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Most members of the Florida Commission on Community Service had their most recent appointments yanked by Gov. Ron DeSantis this weekend.


Volunteer Florida hardest struck by Ron DeSantis’ board retractions

Florida Commission on Community Service had 17 appointments pulled back.

Dozens of state commissions face some uncertainty after Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday pulled back nearly 170 appointments made by former Gov. Rick Scott. But none were more impacted than the Florida Commission on Community Service.

Of the 23 commissioners currently overseeing work at Volunteer Florida, seventeen had their appointments pulled back.

Kerry Anne Schultz, Vice Chair of the Commission, was among them. But she’s optimistic the news won’t impact the board.

For one, it’s Schultz’s understanding that until new appointments get named by DeSantis, everybody previously appointed by Scott will stand until further notice.

“That will let business go forward,” she said.

Schultz herself has served for years, so it was a reappointment that got yanked for her. Typically, members stay in place until a replacement gets named. Schultz is reapplying for her post and hoped to keep her seat.

Volunteer Florida officials have closely followed the developments regarding appointments. If nothing else, the organization knows they have time to let things settle.

The commission itself doesn’t meet again until June, after the Legislative Session. That should give DeSantis time to review applications and pick who stays on the commission and who gets replaced.

But some of the board’s key members now have their status in flux. Commission Chair Autumn Karlinsky and Commission Treasurer Todd Demko both had their appointments retracted. That means every officer position on the board must reapply or lose their post.

Former Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward has his appointment rescinded, as did non-profit leaders from ever corner of the state.

Schultz for her part dismissed concerns as just part of the transition from one governor to another.

“I love this governor. He and Gov. Scott come from the same political standpoint,” she said. “I don’t know why this has happened but to get us on this governor’s form.”

Organization leaders expect many of the long-time commissioners, presuming they re-apply, to get reappointed to the posts. But officials anticipate some will be swapped out with new choices.

The 17 commissioners on the Florida Commission on Community Service to have appointments rescinded include: Todd Demko, Sherry Wheelock, Sabeen Perwaiz Syed, Patricia Miller, Natalia Martinez, Meghan Collins, Maritza Rovira Farino, Lys Rubin, Lorena Jayne Cerio, Kyle Hill, Kerry Anne Schultz, Kelli Walker, Chucha Barber, Christina Bonarrigo, Charles Jeffrey Vickers, Autumn Karlinsky and Ashton Hayward.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at

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