County commissioners honor outgoing Ocala Mayor Guinn

Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn, second from right, is honored by County Commission members, from left: Michelle Stone, Craig Curry and Matt McClain during the Historic Marion County Commission meeting held at the Fort King National Historic Landmark in Ocala, Fla. on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2023.

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Posted November 8, 2023 | Staff report

The Marion County Board of County Commissioners this week proclaimed that Dec. 5, 2023 will be known as “Mayor Kent Guinn Day.”

Commissioner Craig Curry presented the proclamation to Guinn, the longest-serving mayor of Ocala, during a Nov. 7 board meeting held at the Fort King National Historic Landmark.

Guinn was elected to the Ocala City Council in 1999. In 2011, Guinn was elected mayor, a position he has held since then. He decided not to seek re-election this year, and Ben Marciano will be sworn in as the city’s new mayor on Dec. 5.

Curry praised Guinn for his many contributions to Ocala, referencing the Dave Thomas Child Advocate Award by the Mid-Florida Division Guinn received for his service to children; Guinn’s role in creating a “residency program for homeless men called Open Arms Village that has an 85% success rate”; as well as convening a task force on ways to combat opioid/heroin addiction in Marion County.

Guinn told the crowd he is a fifth-generation Ocalan whose family has been in Ocala since 1850. He added that he plans to continue to be active in the community after leaving his position as mayor.

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