Bob Matthews

Longtime City Councilor Bob Matthews died of gastric cancer March 18 at the age of 75.

Longtime Seminole City Council member Bob Matthews, who passed away in March, will certainly be missed by the residents of the city. But he’ll also be missed by the entire region, given his significant contributions as a longtime board member of the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council.

Bob provided steady, thoughtful leadership on the council’s board for decades as the organization’s longest-serving member, and most recently as vice chair. He did his homework, asked insightful questions, and enthusiastically supported taking a regional approach to the area’s challenges.

The council provides research and data to local governments and the public on a variety of issues such as transportation, the economy, resiliency, and the environment. Bob was a role model in having the patience and tenacity to address tough, complicated challenges.

And just as he was always proud to share the progress of the city of Seminole, Bob was eager to hear about best practices and lessons learned from around Tampa Bay and Florida.

Over the past several years, Bob was a leader in the creation of the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition, which is working to help the area become more resilient to severe weather and flooding. He encouraged the city of Seminole to join, and was a steadfast advocate as the coalition began its work.

In nearly 30 years of public service, Bob was involved in a wide range of initiatives for the council. He served on the Florida Regional Councils Association Policy Board, and served as chair of the TBRPC nominating committee for more than 10 years, playing a major role in determining the council’s leadership.

Perhaps most of all, Bob was known to all of us at the council as a caring, compassionate person who embodied the best in a public servant. We will greatly miss him on the council board, and our condolences go out to his family.

Patrick Roff, Chair, Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council