County Commission candidates to speak at Ponte Vedra Beaches Coalition meeting


With four contenders currently vying for the soon-to-be vacant District 4 seat on the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners, voters will have no shortage of options come election day. To help them stay informed, the Ponte Vedra Beaches Coalition has invited candidates Dick Williams (R.), Jeremiah Blocker (R.), Erika Alba (R.) and Catherine Hawkinson Guevarra (D.) to speak at its next meeting Monday, Feb. 26.

 “The idea came about because we feel strongly that our community should have a voice when it comes to election day,” Coalition Chair Lisa Cook said. “Often times, getting to know the candidates running for the various offices can be difficult and time-consuming, and the breadth of our knowledge can be limited to the advertising campaigns that pile up in our mailboxes. We wanted to give the community time to learn about who is running and to have time to get involved.”

Each month, the Coalition meets at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library to address matters of local concern. Although primarily attended by representatives from local homeowners’ associations, all Ponte Vedra Beaches Coalition meetings are open to the public.

At the upcoming meeting, according to Cook, those in attendance will have the opportunity to learn more about each candidate’s background, qualifications and platform. Though all four candidates were invited to speak, however, only Williams and Blocker have confirmed their participation as of yet.

“Cathy Guevarra is a full-time teacher and is unable to make any daytime functions,” Cook explained. “I have not heard back from Erika Alba.”

While the meeting will not offer the candidates an opportunity to field questions from the audience, Cook said that the Coalition does plan to host such a forum closer to the election.

“We would also like to ask the District 4 School Board candidates to speak with our group and introduce themselves,” she added.

The Feb. 26 Ponte Vedra Beaches Coalition meeting will be held at 10 a.m. at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library at 101 Library Blvd., and those who are interested in attending are encouraged to do so.

“This will be a great opportunity to get to know the candidates, see their backgrounds and what issues are of importance to them,” Cook said. “The more people that get involved, the more people that will vote, and the better representation we will have for our community on the county level.”