Apopka said goodbye to two City Commissioners last night as Bill Arrowsmith and Sam Ruth sat in Seats #3 and #4 for the last time.

Kyle Becker defeated Arrowsmith to take over Seat #4, while Doug Bankson defeated Ruth for Seat #3 in the April 12th runoff election. Bankson and Becker will be sworn-in next Tuesday. Both Arrowsmith and Ruth have said they would not seek elected office again. Arrowsmith was on the City Commission longer than anyone in Apopka history. Ruth’s tenure was one of the shortest.

But on this night there were tears, laughter, applause, standing ovations, and appreciation for the two outgoing Commissioners.

Arrowsmith, a 39-year legend on the Commission, spoke of previous administrations and teams that formed the base of what Apopka is today.

 Commissioner Sam Ruth
Commissioner Sam Ruth

“I have been fortunate to have served with a man of the highest of integrity in Mayor John Land and also many fellow commissioners making up great teams over the years,” he said in a speech at the end of last night’s City Council meeting. “It is rewarding to see cranes working on the new hospital to the south, heavy equipment carving a path to the north for the 429 extension, continued expansion of the Cooper Industrial Parks and new residential developments coming out of the ground. These teams have formed the foundation for the future of this city and my biggest concern is that we don’t put all of our focus on dreaming of green pastures and forget to fertilize what we have.”

Despite only two years on the City Commission, Ruth talked about the honor it was for him to serve.

“Everytime I sat in this seat, it was a privilege. But it doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to you (the people),” he said in remarks after Arrowsmith. “I never used this seat as a weapon, and no one ever told me how to vote. There is no book on how to be a commissioner. Sitting in this seat is the loneliest place in Apopka.”

Arrowsmith was critical of Becker for what he has described as running a negative campaign. And in the week since the election results were announced, he maintains his opinion. In fact Arrowsmith extended his criticism to the current administration.

“Unfortunately from Washington on down, we see candidates with nothing more than the ability to put a good spin cycle on their opponent in a negative form as their way of gaining office,” he said. “It was not unexpected to see the glaring support from this administration for my opponent including fundraising and bullying businesses that chose to support me. I have been criticized for not congratulating my opponent and would like to reiterate that this is not a game when it affects your family.”

Ruth’s last words as an Apopka City Commissioner was to joke about his inexperience, and to renew his love for the city.

Commissioner Bill Arrowsmith
Commissioner Bill Arrowsmith

“The four years I ran unsuccessfully for City Commissioner I knew everything. It was only after I was elected that I found out I didn’t know nothing,” he said.

“But I will tell you this…I’m one of Apopka’s biggest cheerleaders. I wasn’t always the people’s first choice, but Apopka was always my first choice.”

 

 

 

 

9 COMMENTS

  1. I was there at the Apopka Council meeting, Wednesday April 20, 2016, when the two incumbents, Commissioner and Vice-Mayor Arrowsmith and Commissioner Sam Ruth sat on their last council meeting. Did anyone other than myself think that Mayor Kilsheimer should have said a little speech to the two leaving, and thank them for their service, and wish them well, and etc? Did I miss something? I don’t think so. Why did he not even say adios to them? Was he more concerned about a last minute sneak attack or something? I think the Mayor should have gave them a little kudos at least. I know Commissioner Sam Ruth was on the mayor’s “so-called” team, but no kudos to Sam either. Very interesting.

  2. Now a new man has been placed on the Planning Board in Apopka to take the place of Jeremiah Jaspon, who left. What does this mean for Jeremiah Jaspon? Has he left to pursue more legal cases, or has he left to pursue political aspirations, such as the Florida Senate District 11 seat up for grabs? He had expressed interest in running, according to the internet. Some very good candidates already running! Just saying……..

  3. I watched that blonde gal with the striped top on, at the city council meeting in Debary on tv, standing up there at the podium, saying she was so ashamed of living in Debary, because they are always in the news, in a negative spotlight,t about the city’s political fighting and attics, and how she desired to live elsewhere, because she was so disgusted and ashamed of how her city’s representatives on the city council have been……..I sat back and was laughing out loud! I was like……..you go girl! I hope our city’s council doesn’t get that bad, as Debary!

  4. Do you all believe what was said, that Commissioner Arrowsmith and Commissioner Ruth will not run again for election? LOL!

  5. Oh and the source for the above posting about them not running for elected office again is: The Apopka Voice, April 21, 2016, under the article, “Commissioners Arrowsmith and Ruth conclude their….. ” and I can’t remember the exact words of the rest of the title. Sorry. Mama Mia killed off some brain cells, boot scooting, a long time ago!

  6. They say they are not going to run again for election, just like a woman who just gave birth, who shouts out, “never ever ever again!” LOL!

  7. I am picking on the commissioners, and I am sorry. I want to sincerely thank Commissioner Arrowsmith and Commissioner Ruth for serving our citizens and for taking up your personal family time, when you could of been doing something else that you enjoyed, and for standing up for Apopka, and I know first hand, it was not easy dealing with the public, for sure, and I wish you two the best life has to offer, so God bless you both, and take care. There is no doubt in my mind, that you both sincerely love Apopka.

  8. Little Prince, the purple lover, has passed on, to the eternal world. Sorry to learn of Prince’s unexpected sudden death. RIP.

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