Last month I didn’t know that this month would bring such sorrow; sometimes a few weeks change everything. Longtime Florida League of Cities’ Director Emeritus Ray Sittig died Monday, November 12th at the age of 83. Many of you might not know that it was Ray’s generosity that led FCCMA to place the Association’s administration within the League in 1978 beginning a wonderful partnership. As a former assistant city manager in Michigan, Ray thought he would move to Florida and become a city manager; however, the offer to work on behalf of all the cities instead of one was tempting to the young man. That decision led to an amazing career with the League. He never forgot his city management roots; and attending the FCCMA conference every year, he later told me, was always like a homecoming for him. The FCCMA gave him a President’s Award before he retired, and it hangs in a place of honor at the entrance to Sittig Hall at the League’s Tallahassee office.
His determination to see Home Rule placed in the Florida Constitution and to be fully implemented in the Home Rule Powers Act of 1973 was unwavering. He took member and board ideas for pooled insurance trusts and created entrepreneurial programs unlike any seen within state municipal leagues and started many of the League’s most successful programs, all while advocating for cities every day.
It was my privilege and joy to work and travel with him, and to serve in Kiwanis with him. He embodied all that a public servant and citizen should be and modeled the way for his League team. His life and legacy can be truly celebrated by each city, town and village in the Sunshine State.
Lynn Tipton, FCCMA Executive Director