responsibility across all departments of the City, which contribute to keeping us in excellent standing with our credit ratings, year after year. This is the legacy that I am proud to leave behind.”

The City Commission will publicly accept Regan’s retirement letter at their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, March 27, and at that time, they will discuss the process for selecting Regan’s successor.

St. Augustine will now join several other local cities searching for a permanent city manager, including Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach and Fernandina Beach.

About the Author:

A Jacksonville native and proud University of North Florida alum, Francine Frazier has been with News4Jax since 2014 after spending nine years at The Florida Times-Union.