Meads resigns from Islamorada council

Councilwoman to focus on her role with water district

Meads to focus on her role with water district - A group of people sitting at a table - Brixton tube station
Cheryl Meads speaks during a Islamorada Chamber of Commerce luncheon in May on the South Florida Water Management District. WEEKLY FILE PHOTO

Islamorada Councilwoman Cheryl Meads is stepping away from the dais to invest her full time as a member of the South Florida Water Management District Governing Board.

Meads submitted her resignation letter to top village staff and Vice Mayor Mike Forster on Tuesday morning, thanking leadership and residents for the trust they placed in her during her time of service. Meads told the Weekly she couldn’t make the council meetings work with her commitments with the SFWMD board. She acknowledged she struggled with the decision, but said “no decision is always a bad decision.” 

“I’m going to miss council, but I had to choose, and I think I made the choice that can help Monroe County the most,” Meads told the Weekly. “I’m not going to zig-zag between meetings if I have to choose. I’ll focus on the Everglades. We’re fully funded, and we got $200 million on the books.”

Meads has served on the Islamorada Village Council since 2016. Last year, she was appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis to serve on the SFWMD governing board, something she said requires her full time, energy and focus. Meads, who’s an at-large member, represents an area that encompasses not only Monroe County, but also St. Lucie, Martin, Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Her term began in March 2019 and ends in Feb. 2021.

Meads says she’s learned a lot since joining the SFWMD governing board. And still, there’s much more to learn. 

“I feel I am not only invested in the future of the village, which I remain passionate about, but all the Florida Keys, as well as the 8.7 million South Floridians throughout the 16 counties this governing board serves,” Meads stated in her letter. 

Meads said Village Manager Seth Lawless and staff went out of their way to accommodate her so she could attend meetings when she was away from the area through call-in. Since she isn’t allowed to call in any more, Meads said, she couldn’t make it work. 

As for the vacancy, applications will be accepted following the Jan. 9 village council meeting. Any Islamorada residents who are a registered voter can apply. The person would be approved through a council supermajority vote. 

Jim McCarthy
Jim McCarthy is one of the many who escaped the snow and frigid temperatures in Western New York. A former crime & court reporter and city editor for two Western New York newspapers, Jim has been honing his craft since he graduated from St. Bonaventure University in 2014. In his 5-plus years in the Keys, Jim has enjoyed connecting with the community. Jim is past president of the Key Largo Sunset Rotary Club. When he's not working, he's busy chasing his son, Lucas, around the house and enjoying time with family.