SAN ANTONIO — The city is making plans to find a replacement for Commissioner-elect Anne Kibbe, who declined last week to take the seat she won unopposed in April.
Kibbe also resigned from her job at Saint Leo University as director of professional development.
The two moves came on the heels of her publicly criticizing a plan by the university to construct a plant operations building on its west campus that would generate truck traffic in San Antonio on two residential roads, Pompanic Street and McMullen Drive.
In emails to the Times, Kibbe insisted she was not fired by Saint Leo; she said she resigned her job and passed on the commission seat for personal reasons. Saint Leo officials declined comment, saying the university does not discuss personnel matters.
"My father is turning 80 next month, and I plan to do some traveling with him," Kibbe wrote.
Kibbe, who is also known in the community as an accomplished landscape and floral artist, added that her art will be her main focus.
In the wake of Kibbe's resignation, the commission will appoint her replacement, but Mayor Tim Newlon is moving away from initial plans to hold private meetings with candidates seeking the seat.
The city attorney advised the commission to hold private meetings with candidates and bring nominations for a vote, Newlon said. But after some thought, he said he did not feel comfortable holding the meetings out of public view and has opted to interview candidates during an advertised workshop next month.
"In retrospect, I saw how it certainly could be seen as not the most transparent way to go about determining who you want as the replacement," Newlon said.
So far the candidates include former commissioner and Mayor Roy Pierce; Richard Arto, a retired school district official from New York; and Mary Jordan Anstead, a disabilities services instructor with Pasco County schools.