Cuff took his seat at the council early to fill the vacancy left by former councilman Bill McGuire.
New Palm Coast City Councilman Robert Cuff joined the council behind the dais for the first time at its Sept. 6 meeting.
City Clerk Virginia Smith swore in Cuff at 7 p.m. during the Sept. 6 meeting, about a month early: Under more normal circumstances, he’d join in November.
But Cuff’s appointment fills the seat vacated by former councilman Bill McGuire, who left before the end of his term and had to be replaced, as per the city’s Charter, within a month of his resignation.
The City Council approved Cuff’s early appointment unanimously during the meeting.
“I don’t want to take up a lot of time tonight, because I understand I’ll get a do-over in eight weeks,” Cuff said in his comments at the end of the meeting. “I do want to say how excited I am: I think this is the first time in city history that a majority of the City Council has been bearded,” he continued, earning laughter from the audience. “I do want to thank the council and staff. This is very exciting to me. It’s an honor to be asked to complete the term of somebody that I respect as much as Bill McGuire.”
In an interview after the meeting, Cuff said he hoped to bring his local experience and historical knowledge to the service of the city’s residents, and that he felt honored to occupy the same position that McGuire and former councilmen Jerry Full and Frank Meeker had.
“It makes you think, when you realize you’re sitting in the same position that they occupied,” he said. Cuff knew and respected all three men.
Cuff, an attorney who specializes in real estate, real estate planning and business law, opened his own law office in Palm Coast in 2010 and has lived here since 1983, when he moved to the county to serve in ITT’s legal department, according to a bio on his law firm’s website.
He worked for ITT for 17 years, ultimately serving as its general counsel in his last four years there.
Cuff was a partner with Roger Towers, PA from 2000 to 2010, where his practice of law dealt with real estate, land use and permitting, government relations and the creation and operation of business and nonprofit entities, according to the bio.
Before his move to Palm Coast, Cuff practiced law in Miami-Dade County and Broward County. In Broward County, he served as an assistant city attorney and prosecutor in the city of Hollywood, and as an assistant city attorney and acting city attorney for the city of Hallandale.
He is active in organizations including Flagler Habitat for Humanity, the Flagler County Education Foundation, the Rotary Club of Flagler County and the Flagler Humane Society, and is a member of the Flagler Chamber.
A former director of the Flagler County Humane Society, Cuff has two dogs — a golden retriever and a shepherd mix — and a kitten.
He enjoys kayaking, hiking and birding in his spare time.