Mayor Connie Thomas was sworn in for her first three-year term on the Orange Park Town Council in May 2016. She was unanimously elected Mayor by her fellow councilmen at the beginning of her second three-year term in 2019.
Connie was raised in Clay County and is a 1979 graduate of Orange Park High School. She received a BA from Newberry College and a Master’s in Clinical Social Work from the University of Georgia. She is a Board-certified Licensed Clinical Social Worker both in Georgia and Florida, and has been in practice for the past 29 years. She is currently a private practitioner at Grace House Counseling Center on Fleming Island.
While residing in Georgia in 2006, Connie engaged with her community to spearhead a response to a severe environmental crisis that impacted her family and her neighbors. With broad community support she led the effort to create a local Environmental Task Force to address toxic substances emitting from a wastewater treatment plant. She ultimately spoke before the Georgia Senate Oversight Committee and was appointed to a federal panel through the Centers for Disease Control (ATSDR), with which she worked to identify ways to mitigate toxic substance emergencies across our nation.
Connie returned to Clay County in 2010, and in 2014 she and her husband Tony Steve moved into Orange Park – drawn there like many others because of the beautiful live oaks and the surrounding waterways.
Connie’s passion for community quickly found voice as a founding member of Citizens for a Greater Orange Park – a group seeking to promote a dynamic and inclusive community vision for the Town. Out of this engagement she sought a position on the Town Council.
Connie combines a broad vision, a dynamic work ethic, and a laser focus to achieving results through the Town Council and through active civic engagement with community organizations. A snapshot of her accomplishments thus far include:
- Established the first round table discussion between the Town, Clay County, Department of Transportation and the NE Florida Transportation Organization which resulted in a TPO Pedestrian Pathway Study that is now the integral piece to the creation of a connective path from NAS Jax to the Town of Orange Park.
- Revitalizing and restoring the Town’s waterways and wetlands through the refocused Environmental Quality Board
- Tackling youth homelessness through the public-private Clay Youth Connection
- Recognition and preservation of OP’s mid-century modern homes, both through the citizens’ group TOP MOD and by establishing a Town historic preservation board
- Preserving a living history of the Orange Park Normal School through a partnership with the Orange Park Historical Society and recognition through a Florida State historical plaque at Town Hall
- Creation of the Orange Park Athletic Alumni Association to assist young athletes in financial need
- Appointment to the Clay County Tourism Development Council, where Connie heads the Product Development Sub-Committee
- Appointment to the Board of Directors of the Northeast Florida League of Cities
Connie is a fiscal conservative who believes “Government closest to the People serves best” and that when the Will of Government aligns with the Will of the People there is nothing that cannot be accomplished. Connie is excited to take her experience and skills to the Clay County Commission.