- October 30, 2018
After eight years of serving as the Ormond Beach City Commissioner for Zone 3, Rick Boehm's final meeting on the dais arrived on Monday, Nov. 5, and his fellow commissioners, city staff, friends and family made sure it was one he'd never forget.
One by one, they all praised his dedication and passion he's brought to the table during his time serving the city, which began in 2004 when he was appointed to the Leisure Services Advisory Board. In 2007, he became its chairman, a role Boehm filled until he was elected to the commission in 2010. Over the years, Boehm, a retired attorney, served as the chairman for the Ormond Beach Pop Warner and Ormond Beach Youth Basketball Asssociation, as well as represented the commission on the Ormond Beach MainStreet Board.
"At the local level is all about love of your city," Boehm said. "At the local level it’s all about making the world a better place for the people that you know and that you deal with and that you see all the time.”
Virtually all of the speakers at the commission meeting commended Boehm on his advocacy for youth sports. Former mayor and now School Board member Carl Persis, whose wife Susan Persis is running to fill Boehm's position, said Boehm was one of the people who introduced the idea of having competitive youth sports in Ormond Beach Middle School while Persis was principal.
Because of his advocacy for equal facilities for girls, the girls' softball field at the Ormond Beach Sports Complex was named the "Rick Boehm Girls Softball Field." Persis said Boehm has served the city with dignity and civility.
"You are a class act and your leadership and your wisdom will be missed," Persis said.
Planning Board Chair Doug Thomas, who said he and Boehm were "foxhole buddies," wanted people to know what a "truly outstanding human" he is. City Manager Joyce Shanahan thanked him for his continued advocacy for the community and city staff.
“We appreciate your championship of issues that are important to you," Shanahan said. "I always know that if I see Doug Thomas and Commissioner Boehm together there’s nothing but trouble there, but we’re going to miss you very much.”
The commissioners voiced similar sentiments. City Commissioner Rob Littleton said that as the new commissioner this past term, Boehm often brought him comfort on the dais because, in the moments when he felt unsure of his thought process, he could look to Boehm and be reassured he wasn't alone. Boehm has treated him like family, he added.
“You made me feel welcome up here and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing that for me," Littleton said.
City Commissioner Troy Kent said Boehm was "the best cheerleader" for the city and that his favorite thing about him was the dad he is. He said he knew that when Boehm was elected, he would bring the same "fire and passion" as he did when he first walked into the commission chambers years before he was elected.
“I’m honored to call you friend, but the two words that jump out when I think of Rick Boehm?" Kent said. "Good man.”
Mayor Bill Partington said it has been a pleasure to serve with him. He said Boehm is an "absolute champion in all facets of his life," including as a father, husband, businessman, attorney and representative of the city.
“You have been a guiding force on this commission to make sure Ormond Beach is well protected and one of the best cities really in the entire state, if not the nation," Partington said.
Boehm, who was presented with a clock, took his last moments on the dais to talk, not about himself, but his fellow commissioners, and how hard this campaign has been for him seeing people talk negatively about them and their service to the city.
“Those people that have been negative about it are wrong and they have been wrong and they will be wrong," Boehm said. "These are the people who have served you, and I sincerely hope will continue to serve you in the future. I will continue to be here and I will continue to support them, because they will make this and continue to make this a better city.”