PSL remembers former Mayor Minsky
Port St. Lucie leaders and staff at City Hall are deeply saddened and mourning the passing of former Mayor Robert E. Minsky, who was instrumental in leading the City though several significant milestones as it grew into what is now the eighth largest in the state.
Mr. Minsky was beloved by many City staffers and elected leaders, who are now building upon the foundation for the City that he played a key role in shaping. The City of Port St. Lucie offers its condolences to the entire Minsky family.
“We were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Mayor Robert E. “Bob” Minsky. If you knew Bob, you know that he was a fierce champion of Port St. Lucie, a loyal friend and a good man. He was passionate about putting Port St. Lucie on the map; and, this is something of an inside joke, because I’m not talking just figuratively. I mean he literally wanted to put PSL on the map,” said Port St. Lucie Mayor Gregory J. Oravec.
“Back during Bob’s terms of office, Port St. Lucie was often omitted from statewide maps in favor of the smaller but older towns around us (something that can still happen to this day due to the locations of regional airports). This would get him so riled up that it would often inspire him to write a patented ‘Bob Minsky’ letter to the map publisher, newspaper or tv station, as the case may be. If you have never been on the receiving end of such a letter, just know that it was one of bite, wit and at its core, a substantive point.
We can only hope that our longtime mayor and champion is now resting in peace after a lifetime of service and with the knowledge that the team he helped lead succeeded in putting Port St. Lucie on the map. His contributions to our community are all around us; and, personally, I often reflect on the leadership that was required to help guide our community through the then controversial water and sewer conversion process in the mid-1990’s and through the challenges and opportunities that come with a city doubling its size in less than a decade and being officially recognized as the fastest growing city in America,” Mayor Oravec said.
Mr. Minsky served as Port St. Lucie’s mayor from 1992 to 1998, and then again from 2000 to 2006. During his tenure as mayor, he helped guide Port St. Lucie though several critical infrastructure issues stemming from the City’s original developer, General Development Corp – especially those involving water and sewer.
He will be remembered as a vigilant champion and supporter of the City’s acquisition of its water and wastewater utility and its subsequent expansion into the award-winning, state-of-the-art utility that it is today.
In fact, Mr. Minsky, a former postal worker, first became involved in local politics in 1988 as a resident who played a pivotal role on a committee of residents who banded together to fight for water and sewer issues.
“There was only one Bob Minsky, and there will always be only one Bob Minsky. As a mayor and elected official, he was professional, always had a good demeanor, was always tenacious on issues and always did his homework,” said former Vice Mayor Jack Kelly. “He left a huge footprint on the City, and we were fortunate to have him and know him. As a person, he was a sincere, caring individual. He had priorities that always included his friends and family. Bob was both a mentor and a nemesis to me and one of the best friends I ever encountered. Both the City and I will miss him dearly. God bless you Bob Minsky.”
Mr. Minsky also was pivotal in helping to spearhead the construction of the Crosstown Parkway and improvements to several other roadways in the City.
He also was at the lead in ushering in several other major projects well known to Port St. Lucie residents today, including the construction of the Port St. Lucie Community Center on Airoso Drive and Whispering Pines Park. The City’s gymnasium adjacent to the park, Minsky Gym, was named in his honor.
As an Air Force veteran, Mr. Minsky was an active supporter of Port St. Lucie’s veterans groups and was a regular speaker, even up until last year, at Port St. Lucie’s annual Veterans Day Service.
“Bob Minsky was always there in a suit and tie paying tribute to our veterans and our members of the military,” said St. Lucie County Commissioner Linda Bartz, a former City Councilwoman. “He was beloved among the veterans in our community.”
Mr. Minsky was born on March 29, 1934 in Bronx, NY and passed away on November 3, 2018.
“We would like to thank Mayor Minsky for his service to his city and his country before that as a member of the US Air Force. We extend our deepest condolences to Emily, his children and everyone who loved him. We respect the family’s wishes for a small private service, but want them to know how much we care. Bob helped place Port St. Lucie on the map, and, for many of us, he has also forever firmly established a place in our hearts,” Mayor Oravec said.