Jeremiah Blocker is a recently-elected St. Johns County commissioner representing District 4. He and his family live in Nocatee.
Can you please briefly tell us about your background?
I come from a military background. I joined the Army shortly after 9/11 while I was a student at the University of Florida (UF). At UF, I graduated with a degree in history and commissioned as an Army officer through the Army ROTC program. I served for about 13 years as an Army officer, which included deploying to Iraq as a company commander. After finishing law school at Florida Coastal School of Law, I joined the Air Force Reserves as a Judge Advocate General attorney, where I continue to serve. Other degrees I have earned include a Master of Arts in Military History from Norwich University, Master of Laws from the University of Miami School of Law and Master of Science in Entrepreneurship from the University of Florida.
Currently, I am a partner in private practice with a small firm. I also spent a little over four years as a criminal prosecutor. I serve on several local boards including the American Legion Post 233 in Palm Valley, the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra, the Knights of Columbus, Council #16492 in Nocatee and the Gator Alumni Club of Historic St. Augustine. I also serve on the state board for the Military Order of Foreign Wars. In addition, I am an active member of the St. Johns Bar Association, the St. Augustine Inns of Court, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Military Officer Association of America.
What’s a typical day like for you as county commissioner? Or is that such a thing?
So far, no day has been a “typical” day. I dedicate time each day to follow up on concerns and issues that citizens have reached out to me about. I do this through email and phone calls. Also, I dedicate two to three days a week to meet with concerned citizens or different applicants who are bringing matter before the commission. It’s important that I am accessible and available to answer questions and concerns of citizens to the best of my ability. In the next several months, I am looking forward to start having office hours in Ponte Vedra where citizens who are not able to make it to the county offices in St. Augustine can schedule time to come in and meet with me directly.
What have you learned in your first few months of office?
There are always two sides to every issue. The importance of making decisions that are in the best interest of the county and its citizens is critically important. There are always going to be pros and cons to every issue and matter that comes before the Board. My challenge is to make the best decision for all of our citizens and families. Of course, not everyone is going to agree on every single issue and that’s OK. My responsibility is to weigh and consider all sides and make a decision from there regardless of whether it’s always popular or not.
What do you believe is most important for St. Johns County and this specific area moving forward?
Three things are critical to the future and quality of life in St. Johns County, including Ponte Vedra and District 4. The first is keeping our community safe and secure. The second is coming up with a long-term solution to maintaining our beaches and water sources. And the third is managing our growth and putting the infrastructure in place to support existing and future growth.
What do you enjoy most about living in this area?
Our family loves the natural beauty and history of this county. Whether it’s the nature trails in Nocatee, the beach at Mickler, the scenic highway in Orangedale or the Alligator Farm and historic areas in St. Augustine, there are so many exciting things to do here as a family. You get to enjoy the best of Florida right on our doorstep.
What do you like doing in your free time?
I enjoy spending as much time with my children, spouse, family and friends as I can.
Edited by Jon Blauvelt