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Heidi Shipley Will Not Run Again For Palm Coast Council After All, Citing Futility

| May 3, 2018

Palm Coast City Council member Heidi Shipley said she too frustrated with an administration that has sidelined her to go on. (© FlaglerLive)

Palm Coast City Council member Heidi Shipley said she too frustrated with an administration that has sidelined her to go on. (© FlaglerLive)

Heidi Shipley will not run again for the Palm Coast City Council seat she’s held the last three and a half years after all. “It’s just some stuff going on in there that I just don’t want to be a part of anymore,” Shipley said.


Citing frustrations with constantly being on the losing end of 3-2 votes, a city manager who doesn’t return her calls and decisions—such as the two-year plan to  replace City Manager Jim Landon—that “makes us look ridiculous,” Shipley said this morning she would drop out of the race and hope that others jumped in.

The only declared candidate in Shipley’s District 2 race is former Mayor Jon Netts. But several names are floating about as possible candidates, among them Jack Howell, the Teens in Flight board president, and Dan Priotti, a pool-company owner who’s been trespassed from city offices and has been arrested a few times locally on min or charges, and a few months ago made Mayor Milissa Holland worry about her safety at a Hammock Beach Resort function he was attending that the sheriff positioned deputies in the room to protect her.

John Ruffalo, a former member of the defunct Ronald Reagan Republican Assemblies, and Stephanie Capehart, who chairs Flagler’s Democratic Party, were both mentioned by Netts or Shipley as possible candidates, but both said in interviews today that they don’t intend to run. “I would not have the patience,” Ruffalo said, though he’d briefly considered it. Capehart said she was “not considering running at this time,” though the party was meeting with a prospective candidate this evening to vet him (it’s neither Howell nor Priotti).

Howell confirmed his interest this morning. “I’m giving this some serious thought because it’s time for change,” he said. “I respect Jon immensely, he’s got a wealth of knowledge but I thought that’s the reason we have term limits. Yes, he has a wealth of knowledge, that’s all well and good, but I’m looking to the future and not the past.”

Shipley made her announcement at the end of Tuesday’s council meeting, but did not go further. In an interview this morning, she said she has no intention to resign the seat before her term ends in November, as fellow-councilman Steve Nobile will this month. But she spoke at length about her frustrations with an administration that, because of council dynamics, has marginalized her, not taking her priorities seriously—since she has no pull from the losing end of votes on the council—and not following up on pledges to complete projects as she had asked.

The turning point for her, she said, was the FPL foot path through the F Section to Matanzas High School, which she had opposed but was completed anyway—a project she now calls a “spite path.” Even after its completion, she said, the administration never carried out the council’s demands that it be properly lit (aside from “a couple of lights,” in her words) nor line the path with additional shrubbery to provide more privacy to properties along the way.

Shipley was also perplexed by the city’s insistence on transforming a portion of Whiteview Parkway from four lanes to two, building a linear park along the way instead, a project the city revealed publicly only in the last few months and that had not been part of its strategic planning previously, nor been instigated by any public clamor for it. “I mention it at the budget meeting,” Shipley said. “The next day, all of them were gung ho about Whiteview, ‘we’ve got to get that done, we’ve got to get that done, it’s the most dangerous street.’ Well, it’s not the most dangerous street. Staly just sent his report and it wasn’t on his list.” She was referring to Sheriff Rick Staly.

Shipley said Landon is in the habit of corralling council members in one-on-one meetings behind closed doors, presenting issues in a one-sided way to get his way, and going ahead with the projects he wants done. “When he wants something done, he will stop at nothing,” she said. “You never get the other side of the story.”

“It’s very frustrating to me to know that no matter what I say it’s not going to matter,” Shipley said, noting that she never meets with the manager anymore, and the only way he communicates with her outside of meetings is by texts, if she has questions or concerns.

The method is reflective of a manager who has historically respected council members in the majority while showing near contempt to those in the minority: he acted with similar dismissiveness toward Frank meeker, the late council member who, frustrated by the process, opted to run for (and win) a county commission seat in 2012 the moment Holland resigned her seat on the commission to run for a House seat. Adding to Shipley’s frustrations is the deliberately slow pace of the council’s process to replace Landon, who has announced his resignation, but not before August 2019, after the council said it wanted a change at the top.

“He shouldn’t be driving anything, he’s been fired,” Shipley said, not quite accurately: the council is looking for a replacement but letting Landon drive the process. “He shouldn’t be handling things right now when he’s on his way out, he shouldn’t be making decisions for us.”

Shipley had announced her decision not to run for council once before, last October, but reversed her decision after getting pressure from supporters to run again. 

Netts was in the room and spoke to Shipley before Tuesday’s meeting, when she told him she would not run again. Placing gallantry ahead of politics—since he can afford it—Netts said he was not happy she was dropping out. “No, not at all. I like Heidi,” he said. “I’d be willing to go up against her in a debate. The public I think is entitled to a choice, in hearing a choice and so on and so forth.” But he said, “I’m almost certain there’s going to be somebody else pop up and come into the process.”

Though Netts is closely associated with Landon as one of his champions over the years, he too has been critical of the prolonged replacement process. “There’s really no point in starting two years earlier, even a year earlier, because the highly qualified candidates are not going to wait and see if Palm Coast picks them.”

Netts also dispensed with assumptions that his return to the council would equate into a revocation of Landon being replaced. “No. From my point of view he’s announced his resignation. That’s a done deal,” Netts said, stressing that he would not approve of a reversal.

 

 

 

 

 

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38 Responses for “Heidi Shipley Will Not Run Again For Palm Coast Council After All, Citing Futility”

  1. Just the truth says:

    Netts will get in since he and Landon are members of their own BOYS CLUB. The City of PC should be ashamed of themselves to force good people out because of Landon and Netts. Our taxpaying dollars are being wasted away right before our eyes.

  2. Just the truth says:

    Mayor Holland why are you allowing Landon have more power over this town then you? We don’t need a Mayor that allows Netts and Landon contrl them, your a puppet with no back bone.

  3. Norm Mugford says:

    The people of Palm Coast District 2 will be very disappointed Heidi. I for one was so pleased when you decided to run late last year. You worked hard and showed your devotion to Palm Coast. Thank You!

  4. woody says:

    Goodbye the voice of reason,hello anarchy.What a shit show it’s going to be.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I endorse Mr. Howell

  6. Layla says:

    Anybody BUT Netts. We don’t need a return to the same old policies we have worked so hard to get beyond. Jim Landon is no longer an asset to this city, and neither is Netts. Come on, there MUST be more people out there willing to take this on.

  7. Dan Priotti says:

    Yes, I’m thinking about running for city council. I get accused of things that are not true. Landon has stated before in a city council meeting that his employees fear me and called 911 every time I go into the building, yet I have asked number plus times for the 911 redonda and neither the city nor county has any records of this. They trespassed me after I told them I was taking all my documents to city council to show them what’s us taken place. The next day I had the trespass issued on me. This is the way they treat resident that do not agree with them. As for my arrest record, my unfiltered speak my mind mouth has got me in minor trouble. Few where all withheld as there was no prof as for Dui’s I am not the first person thinking of running for an office without a record. Our constitution states “We The People” NOT we the perfect people. And this the first time I’m hearing of an safty issues mayor holland had with me at hammock dunes. What proof do they have? Please provide this? This is why our city manager needs to go mas we need new fresh camiseta in who work for the people. Not make up complete lies about individuals to make them look bad.. please investiga y these alagstions and you flagler live will see they have no merit.

  8. Dan Priotti says:

    Also holland has sat next to me at many of functions over the last year , she has said hello and were were friendly . A Flager county commissionair was at same table, if you really want to know the truth call me I have tons of document s to prove all this..

  9. Layla says:

    Thank you for serving, Heidi. Your efforts were greatly appreciated. You will be missed.

  10. Dave Preat says:

    What we don’t need is the good ole boy system in place. Netts wasn’t the best for the city, and he needs to bow out. We are all suffering from his nonsense spending when he was on the council and as Mayor. It’s time to drain the city swamp, and put people in that will do the Job as elected. We need member’s that wont get sucked into the BS of Landon.

  11. I know you better says:

    Dan there is soooo much more to your story than you are letting on. Can’t wait until it all comes out. Please run… please.

  12. Big town with big problems says:

    This town is pathetic. Corrupt as DC. What a joke. Maybe they will find a way to fine me for my comment.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Priotti for council!!!! We need someone to stand up to the mayor who is a legend in her own mind. We need someone with balls!!!

  14. a tiny manatee says:

    this is flagler county, dan. if you have a conviction you’ll get elected, no problem.

  15. PC CITIZEN says:

    SORRY TO LEARN OF HEIDI’S DECISION. WE HAVE LOST THE RESIDENT’S ONLY VOICE. WELCOME TO THE DEVELOPERS!

  16. palmcoaster says:

    Bad news for Palm Coast taxpayers.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Until voters wake up and get rid of Holland, Cuff and Klufus it will never get any better. Shipley and Nobile are the minority. Holland and Netts are holding hands and Holland should be ashamed brining so much drama to this council. What a dispecible gothic trouble making, behind the scenes individual. Extra police protection for Holland at our expense…what a joke. Proitti wouldn’t touch her with a 10 foot pole. She’s a legend in her own mind.

  18. David Schaefer says:

    I am ashamed to be a resident of this city what a friggen joke. I liked it better when it was ran by Flagler Co. If my wife did not have a great job we would have moved from here many years ago. Hello to the town of Mayberry USA with Earnist T Bass ,Otis,&the stupid city council…….

  19. Discussed Citizen says:

    And so the saga continues at PC city hall. That’s all we need is the 3 Musketeers together again running in control again. Landon, Holland and useless Netts. The one that started it all. Please run again Hiedi the city needs you. Wake Up PalmCoast enough of these 3

  20. palmcoaster says:

    Heidi is correct when she talks about the waste of our tax dollars among other things to destroy and redo the currently beautiful White View Parkway based on safety invented excuses and from 4 lanes to 2 in a growing city. The safety issue is a travesty as we have as many accidents and deaths in Old Kings Road, just one for ignoring a stop sign days ago in Utility Drive https://flaglerlive.com/121290/crash-utility-drive/ . Same deaths in Palm Coast Parkway not long ago http://www.jacksonville.com/news/2017-01-19/palm-coast-mother-and-daughter-killed-crash and because that we are going to redo them?, Same with Old Kings Road https://www.news4jax.com/news/florida/flagler-county/bicyclist-killed-in-hit-and-run-in-flagler-county Just because motorist speed, do not observe signs and other violations. Instead of sheriff traffic enforcement we will waste millions of our tax dollars on destroying a current beautifully landscaped White View Parkway by Landon now, when we have a drainage leak from Holland Park since reopened after remodeling into the only sidewalk and now making a pond across the FPD in Fawn Lane and allover Florida Park Drive to Palm Coast parkway with any minimal rain and is not fixed because is a big undertake aka $$..That drainage leak in the Holland Park sidewalk is a hazard to our residents that slide and fall on the slimy sidewalk like my 70 years old friend did, then city costly challenges lawsuits of residents. Also the blight to be erased form FPD that just would dream to look as beautiful as White View Parkway right now planned for destruction, while FPD is denied the improvement. FPD is also denied the solution of the 8400 cars daily directed to it that poison with emmissions the health of its residents and expose them to speed hazards with houses set too close to a drive that was not supposed to be turned into a major traffic road by former mayor Netts and Landon. Erroneously starting with the sign on I-95 south just across the St John border that reads Palm Coast other than Matanzas Parkway, directs the traffic incorrectly to the wrong section of Palm Coast, for those that actually are looking for the center of Palm Coast and Palm Coast Parkway East instead.Then many vehicles end up on FPD to reach all areas of Palm Coast Parkway East. Idiocy! Stop wasting our taxes benefiting the expansion infrastructure for developers around Town Center, Roberts Road and its extension now. Stop taking our taxes to the Town Center CRA and instead repair the infrastructure of our Old Palm Coast. Charge developers the right amount of impact fees on their planned projects for that infrastructure expansion other than using our taxes for their benefit taking our hard earned contribution from our utility company and our city general funds. Do not attack and sue tax payers residents that are asking for the services that we pay in our taxes to this county and city and are used in favor of developers and special interest! We elect council and mayor and out of 5 we only get 2 to hear and serve us and now they resigned over the frustration of always being over voted by 3. Now the remaining 3 are all for special interest and this mayor attitude is even disrespectful to some of the residents during their 3 minutes presentation on meetings.
    In the city council workshops looks really disrespectful that the two highest paid officials out of our hard earned taxes give their backs to the very taxpayers that sustain their pay and also to all the city departments chiefs and employees as well. Makes it to look ridiculous our city attorney turning around often to see who is who among us on his back…with a threatening glance. Council and mayor need to change that now and have them facing us all attending the workshops. Matters discussed also affect us all most the time in a negative way in spite of our pleas, and our wasted time to attend.

  21. John Brady says:

    Colonel Jack, you answered your nation’s call, now time to answer your city’s call

  22. Just the truth says:

    I hope Netts, Landon and Holland read these posts because I you can see the citizens here are not pleased with the government of this town, and how many times do we have to tell you we DON’T WANT NETTS ANYMORE AND GET RID OF LANDON.

  23. I mean come on. says:

    Heidi won’t be missed. Next best idea would’ve been moving a couple towns over.

  24. thomas says:

    Ms. Shipley was the only Council member who earned her pay. She will be missed.

  25. mark101 says:

    Its a pity, as long as Palm Coast has Landon, The Destroyer of Palm Coast and his supporting stooges Holland and Netts Palm Coast is doomed to the mismanagement and biased selection of projects that benefit them and their money supporters. Maybe we the voters can do something, but until Landon is removed from office, it will never happen.

  26. Layla says:

    To a Tiny Manatee: Who is elected who has a conviction? Make accusations, show us the proof.

  27. Jack Howell PhD. says:

    Thank you John for your encouragement. Should I enter this race, I have decided that I will only run for one term. Further, I will fund the campaign with my own money as I don’t want to give the appearance that I can be bought. I can’t! I will not accept contributions however, donations to the Charity Teens-In-Flight would be accepted. I will not mess up the beauty of our city with ugly campaign signs. Should I get elected, the salary will go directly to Teens-In-Flight. Finally, I uphold the Marine Corps core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment therefore I will run a clean and honorable campaign. I have the highest respect for Jon Netts. He is a friend worthy advisory. No question about his knowledge and history as Councilman and Mayor. That said, people within our community want a new face and change. If I run and I’m elected, I will give them that change. Sometimes our elected officials forget about the meaning and definition of Public Servant. I think I need to restore that concept!

  28. Sadie says:

    @Dan Priotti Please have someone proofread anything you put in writing in the future. Your posts here make you look like an uneducated, unqualified candidate for even an entry level McDonald’s job. Spelling, punctuation, grammar matter! You may have a great agenda, but your posts were gibberish and I for one am unable to discern any useful information from them.

  29. sluggo says:

    So sorry to hear Heidi Shipley is not running, she had my families vote. Heidi, please reconsider Palm Coast needs you ! Heidi has been the only council member who truly works to help residents. This is why her suggestions have been consistently ignored by Landon and all the other incompetent council members, they do not care about what is beneficial for Palm Coast citizens.

    Palm Coast residents, please, think before you vote !, Jon Netts is a true follower of Jim Landon and will do whatever Landon wants , not caring about the consequences to residents. We do not
    need Netts running for any office in Palm Coast again !!. He had his chance as Mayor and did nothing
    to resolve issues in our city. Be aware, Netts and Holland are in cahoots ! They have a long family history
    behind them. Netts attends council meetings guiding Melissa Holland, pulling her “puppet strings”,
    as she has is incapable of making a competent decision on her own. My family is truly concerned as to what is happening in Palm Coast because of all the corruption and incompetence at city government level. All have no scruples.

  30. Just the truth says:

    sluggo says: Well written and so truthful. What do we have to do to tell this town we are tired of the City of PC Landon and Netts. When will the Mayor listen to the citizens that voted for her?

  31. palmcoaster says:

    She is correct when Heidi talks about the waste of our tax dollars among other things to destroy and redo the currently beautiful White View Parkway based on safety invented excuses and from 4 lanes to 2 in a growing city. The safety issue is a travesty as we have as many accidents and deaths in Old Kings Road, just one for ignoring a stop sign days ago in Utility Drive https://flaglerlive.com/121290/crash-utility-drive/ . Same deaths in Palm Coast Parkway not long ago http://www.jacksonville.com/news/2017-01-19/palm-coast-mother-and-daughter-killed-crash and because that we are going to redo them?, Same with Old Kings Road https://www.news4jax.com/news/florida/flagler-county/bicyclist-killed-in-hit-and-run-in-flagler-county Just because motorist speed, do not observe signs and other violations. Instead of sheriff traffic enforcement we will waste millions of our tax dollars on destroying a current beautifully landscaped White View Parkway by Landon now, when we have a drainage leak from Holland Park since reopened after remodeling into the only sidewalk and now making a pond across the FPD in Fawn Lane and allover Florida Park Drive to Palm Coast parkway with any minimal rain and is not fixed because is a big undertake aka $$..That drainage leak in the Holland Park sidewalk is a hazard to our residents that slide and fall on the slimy sidewalk like my 70 years old friend did, then city costly challenges lawsuits of residents. Also the blight to be erased form FPD that just would dream to look as beautiful as White View Parkway right now planned for destruction, while FPD is denied the improvement. FPD is also denied the solution of the 8400 cars daily directed to it that poison with emmissions the health of its residents and expose them to speed hazards with houses set too close to a drive that was not supposed to be turned into a major traffic road by former mayor Netts and Landon. Erroneously starting with the sign on I-95 south just across the St John border that reads Palm Coast other than Matanzas Parkway, directs the traffic incorrectly to the wrong section of Palm Coast, for those that actually are looking for the center of Palm Coast and Palm Coast Parkway East instead.Then many vehicles end up on FPD to reach all areas of Palm Coast Parkway East. Idiocy! Stop wasting our taxes benefiting the expansion infrastructure for developers around Town Center, Roberts Road and its extension now. Stop taking our taxes to the Town Center CRA and instead repair the infrastructure of our Old Palm Coast. Charge developers the right amount of impact fees on their planned projects for that infrastructure expansion other than using our taxes for their benefit taking our hard earned contribution from our utility company and our city general funds. Do not attack and sue tax payers residents that are asking for the services that we pay in our taxes to this county and city and are used in favor of developers and special interest! We elect council and mayor and out of 5 we only get 2 to hear and serve us and now they resigned over the frustration of always being over voted by 3. Now the remaining 3 are all for special interest and this mayor attitude is even disrespectful to some of the residents during their 3 minutes presentation on meetings.
    In the city council workshops looks really disrespectful that the two highest paid officials out of our hard earned taxes give their backs to the very taxpayers that sustain their pay and also to all the city departments chiefs and employees as well. Makes it to look ridiculous our city attorney turning around often to see who is who among us on his back…with a threatening glance. Council and mayor need to change that now and have them facing us all attending the workshops. Matters discussed also affect us all most the time in a negative way in spite of our pleas, and our wasted time to attend.

  32. tulip says:

    Heidi Shipley was easily intimidated and did not keep speaking up. The few times she did was when she thought she wouldn’t run again and maybe felt a little braver. Then she saw the writing on the wall and has supposedly quit running for the second time. She didn’t earn her pay anymore than the others did.

    Nobile used to be a Reagan Rad, so no respect for him BUT when he did have a good idea or thought he presented it in a sort of non serious way as if he were saying something for the sake of speaking, and somehow Landon made it sound like a foolish statement, and Nobile caved, especially as it got worse and worse because of the way Landon treated him also and Nobile didn’t speak out about it much either.

    We used to have some feisty council people years ago and, even if there were some that didn’t
    like them, discussions, some of them heated, were held regarding the pros and cons of issues, new projects, rules, etc. and pretty good decisions were made and they got things done. They WERE NOT run over by the city manager. Then new ones came in and, one by one, just kinda sat there in their chairs and they figured out who to “group with” in voting for something, with no honest down to earth pro and con discussions. Not Good. If the council had united together and all took the same stand against Landon, things would’ve been different. But, there again, there are always cliques in everything.

  33. I know you better says:

    Darn just heard Dan decided not to run.. I guess he realized all of his past misdeeds would just come back to haunt him. No problem. i think we need an elected official that can at least write legibly.

  34. smarterthanmost says:

    “Sadie says:

    May 4, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    @Dan Priotti Please have someone proofread anything you put in writing in the future. Your posts here make you look like an uneducated, unqualified candidate for even an entry level McDonald’s job. Spelling, punctuation, grammar matter! You may have a great agenda, but your posts were gibberish and I for one am unable to discern any useful information from them.”

    I thought FlaglerLive didn’t allow the grammar police.

    • FlaglerLive says:

      It’s borderline. The commenter is placing her policing in the context of a possible run for office by Priotti, which does make gibberish an issue if and when the gibberer decides to gibber on as a candidate.

  35. Anonymous says:

    Smarter than most-John has common sense….he would make a terrific councilmen. Until you are perfect, don’t correct others.

  36. Anonymous says:

    With so many people so unhappy with current elected officials how do those as Melissa Holland keep getting recycled when she has already proven many times and in many ways she is NOT for the people, she is for the establishment, Netts, Landon to continue the status quo? I hope Shipley will stick it out and reconsider to NOT stop now and give us the voters a chance to get rid of Holland, Cuff and Klufus—the majority–the problem–the ones that were hand picked for the benefit of Landon and company.

  37. Randal Smith says:

    I had the honor to work with Colonel Howell for many years as a High School Teacher at Jean Ribault High School. He was a mentor and friend to me as I started my teaching career. I was able to see the positive impact he made on many children’s lives and if I lived in Palm Coast I would definitely be voting for him.

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