Newly elected Gulf Breeze Mayor David Landfair abruptly resigned on Friday, less than a month into his first term.
He wrote the following letter:
”To the City Council and Citizens of Gulf Breeze: Today, I resign as Mayor of the City of Gulf Breeze. Life does not always go as planned. I had looked forward to continuing to serve my community as I have for all of my adult life, including eight years as a member of your City Council. However, I must admit to an error in judgment by engaging in inappropriate texting with an adult woman.
The letter continued: “I have caused embarrassment to my family, friends and supporters, and I do not wish to spend my term as mayor defending my texting or dragging the city into discussion that distracts from issues and projects of greater importance. Instead, I think the right thing to do is to take responsibility for my actions myself and remove myself from office without debate. I am grateful for my family’s love and support. To them and to all my supporters, this is my apology. I believe that it is best for the citizens of Gulf Breeze for me to resign and for all of us to move on. I appreciate the years of support from the City of Gulf Breeze and the years of friendship from the citizens and the City Council. I also appreciate the years we have spent together and the many accomplishments that we have achieved along the way. This was my mistake. My family and I appreciate your prayers and your respect for our privacy at this time.
Mayor Pro Tem Cherry Fitch issued the following prepared statement:
“David Landfair has tendered his resignation as the Mayor of Gulf Breeze. Although this is unexpected, it is not the first time that the City Council has had a resignation prior to the end of a term. Our City charter provides that in the absence or disability of the Mayor, the Mayor Pro Tem shall act as Mayor and will perform all duties of the office.”
Fitch, a retired public school teacher who is now a real estate agent in addition to serving on the city council for $1 a year, added, “Additionally, our charter provides that the Council will make an appointment for the remainder of the unexpired term. We respect that David Landfair desires to resign rather than distract from the progress in which he has played a contributing role for the last eight years.”
Without providing details of the circumstances behind Landfair’s resignation, Fitch wrote, “Notably, David was instrumental in negotiations with FDOT for the sale of a portion of Wayside Park which has resulted in many quality of life projects which are now breaking ground. I remain positive in my outlook for 2019 for our city with good reason. Please join me in adding the Landfair family to our prayers for support during this time.”
City Manager Samantha Abell did not immediately respond to a reporter’s questions.
Landfair couldn’t be reached Friday afternoon.
Landfair, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, also recently retired as a JROTC instructor at Gulf Breeze High School.