Ex-administrator Sansbury joins crowded District 2 Commission race

Ex-administrator Sansbury joins crowded District 2 Commission race

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John C. Sansbury in 2000

After John Sansbury retired as Palm Beach County administrator in 1986, commissioners voted to name the street on which he lived in his honor.

Sansburys Way was to be a capstone to his 11-year tenure leading the county’s staff.

But Sansbury, 68, isn’t quite done with county government — or, at least, he doesn’t want to be done with it.

Sansbury said Monday he plans to file paperwork to run for the County Commission seat being vacated by Paulette Burdick, who can’t run for re-election because of term limits.

“There’s a right way, a wrong way and then there’s Sansburys Way,” he joked.

Former county attorney Gary Brandenburg will serve as Sansbury’s campaign treasurer.

Sansbury’s entrance into the District 2 commission race — he said he plans to file paperwork with the Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections Office on Tuesday — would make a crowded field even more crowded.

A quartet of Democrats — Gregg Weiss, Sylvia Sharps, Emmanuel Morel and Alex Garcia — have already filed to run in the district, which stretches from Lantana Road in the south to Roebuck Road west of West Palm Beach in the north and from the Intracoastal Waterway in West Palm Beach to Sansburys Way/Lyons Road in the west.

Sansbury, a former Republican, says he plans to run as a Democrat.

“There’s nobody that knows more about Palm Beach County than the person you’re talking to,” he told a reporter.

Sansbury noted that he wrote a letter recommending that Verdenia Baker be promoted to county administrator. He was county administrator when Baker’s predecessor and mentor, Bob Weisman, was hired by the county.

Weisman retired in 2015 after 24 years as county administrator. The county government center was re-named in honor of Weisman, who also had a street named after him.

The two roads intersect in unincorporated Palm Beach County west of West Palm Beach.

Sansbury has lived on the road named for him for the past 40 years. An older brother, Tom Sansbury, is a former chairman of the Palm Beach County School Board.

After Sansbury left as county administrator, he went into real estate development. He also served as a Port of Palm Beach commissioner from 1988 to 1992. And several of his deals, real estate and otherwise, came under government or public scrutiny, including his steering of a $3,000 port catering job to the Crazy Horse Tavern, a now-defunct bar that he partially owned. The Florida Ethics Commission reprimanded him for the deal in 1991.

Sansbury — who ran again for the Port Commission, and lost, in 2000 — said he’s running for the County Commission seat because he wants to get back into public service.

“I’ve always been involved in public service,” he said.

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