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Farewell Reception Set for Commissioner George Hanns as Quarter-Century Service Ends

| November 15, 2016

George Hanns at a July 4 commemoration in Palm Coast three years ago. (© FlaglerLive)

George Hanns at a July 4 commemoration in Palm Coast three years ago. (© FlaglerLive)

“I’ve looked at the clock and Swamp People isn’t on until 10 o’clock, so we have time,” Flagler County Commissioner Gorge Hanns said at a commission meeting in September 2013. It was one of innumerable quips he’s delivered in his 24 years as commissioner–he was first elected in 1992–though it’s one of the county’s misfortunes that only a few, very few, have been collected. And now, the Hanns era is over.

After virtually ignoring him at his own Veterans Day ceremony last Friday–he was not on stage, alongside other commissioners and commissioners-elect–the county is making up for it by hosting a farewell reception for Hanns Monday (Nov. 21) at 4 p.m., an hour before a regular meeting of the commission, which will be Hanns’s last. That meeting will muster a bare majority of commissioners for a quorum–Nate McLaughlin, Charlie Ericksen and Hanns–as the governor has yet to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Frank Meeker in July, and Commissioner Barbara Revels is on vacation in the South Pacific.

The reception will take place a day before a special 1 p.m. meeting of the commission where Judge Lee Smith will swear in two new commissioners and an incumbent: Dave Sullivan, who defeated Revels, Donald O’Brien, who defeated Hanns, and Charlie Ericksen, who won re-election by defeating challenger Jason DeLorenzo, the former Palm Coast City Council member.

A reception will likely be scheduled for Revels once she returns Stateside. “I can’t imagine that we would not have one for her,” a county spokesperson said today.

Hanns today was in the audience and among those congratulating Milissa Holland, his former colleague on the commission, in her accession to the mayorship in Palm Coast, along with two new Palm Coast council members. He mentioned just turning 70 (he did so on Oct. 5) and being unemployed for the first time. His plans? He wants to work on a veterans museum in Flagler County.

Hanns became a Flagler County commissioner in 1992, after serving on the Palm Coast Service District Advisory Council for two years. He served as Chairman from 2009-2010 and again from 2013-2014.

During his tenure, a county release issued this afternoon states, Hanns has been instrumental in seeing many projects through acquisition and fruition including, but not limited to: Palm Coast Community Park (later renamed Jim Holland Memorial Park); Flagler County artificial reefs; Princess Place Preserve; Florida Agricultural Museum; Save Our Seniors Homestead Exemption; Espanola Community Center; Matanzas Woods overpass and interchange; Flagler Youth Center and Roller Rink; preservation of the Old Moody Homestead; Princess Place Stable restoration; and the Veterans Memorial in front of the Government Services Building.

Just last August, Hanns lost his long-time companion, Sophie Zabas, to cancer, a loss that did not ease a difficult but civil election campaign. It was with Zabas that he would watch Swamp People, the reality show that follows alligator-hunters in the Louisiana swamps, little knowing that he would fall victim to a sweeping election that made “draining the swamp” (albeit in Washington) one of its many murky catch-phrases.

Hanns with colleagues Nate McLaughlin and Charlie Ericksen. (© FlaglerLive)

Hanns with colleagues Nate McLaughlin and Charlie Ericksen. (© FlaglerLive)

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4 Responses for “Farewell Reception Set for Commissioner George Hanns as Quarter-Century Service Ends”

  1. Geezer says:

    One door closes, and another one opens. Good luck Mr. Hanns.
    Thank you for your military, and local government service.

  2. George Hanns says:

    Flaglerlive, Thank you for your kind words.
    I’m Looking forward to to not wearing a suit any more as a new adventure awaits.
    yep it’s time you roll up the sleeves and get busy !

  3. john dolan says:

    You were at the gravy trough far too long. Didn’t stand up for County workers in 2008. Kept his cushy job and did basically nothing like the rest of the Commissioners. Good Riddance.

  4. Ben Hogarth says:

    Thanks Mr. Hanns for your many years of public service. I have always enjoyed hearing the old war stories especially; definitely great learning opportunities.

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