Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Seminole Mayor Jimmy Johnson resigns as chamber executive director

SEMINOLE — Mayor Jimmy Johnson resigned last week as executive director of the Seminole Chamber of Commerce, a position he has held for the past 11 years.

The decision, he said Thursday, was fueled by many things, from a feeling that "it's time" to health issues.

His health, he said, is "not the whole reason. It's part of the reason."

"I think I've done what I needed to do," Johnson said. "It's time to let someone else (take charge). It's time to venture into other things."

Other things include travel and plans to reactivate his real estate license. He has no plans to give up his job as Seminole's mayor, a position he has held since March 2007.

"I'll continue being mayor as long as they elect me," Johnson said. "I love being mayor."

It is unclear when Johnson's last day will be. He left that up to the chamber board, which will meet today.

"This is all new to us. … We're kind of caught off guard," chamber president Mike McQuilkin said. "Jimmy's a major, major part of this community and always has been. He'll just be missed. Hopefully, he'll have an active role still."

Johnson, 68, underwent a single-lung transplant in March 2008 after being diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive scarring of the lungs with no cure. Later that year, he underwent a second major surgery so doctors could remove polyps from his colon. They were benign.

The medication that is supposed to prevent Johnson's body from rejecting the donated lung has attacked his kidneys. He's still okay, but he has to be monitored. More worrisome, he said, is the fact that "my antirejection medication is not doing well. It's quit working."

The doctors, he said, are going to switch medications.

Johnson, a native of Fayetteville, N.C., moved to Florida after graduating from high school. He worked for a short time in his uncle's gas station in Sanford then moved to the Tampa Bay area to go to the University of South Florida. After graduation, he joined the Air Force and worked as a cryptologist.

After leaving the Air Force, he went to work for Kmart and was transferred around the Southeast.

"I swore once I retired from Kmart, I wasn't moving anymore," he said.

After retiring, he settled in unincorporated Pinellas. Seminole annexed his condominium complex in 2001, the year after he became executive director of the chamber. He was elected to the City Council in 2003 and was in his second term as a council member when he was appointed mayor in late 2006 when Dottie Reeder resigned to run for the state House.

Johnson said a lot has been accomplished while he has been chamber executive director, but he sees a lot left to be done. He said he's especially bothered by the area's rampant unemployment. "Not everything is good in Seminole," Johnson said. "Until we find a job for all those people, it is not good."

Reach Anne Lindberg at [email protected] or (727) 893-8450.

Seminole Mayor Jimmy Johnson resigns as chamber executive director 04/19/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 12:26pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Unforgiving wildfires affect vineyard workers and owners


    SONOMA, Calif. — When the wildfires ignited, vineyard workers stopped picking grapes and fled for their lives. Some vineyard owners decided to stay and fight back, spending days digging firebreaks and sleeping among their vines.

    Wilma Illanes and daughter Gabriela Cervantes, 8, found their home intact, but had lost a week’s wages and sought aid.
  2. O'Reilly got new contract after big settlement


    Last January, six months after Fox News ousted its chairman amid a sexual harassment scandal, the network's top-rated host at the time, Bill O'Reilly, struck a $32 million agreement with a longtime network analyst to settle new sexual harassment allegations, two people briefed on the matter told the New York …

    Bill O’Reilly was fired by Fox News after multiple allegations.
  3. Trump plans to release JFK assassination documents


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced Saturday morning that he planned to release the tens of thousands of never-before-seen documents left in the files related to President John F. Kennedy's assassination held by the National Archives and Records Administration.

    FILE - In this Nov. 22, 1963 file photo, President John F. Kennedy waves from his car in a motorcade in Dallas. Riding with Kennedy are First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, right, Nellie Connally, second from left, and her husband, Texas Gov. John Connally, far left.  President Donald Trump, on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017,  says he plans to release thousands of never-seen government documents related to President John F. Kennedy's assassination.  (AP Photo/Jim Altgens, File) NY107
  4. Water leak slows traffic in Westshore area

    Public Safety

    TAMPA –– A broken water main has closed the westbound lane of West Cypress Street between North Westshore Boulevard and North Ward Street. The city estimates the repairs will be completed by 7 a.m. on Sunday.

  5. Fox renewed O'Reilly contract despite knowing of allegations


    NEW YORK (AP) — The Fox News Channel says the company knew a news analyst planned to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against Bill O'Reilly when it renewed the popular personality's contract in February.

    Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly appears on the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," in New York. O'Reilly has lost his job at Fox News Channel in April following reports that several women had been paid millions of dollars to keep quiet about harassment allegations. [Associated Press file]