Jones Foster Land Use & Governmental Shareholder John C. “Skip” Randolph announced at a recent meeting of the Palm Beach Town Council that he is formally retiring from his post as Town Attorney effective Dec. 31, 2023, after serving the Town for 44 years.
“I will miss working with the Council, staff, and residents I have come to know and represent throughout my career with the Town, and I will miss the challenges which this position has offered me during these many years,” Mr. Randolph said looking back on his service to Palm Beach. “It has been my sincere pleasure to serve the Town during the past 44 of my 53 years as a practicing attorney.”
Mr. Randolph became Town Attorney for Palm Beach in 1979. During his tenure, Mr. Randolph worked closely with 7 mayors, 6 town managers, 49 elected officials, and dozens of department heads and staff on a wide range of complex matters that impacted residents and shaped the Town.
“Over these 44 years, Skip has provided all the elected officials with wise legal counsel and has served the people of our community with great integrity and forethought. We have counted, Skip, on your incredible knowledge and devotion to our Town for guidance, and wise guidance it has been,” Palm Beach Mayor Danielle Moore said.
Other council members at the meeting reflected on their time working with Mr. Randolph. “Our town is all the better for your having served it. Look around this town, and you will see the results of Skip’s labors, and the labors of many councils that have served over the years. But we could not have stayed on the path we have stayed on if it were not for your wise counsel and for your advice… Thank you sincerely and profoundly for all you have done for this community,” Councilman Lew Crampton said.
Councilwoman Julie Araskog added, “Your integrity and your moral compass has really led the way for everyone else to be moral and to have integrity, and that’s so important with an attorney to a town… I think you set such an incredible example. You have served us for the law; you’re impeccable in your understanding of the law and what needs to be done… I just thank you for your guidance, for your service, for your friendship.”
Mr. Randolph has represented several other municipalities over the years, including the towns of Jupiter Island, Gulf Stream, and Ocean Ridge, as well as the Village of Tequesta. As co-chair of Jones Foster's Land Use and Governmental practice group, he provides legal counsel to town advisory boards and councils, agencies, and staff on a wide range of legal issues, including real estate, land use and zoning, contracts, ordinances and regulations, personnel, and the enforcement of laws by police and code enforcement officers. Mr. Randolph also works with individual clients in municipal and governmental law matters, including code enforcement, land use, and zoning.
Throughout his career, Mr. Randolph has been the recipient of numerous legal awards. In 2019, he received a Proclamation from former Palm Beach Mayor Gail Coniglio in appreciation of his 40 years of legal service to the Town. He was also recognized with The Florida Bar City, County and Local Government Section’s Ralph A. Marsicano Award, one of the most widely respected industry awards presented to the lawyer who has made “significant and outstanding contributions to the development of Local Government in Florida.” In addition, Mr. Randolph received the Paul S. Buchman Award for Municipal Attorney of the Year and is consistently named to The Best Lawyers in America list for Municipal Law and Municipal Litigation.
Mr. Randolph is also personally and actively involved in the Palm Beach community as longtime chairman of the Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians and Jews, an organization dedicated to promoting fellowship, understanding, and respect among all religions and cultures. An award was established in his name to honor persons or organizations in the community who exemplify the mission of the Fellowship. Mr. Randolph is also a past president of the Royal Poinciana Chapel and the Rehabilitation Center for Children and Adults.
Upon Mr. Randolph’s resignation, the Town adopted a formal resolution designating Jones Foster Shareholder Joanne M. O’Connor as the incoming Town Attorney, effective Jan. 1, 2024. Ms. O’Connor has represented the Town over the past two decades in litigation matters that often involve complex land use, real estate, zoning, and constitutional issues.