Florida Keys

Will Craig Cates be Key West mayor forever? Not quite — but he was given a rare title

City leaders honored outgoing Mayor Craig Cates on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018. Pictured are Key West City Commissioners Greg Davila, Mary Lou Hoover and Jimmy Weekley, Mayor Teri Johnston, Mayor Emeritus Craig Cates, Commissioners Clayton Lopez and Billy Wardlow, Vice Mayor Sam Kaufman, and Mayor Emeritus Dennis Wardlow.
City leaders honored outgoing Mayor Craig Cates on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018. Pictured are Key West City Commissioners Greg Davila, Mary Lou Hoover and Jimmy Weekley, Mayor Teri Johnston, Mayor Emeritus Craig Cates, Commissioners Clayton Lopez and Billy Wardlow, Vice Mayor Sam Kaufman, and Mayor Emeritus Dennis Wardlow.

Key West this week gave a new title to its outgoing mayor. Craig Cates will now be know as mayor emeritus.

Cates, who was first elected in 2009 and was term-limited this year, will serve as an ambassador and advocate for Key West under the title.

Cates “championed legal, environmental and social welfare concerns, supported local charities and businesses, worked diligently to improve city infrastructure and sought to improve the quality of life for all citizens,” according to the city resolution that bestowed the honor.

“You know how much the city means to me, so it’d be an honor to continue promoting the city of Key West everywhere I go,” Cates said at Tuesday’s city commission meeting at City Hall.

The honor has been given sparingly over the past 190 years. Those who have received it are C.B. Harvey, Charles “Sonny” McCoy, Richard Heyman, Captain Tony Tarracino, Dennis Wardlow and Vice Mayor Harry Bethel, according to City Clerk Cheri Smith.

Wardlow attended Tuesday’s meeting to congratulate Cates.

Cates in 2009 toppled two-term incumbent Morgan McPherson.

Cates was succeeded by Teri Johnston, who defeated former city commissioner Margaret Romero in the Nov. 6 runoff.

Johnston’s first meeting as mayor was Tuesday. She was sworn in earlier that day at a City Hall ceremony attended by nearly 175 people.

Teri Johnston, a two-term city commissioner, took the oath of office Nov. 19, 2018 as part of a ceremony swearing her in as mayor of Key West. She is the second woman to hold the office in Key West history.

Related stories from Miami Herald

  Comments