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Palm Coast’s Shocking Electric Tax Scheme

| October 15, 2018

Palm Coast Mayor Milissa Holland took control of the city council well before the firing of Jim Landon. She is now overreaching. (© FlaglerLive)

Palm Coast Mayor Milissa Holland took control of the city council well before the firing of Jim Landon. She is now overreaching. (© FlaglerLive)

Out of nowhere and in two blinks of an eye, the Palm Coast City Council is about to ram through a large tax increase on residents and businesses with hardly any discussion, no hearings, no public education.

pierre tristam column flaglerlive You’d think Jim Landon was back from the departed. But no. Welcome to Prometheus Unbound, Milissa Holland edition. The mayor wants to light a fire under Palm Coast’s long-moribund rear. Good for her. But she is overreaching, this time with more recklessness than audacity. She’s losing sight of ends and means and making us pay. Bad for us.

The council on Tuesday is planning to impose a new public service electric tax (council members aren’t interested in a franchise fee even though it’s also on the agenda), the kind of tax residents struck down with fury six years ago. What would be a historic tax increase would not be in exchange of lowering the property tax or any other tax or fee. This would be an entirely new and additional tax, precisely to continue to keep the property tax as deceptively low as it’s been.

Holland is pushing the initiative. What she wants to pay for isn’t fluff. The city needs a new public works facility and it needs to pave roads. There’s supposedly not enough money for either.

But there are serious problems with the proposal, starting with the reason why there’s no money. Perhaps it’s unfair to blame the existing council for past sins, but if taxpayers are being asked to pay for those past sins–and they are–it’s not at all unfair to blame today’s council for its current path if the council can more intelligently and compassionately help taxpayers avoid the pain rather than inflict it.

Just four years ago the city manager and the council claimed they could build a $10 million city hall without raising taxes, because they had the money. They lied, of course. They knew the public works facility needed help: this isn’t a problem that sprang up on them overnight. The facility has been shoddy for years. If they didn’t know, they were irresponsibly blind–or deaf to their employees–which adds up to the same thing. They also knew roads need help. Governments know exactly when and where roads begin to fail. They wasted the money on a luxury for themselves anyway. Now they’re raising taxes. (And yes, building fund money used for city hall construction could not be used elsewhere, but that was just 10 percent of the total.)

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They spent nearly $5 million to renovate Holland Park and $8 million to build the palatial Community Center, again knowing where more pressing needs were. Those three projects combined add up to $23 million, well above the sum they want for public works. Add to that the million dollar here and the million dollar there wasted on that foot path through the F Section, on stupid parasols at public parks, on luxury lights and bathrooms at Indian Trails Sports Complex, on unnecessarily transforming  parts of Whiteview Parkway into a linear park, on yet another $4 million splashy “phase” to Holland Park, and we’re talking rolls of dough. Even more if you add the millions wasted on other members-only luxuries like the tennis center and the Palm Harbor Golf Course. So let’s not pretend they didn’t have the money then, or would have needed to raise taxes now. That would be another lie.

Parks and community centers aren’t luxuries, you say? Well, Holland is claiming that the public works facility needs critical attention as a matter of safety for employees–and spoke at last week’s workshop of the risk of an accident that could cause serious harm. If that’s the case, and there’s no reason to doubt it, that was just as true two, four, six years ago, and nobody was going to die or be hurt if the community center and Holland park projects were delayed to address public works first. But Holland Park and the community center provide excellent PR backdrops to a city addicted to “branding” and marketing. Public works does not.

A suspicious hurry to sneak through a historic tax increase that would hurt poorer residents most.

All that is assuming the public works facility and roads need the amounts of money the city claims it needs to spend on either. Two years ago when the council toured the public works facility on U.S. 1 (as I did) the city manager pegged the cost of an upgrade there at $6 million. Then he hired a consultant, who raised the amount to between $15 and $20 million. Last week the figure jumped to $21.5 million. Are these people wanting to build gold-plated hangars or a public works facility? And if this facility has been neglected for years, you want to tell me that its fix needs to be decided at all costs next Tuesday? Is that a straight face or a Halloween mask I see pretending seriousness?

As for roads, the city gets nearly $2 million in revenue from  the local-option fuel tax, $750,000 in state-revenue sharing and nearly $3 million from the small-county surtax, or $5.75 million a year it can spend on roads. Its 2017-18 capital improvement plan reasonably planned on $2 million a year on street maintenance and paving through 2023. Yet by last week the city’s figures for road maintenance, just like those of the public works facility, had jumped to $2.5 million next year and a steady rise to $3.9 million by 2023. Why the change?

All this is beginning to look suspiciously like a tax creating its own needs rather than needs driving a tax, sneaked through with inexplicable if not telling hurry. The proof is in the council’s own ignorance of how much money the public works facility will actually cost, and how  much fluidity there is in street-improvement needs. It’s also before the council considered other revenue sources, such as a fire-assessment tax, which, unlike the electric tax, would be paid by all property owners in the city, including those who own empty lots, not just homeowners and businesses, and so would generate money from a much broader base. Why would the council be looking to protect those empty-lot owners from paying their share?

Yet the council is scheduled for its first reading–first of two votes–on the public service electric tax Tuesday, just seven days after first discussing the proposal. It is planning to set a tax rate and revenue goals before knowing what it actually needs for public works and what it really needs for roads that can’t be covered by existing revenue, or the rearranging of certain priorities like those listed above.

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A few years ago the school board sought a half-penny sales surtax to pay for technology in schools. I remember how the board held a series of public meetings, publicizing its intent all over the place to educate the public, and how School Board member Andy Dance stood at street corners with signs, campaigning for the tax under a blazing sun. The measure passed. In this case, even though the proposed tax will impose a heavier burden on residents and businesses (unlike the sales tax, the electric tax burden isn’t shared with visitors) Palm Coast council members don’t have to win voters’ approval. So they’re not bothering with anything like an education campaign, let alone an attempt to gauge public sentiment. Have they lost their minds? No. They’re being quite strategic about this, cynically so. But they are losing respect, because their contempt for the public they’re serving is showing: three of them don’t face voters for another two years, two others will be off the council the meeting after the tax vote’s second reading. Not quite a midnight levy, but close.

Now consider what the real shock of that public service electric tax increase will be. Even if the city goes with a lower tax rate of 7 percent, it’ll add $76 a year to the average electric bill ($35 or so less if the first 500 kilowatt hours are exempt). Maybe that’s not much on its own. But that’s in addition to how the city just raised water and sewer rates 21 percent (adding $163 to the annual bill) and more than doubled stormwater rates by 2024 (from $11.65 to $30, an increase that’ll add $220 to the annual bill). All those are no different than tax increases. Combine them all, and the annual increases alone of those three bills–not the bills just the increases–add up to an annual extra $459. That’s well above what the average homeowner pays in Palm Coast property taxes to the city (assuming the median home is valued around $175,000).

And that’s insane, no matter what the needed construction ahead.

Those are regressive taxes, hurting most those who can afford them least–retirees, poorer residents and that working class the council claims to want to support. Council member Bob Cuff was the only one to make the point, repeatedly so, though I didn’t hear him outright oppose the tax. The mayor says auditors keep telling the city it needs to “diversify” its tax base. I read those annual reports. They don’t go into public policy nor is it their place to do so: we don’t elect auditors. We pay them to make sure the books aren’t cooked.

Holland says she wants big box stores to pay that sort of tax. That’s great. But not at the price of socking it to thousands of others who can’t pay, and not when there are fairer ways to raise money, starting with the property tax, which big box stores also pay, without a homestead exemption, or a universal fire-service tax. Not that the council is interested in debating the matter with residents.

Yet here we are barreling toward a first reading of an ordinance to impose the tax next Tuesday, less than a month before two new council members are elected, before the public has even had a chance to weigh in. It’s arrogant, it’s shoddy tax policy and it enshrines the lies of the last several years that Palm Coast could spend money on luxuries to its heart’s content without raising taxes.

No wonder we have tea parties. At this rate, we should all man the barricades.

Pierre Tristam is FlaglerLive’s editor. Reach him by email here or follow him @PierreTristam. A version of this piece aired on WNZF.

66 Responses for “Palm Coast’s Shocking Electric Tax Scheme”

  1. Anonymous says:

    When the city starts losing their residents and residents start refusing to pay for the city’s greed, then maybe something will change. Until then, the residents are gonna keep paying higher taxes without fighting city hall

  2. Vincent A. Liguori says:

    Excellent summation-all that can’t be said in three minutes. You can make a difference-show up Tuesday morning and tell the council to stop this nonsense. Public participation starts promptly at 9am. Did the council disregard the sunshine law.? Employee safety -Holland Park and the parasols were more important..What a sham!

  3. Vincent A. Liguori says:

    Anonymous: Why do you cave in so readily?. Come to the council meeting and fight like the rest of us.

  4. ALM says:

    Right on a Pierre. For yeas the mayor and council have focused on the pretty things that look good in marketing brochures. And as for having the money for these glamorous projects, check what Palm Coast debt is. Shocking!!!!
    As you said Pierre, all these taxes add up. Palm Coast is in trouble financially because of misprioritizing how it spends money in our city.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Wonder if we should contact the IRS to do an audit the cities books. They are paying an extravagant salary and retirement to a “consultant” that is double dipping. Don’t we have a police station sitting empty? These increases they are Implementing on the residents surely can’t be legal.

  6. Ray says:

    ALM…very correct

  7. Eileen Araujo says:

    So true, looks good in brochures. Where is our industry? Where are all the new jobs promised? When is re-election? I will be sure to save this article for the month before elections. Can’t make it to the meeting, have to work so I can pay my share of the taxes. Mainly the ones for fancy bathrooms, community centers and parks named after Daddy.

  8. John Brady says:

    Great job Pierre

    I don’t like to say it but I told you so. People vote for Howell and Tipton and NO for all city amendments.

    Here is info I sent to my dem friends
    Tuesday October 16 at 9AM at Palm Coast City hall, City Council will be discussing a significant tax increase. The TEA party will have people at the meeting to object to this tax increase. We need to come out in force to express our opinion on this tax increase.

    These meetings can get rowdy and we do not want to cause problems for the sheriff. The Mayor will not allow people to cheer, clap or show support for the person speaking at the podium. Please maintain decorum and I suggest raising your right hand silently if you agree with the speaker.



  9. Not cool says:

    Water goes up. Our water, from our faucet, is green, brown, anything but clear. Don’t believe me – fill a white ice cube tray or a white bathtub and you’ll see. Want more proof – freeze your water – that white cloudy stuff in the center is dissolved junk in the water. Compare a frozen distilled water ice cube to Palm Coast’s high cost tap water. Have fun! Water is went up drastically… and color is only going further from clear… Electric goes up… Are you serious??? All so those in power rake in profits…. Do not collect money from all orifices of taxpayers and think it will go smoothly. I want clarity, on all ends – literally. This lacks clarity.

  10. John Brady says:

    Well if my good friend Vince gets two bites. Here is my second. Can we look into any malfeasance on the part of the departed City Manager. Was it neglect of duty to spend on these “wanted projects” as opposed to needed projects.
    Remember maintenance over projects

  11. Anon says:

    Obviously you live on a dead end or haven’t cleaned your hot water heater in forever. The City is only required to the meter pit. If it’s clear up to there then you have a problem in the home. Just sayin.

  12. PCer says:

    Isn’t the council made up of mostly Republicans? I thought they were against raising taxes? All of their smoke and mirror schemes are finally catching up to them.

  13. mark101 says:

    Well written Pierre., all that is missing is the continued fleecing of Palm Coast residents by these so called elected public servants. What I see is the continued use of power and a miss use of public funds by an out of control major and those NO balls city councilmen that fail to do what they were elected for. Voters, you have been screwed over.

  14. Sickntiredofpoliticians says:

    I am appalled but not surprised! I was one of the vocal people against the F section path that got pushed through! It is how these people operate! If they SERIOUSLY cared for the people of this community they would have their MEETINGS when people can attend! Most people can’t make it to a TUESDAY morning meeting because -shocked face- they are WORKING to earn money to pay taxes! I am SORRY if scheduling a meeting after 5pm is inconvenient for the Mayor, but she is OUR employee! She SERVES US! Not the OTHER way around!

    I for one think it is time for people to pay attention! We need to hold these people ACCOUNTABLE to US, and not be COMPLACENT AND TRUSTING! I love living in Palm Coast but I am not going to be SWUEEZED out of here because they don’t know how to EFFECTIVELY MANAGE A BUDGET! We ALL WANT A NICE PLACE TO LIVE- but how do you build a COMMUNITY center before taking care of Publuc works?

    That’s like you have a nice house, and install a POOL before fixing the roof that is leaking!!!!!! Foolish!!!

    As always Pierre- thanks for brining this to our attention! I hope and pray people LISTEN!!!!!!

  15. Veteran says:

    We moved to Jacksonville to be near our children and grandchildren. Looks like it was a better move than I thought.

  16. Lin says:

    Right on Pierre
    Good reporting and good memory

    And why are we giving a utility break on the impact fee to affordable housing? The break should have been given to us paying all these fees. The Council should know how to do a budget, what concurrence means (impact fees in advance of need for infrastructure) etc etc

    And this Republican/Libertarian didn’t vote for Holland or Klufas who were Democrats until 5 minutes before the election and certainly aren’t the fiscal caretakers I wanted to vote for. Ironically, John Brady and Jack Howell make a lot of sense to me but what the pols say changes when they sit in that Council seat with the other members. Branquino also was a Democrat until June? Where are the real Republicans?

    What to do, what to do, about my vote in November? Well, one thing I will do is join everyone on Tuesday. Together we should tell some truth to power — it truly doesn’t matter which party. They all suck except Cuff who did push back. We should directly elect a Mayor who has the qualifications to manage the city — because the Councils so far do not seem to have the qualifications to select a City Manager either. Certainly the City begs for a real Charter Review and changes. It should never have gotten this far that we are dire need after spending so much on frills.

  17. Really says:

    On pt. Tristam. Let her do it so she pisses the rest of the people off and we can get rid of yet another Palm Coast retread Politico wannabe. Bye Holland

  18. Rob Jr says:

    On November 7th you will see the number of not so perceptive voters who will have voted to put a candidate back into office who was partially or substantially responsible for the calamity the city is in.

  19. woody says:

    Let’s build affordable housing,affordable housing,affordable housing then tax the crap out of everybody else.They piss tax dollars away again and again then add fee’s and tax’s to fill the void. Vote out the incumbent’s

  20. Jack 'No Tax" Howell says:

    You are spot on the mark. This is the primary reason I am running for city council. The position I take on this tax is no way would I approve this. This is the reason I want a forensic audit! I don’t have any trust in the way things have been handled by council in the past. When the former Mayor preaches about strategic growth, I have to ask myself how did you let the needs of our infrastructure get so far behind and out of control? Infrastructure needs did not keep up with growth….why? And, the folly of building the new City Hall and new Community Center at the expense of critical needs within cities infrastructure show that nobody on council knows the meaning of the term strategic. To say nothing about the employees at Public Works and the unsafe conditions they must work under. Sorry city council, your priorities are screwed up. Instead of worrying about whose name is going to be the the bronze plaque adorning the entrance way to your monuments, you should have been more concerned about looking after the health and safety of your employees! That is something you learn in Leadership 101. (Know your troops and lookout for their welfare..USMC Leadership Principle)

    If I am elected, no way is this type of indignation, of our citizens input, going to slip by me. For me, I want open dialogue and to investigate every possible option to building a new facility. Plus, I want total justification by staff. More importantly, I want the citizens to approve the tax, if justified, After all, its their money.

    My whole life has revolved around responsibility and accountability. While Mr. Netts and the council members claim to have made hard decisions, I venture to say that none of them made the difficult decisions I had to make in my former military career. Those decisions sometimes gravitated on life and death. So in retrospect, this proposal for another tax can be broken down into a number segments. In looking at this tax situation I demand to know just exactly why city staff allowed this deplorable condition at public works continue over the years? Who had oversight….Landon? Was this situation allowed to continue year after year because the city runs code enforcement/ building department so they could keep blind eyes on this? How did they appease or hide from the State of Florida inspectors? Sorry, I don’t buy into any of this. It shows Landon’s handy work all over it with the consent of the do nothing, say nothing, hear nothing, and see nothing council.

    Sorry folks, but I’m not buying into any of the BS rhetoric from the Acting City Manager, the Mayor or the lame council. There must be another way and we need to find it. I strongly believe that citizen input is key to helping resolve this issue. I demand that the public be involved. City counsel don’t do business as usual…in a vacuum. I can promise the citizens of Palm Coast this. If the current city council votes approval of this electric tax, I will teach them the word REPEAL. They will come to regret this horrible tax.

  21. jim says:

    it’s TIME TO CLEAN HOUSE!!! SHOW UP AND VOTE!!! GET RID OF THE INCUMBENTS!!!! PLEASE!!! I cant afford this anymore!!!

    I AGREE w/ John Brady ….”I don’t like to say it but I told you so. People vote for Howell and Tipton and NO for all city amendments.”


  22. Jevans says:

    How about looking at some of the other departments and cut out some waste. Public works, vehicles, Fire Department, city staff, parks and rec, SALARIES . Etc etc !!!!!

  23. FlaglerRedo says:

    Finally, a tax Pierre doesn’t like. What’s next, a Trump endorsement?

  24. Dennis McDonald says:

    In 2012 the attempt by then Mayor Netts to saddle Palm Coast with the very First Electric Tax was the act that spawned the RECALL MAYOR NETTS Petition Drive. It was short lived as the City Counsel never moved the process forward after the “swamping” of the first reading with hundreds in attendance. At that time the City Charter stated double the number of signatures than what the State Statute required, Naturally Mr Reischman insisted that the percentage of signatures must be as in the Charter at that time and defy State law. The movement to Recall Netts stalled as the number was very difficult to achieve and the First Electric Tax had been dropped ….until now !

    Please note #11 which must have been a reaction to Mr Reischman’s very questionable enforcement of double the FS amount.

    The requirements to RECALL in 2018 are set forth by this FS. Make an argument for one of the seven recall categories[2d] and find required signatures and the process can begin. Hint #2.

    100.361 Municipal recall.—

  25. Realist says:

    I think we should recall Holland and Klufas. These people are systematically destroying what was once a great place to live. I have been in this town for a long time. Worked for ITT. Landon was just part of the problem, the swamp is pretty deep here. Last thing we needs is Netts and Fischer back.

  26. PCer says:

    Is this all on Holland? Or do some of these policies date back to when Netts was mayor?

  27. Dave says:

    I whole heartedly believe that these crooks on this council and past councils are a bigger blight on our city than the young robbers and theives they keep catching in the R section. If anything the criminals in this city are just following the lead of those in charge.

  28. Mike says:

    Someone has to clean up the mess that Jon Netts left behind, it just got stuck on Mellissa’s watch.

  29. Harry says:

    Well, well, well……it is only now being exposed that Holland is as shady as others that we have voted out of office or fired. It was all even calculated about the firing of Jim Landon so he could get his $250,000 check. Who wouldn’t want to be fired to get a check like that knowing they are retiring and aren’t going to seek employment elsewhere. I would say that even presenting Landon with such a check is a bonus and is illegal. Holland has been well aware of the improvements to the park that was named after her father and of the financial disaster the city is in and has been in. Why do you think Landon retired when he did and why his finance director jumped ship and he promoted the man who is filling in for him with a big fat pay raise?!!! We need to immediately get in touch with Paul Renner and Travis Hutson and show up at a council meeting and demand a forensic audit. This will clean all the bones out of the closet and put closure to the many rumors and confusing schemes as is going on now with this gig that Holland is behind and has helped master mind. We have Mr. Cuff on the council now and he has voted and sided with Holland on most all things to promote their agenda. Let us not forget that it was Cuff that was employed with ITT and created all this mess. He too is a puppet. We must vote for Jack Howell and get him seated to stop the corruption and expose what is really going on. This should all be criminal. Holland must too be voted out of office next election to never hold Public Office in Flagler County again!!!!!

  30. atilla says:

    She;s on an ego trip. Where ever there’s a camera she makes sure in front of it.

  31. beachcomberT says:

    Excellent reporting, Pierre. Although I live 50 miles south of Palm Coast, and have no dog in this fight, I cheer any grassroots effort to monitor municipal spending and taxes. Your article illustrates why we need to preserve and support local journalism. The watchdog function is vital.

  32. Peter a. Cerreta says:

    All these protests will not matter in the long run. The council, Landon then, and now, especially the mayor are ignorant to fiscal responsibility. And they seem to feel the “people” are stupid and need to be told what’s good for them.
    There must be a way to stop this runaway taxing of our city residents, increases in storm water taxes and the like. Can the state be involved in any way? What about department heads and their salaries, including the council members. Code enforcement is a joke, plus, city beautification is not a responsible venture, costs of maintenance is ongoing. Creative efforts can be attractive and less expensive in the long run.

  33. Concerned Citizen says:

    “No taxation without representation”

    Over 200 years ago those words rang out across the 13 colonies. Colonist sick of taxation from King George revolted and along comes the War Of Independence.

    Now we have modern day Queen Holland trying to ram an unwanted tax down our throats. Remember this at the polls in November !!

    I’ve said it many times before. You can gripe all you want on Flagler Live. However it’s up to you to make changes at the polls. Let’s get some new faces in their that will represent our interests and not their pockets!!

  34. Disgusted says:

    For those Palm Coast residents who are living on a fixed income these tax increases are burdensome. The City Council needs to figure out some other way to pay for this stuff or do without! Cut out the frivolous expenditures (drones? really?) I guess they all have nice paying jobs and expect to get an annual raise that will cover the increase. Can their employers raise their prices by 7% or 21% and still be competitive? Not likely.

    That extra $459 is more than the average Social Security recipient’s increase will be in 2019 so they will be taking a step back. More than 50% of the households in Palm Coast have less than $50,000 annual income; in fact about 25% have less than $30,000. Do they understand who your constituents are? Bigger question – do they care?


  35. John Tipton says:

    1.) Public hearings to allow for citizen input?
    2.) What’s needed vs wanted?
    3.) Is this tied to planning and if not, why?
    4.) Is funding tied to a date of completion or open ended?
    5.) Will this money ever be used for purposes other than what is being stated currently?
    5.) Is there a mechanism in place to monitor/measure progress/return on money invested?
    6.) What other facilities are in disrepair so that we can inform taxpayers, attempt to EARN their support through transparent, frequent communication, develop a plan and show them and discuss plan BEFORE you ask for a dime of their hard earned money.
    7.) Give us multiple options. Don’t just try to shove another tax increase down our throats!!
    These are just a few of the questions that I’d require to be answered and steps that need to be taken BEFORE even considering bringing this up for a vote! We need LEADERSHIP in this City. Leadership requires vision, transparency, and consistency, and this Mayor has shown she lacks the vision and skills needed in order to exact her agenda (upon which she was elected and expected to deliver) on behalf of residents…whatever that is…with her position on this tax as yet another example of many during her administration. One last thing: I thought the Mayor was a Republican and I thought Republicans stood for fiscal conservatism? Does this sound like fiscal conservatism to you? Does SHE strike you as a fiscal conservative or just another “tax and spender” playing fast and loose with YOUR MONEY hiding in conservative clothing? Don’t continue to allow candidates for public office and public office holders to deceive you by hiding their true intentions behind a political party brand that they don’t even live up to or truly believe in (check their record) and don’t have the skill or fortitude needed in order to deliver on it. They just use you for votes to get elected and then do what THEY want after that. Let this Mayor and Council know that you’re sick of this and vote for people that will serve with integrity, transparency, and accountability (i.e. LEADERSHIP). Stop allowing politicians to deceive you by playing party politics and making false promises based on party platitudes while your future is at stake.

  36. Charlie says:

    Take ALL pensions away from the past and present members of the City Council. Use that money to help rebuild the Public Works Dept.

  37. oldtimer says:

    I moved here to get away from exactly this kind of stuff, i don’t want to move again so I will be at the public hearing and I WILL BE VOTING !

  38. Bill says:

    It obvious that Holland NEEDS to GO. This is planed when only those NOT working can make their voice heard. So it up to you the retired in PC to get there and give them HELL for all of us. Let them know we are not here to serve them and let them TAKE our $$$$$ for their whims. They should be there to serve our needs.

  39. Shark says:

    Just imagine what will happen if Landons lackey (netts) gets in !!!!

  40. Fiscal says:

    Well written article!
    Clearly, the financial follies of this and previous administrations have come to fruition.
    Again, no fiscal responsibility, no experience.
    Now there is a City Council and “interim” manager carrying on the tradition.

  41. Ken says:

    I propose that any and all new tax proposals be approved or disapproved through the ballot box. It may be too late for the November 6 election but perhaps a special election could be scheduled so that the citizens and voters of Palm Coast could decide and take the City Council out of the decision process. They have shown themselves to be totally incapable of managing a budget.

  42. 101 says:

    Mayor Holland why aren’t you listening to the people that voted you in office???????You are pulling a Jim Landon and Jon Netts on us and not letting the people that pay your salary to decide what they want done with our money. We didn’t need Netts to push and push for that new City Hall and now we don’t need you to push for a new Public Works building once again at our expense.
    It appears that you people are spending taxpayers money and when funds aren’t there for another one of your projects you tried to slide in higher taxes on us. STOP IT. We will remember next time your are up for re-election.

  43. KMedley says:

    I have said it before; I will say it again. Winkin’, Blinkin’, and Nod are puppets whose strings are manipulated by the publisher of the Palm Coast Participant, formerly the Observer, who now seeks to add to his band of marionettes by advocating for the return of a former mayor and a man who simply promises fiscal responsibility. This tax, along with the increase in storm water rates, is meant to be pushed through BEFORE new council members are even elected. The issues with the public works facility existed long before $10 million was spent on the new city hall and $8 million on the new community center. Yet; how many of us are still waiting for swale maintenance and repaired streets? Neither Netts nor Branquinho have the answers.

  44. Stan Gruchawka says:

    Amazing! I just found some common ground with Pierre!! Never thought that would be possible.

  45. Stanifer says:

    What a slap to the face! Hogwash I tell you! Complete nonsense! No need for this kind of behavior!

  46. nichole says:

    maybe Ms. Holland needs to live a day like mist residents and barely be able to make ends meet. Wheres there supposed $100,000 they were talking about using to come up with the plan for their next stupid money wasting scheme that doesnt need built. stop planting new trees every 6 months. the medians are fine. stop wasting our money. no splash park. no huge community center that will be unused basicly. if you spend needless money make somewhere for our teens to learnhow to be responsible citizens

  47. Rob Jr says:

    @ Dennis McDonald

    A two step signature process. This can be accomplished with some work.

    100.361Municipal recall.—

    Requisite signatures.
    In a municipality or district of 25,000 or more registered electors, the petition shall be signed by at least 1,000 electors or by 5 percent of the total number of registered electors…..
    Approx 75000 PC voters x .05= 3750

    Requisite signatures.—Upon receipt of the “Recall Petition and Defense,” the committee may circulate them to obtain the signatures of 15 percent of the electors.
    Approx 75000 PC voters x .15= 11250

  48. PC Resident says:

    Excellent article! This is simply outrageous, both the tax and the underhanded way in which it is being handled. Every PC resident must balance his/her budget with the money he/she has. We cannot make extravagant purchases and then expect others to bail us out. We have the right to expect the same good money management from our local government, but sadly it continues to fail us miserably. Rest assured, I have lost confidence in the current PC leadership and NONE of them will hereafter receive my family’s vote.

  49. carol says:

    There goes city bullies again!!!!
    Vote them out.
    And don’t vote for Netts, he is worse!!!!

  50. Mark says:

    Obviously the Palm Coast pet fee needs to be doubled, red light cameras need to be reinstalled, a toilet paper tax needs to be started and toll booths need to be installed on 100, Belle Terre, and Palm Coast Parkway. Maybe we should employ County prisoners to maintain our medians instead of city employees. The Mayor and commissioners are being lazy!

  51. Percy's mother says:

    An excellent, informative article, Pierre.

    At the very least I do strongly feel a special recall should be instituted with regard to Melissa Holland.

    It’s too late to do a recall for November but a special election for her recall is a thought.

    I’m not well-versed in how this would work. Perhaps someone might be able to write more about this as many people in Palm Coast have HAD IT.

    We voted NO regarding a new city hall and then amazingly money was “found” and we got a new city hall we had voted against. Then the reno of Holland Park. Then the community center. All that money could have been combined to fund the much needed utility plant.

    Melissa Holland needs to be recalled. Who’s going to get the ball rolling?

  52. Mike says:

    This town is corrupt!!! Did we really need money wasting neon palm coast signs did they really need to paint the water tower this town needs to be investigated on what they are spending their money on!!!

  53. Renee says:

    Time to clean house or as our President said best…”Drain the Swamp!” We can make the change…Your vote counts this November! Vote for candidates who truly care about our City!

  54. palmcoaster says:

    In Palm Coast we are barely between 85 to 86,000 residents in about 29 to 30,000 households with a per capita earnings of $23,000 and a median income of $49,000.
    As we all can see a fairly small to mid size city still with modest income, but we are to pay over 549 city employees this: file:///C:/Users/intam/Downloads/PCCityEmployeesSalaries%20(1).pdf
    A city hall that we said NO by amendment under Netts went up anyway at a cost of over 9.1 millions.Then after that we have here an 8 million awfully overpriced new Community Center…Landon tried to ram a millionaire event hall in Town Center in our pockets and opposition killed it. Now trying another 21 million public works structure…this madness has to stop… Please direct our taxes away from growth and developers and into the services the existing residents need and will be no need for tax increases…we pay enough.

  55. John Kent says:

    Very smart Carol. Netta is actually the man that brought Landon with obscene salary on our necks. Then Holland, their protege and friend, awarded Landon with $200k and quick&early retirement. Now Netta wants to get into the council again to help Holland to pillage Palm Coast little bit more. Smart people, like you, get it. But just watch the majority to deliver it all on silver platter to them. It’s advisable to talk to city employees sometimes to find out the inner dealings. Corrupt? You have no idea….

  56. Sherry S says:

    I will be at the council meeting to show my outrage.

    Holland really does think the “people” are stupid. If this new tax is levied as written, I will start the petition to RECALL her myself. She is obviously NOT qualified to run a city.

    Big thanks is in order to Pierre Tristam for keeping us informed!!!

  57. Insider says:

    Nothing will change with Beau as acting City Manager, he was trained and mentored by Jim Landon for the past 10 years. Beau is not ready for the challenge of being our City Manager. I’m sure Jim is actually still calling the shots through Beau, think about it for a minute.

    We need a new City Manager to clean house starting at director level, Beau is too attached to staff to perform that task we need new blood, case closed.

  58. Greg b says:

    Im glad i didnt buy a home here now.

  59. Jane Gentile-Youd says:

    OMG… Democracy is being trampled upon
    I have no say in Palm Coast but I have my opinion. This proposed tax is unauthorized theft- it’s not a tax!

  60. Robert tanner says:

    VOTE them out especially the Mayor

  61. EDWARD ELCI says:

    well i guess its time to sell and move out of palm coast

  62. palmcoaster says:

    Why to sell and move…? No, we should dig in our heels and demand fiscal responsibility from Mayor and Council and the administrators better watch it too. If Holland and Council pass this one more FPL tax today lets start a recall and repeal we need 11,000 plus signatures. Stop having us, the existing residents that do not make the handsome pays that city management does to be force funding growth and wealthy developers as that is why they claim our city coffers are broke….do not order a Cadillac if can’t be afforded juts like we all and most city taxpayers can’t. Stop wasting in overpriced consultants at $144,000 and more to te;ll us how to revitalize Town Center when its developers should pay for it. If a wealthy Coconut Grove developer does no have the almost half million in impact fees to build affordable housing then don’t build them or get someone else to pay for it not us. Enough of our hard earned taxes to keep funding deserted Town Center.

  63. thomas says:

    Holland must go.

  64. palmcoaster says:

    Council woman Heidi Shipley motion to table the FPL tax proposal to let public participation as there was none and to look for other sources of funding if possible. By now we won one battle.only.
    Thank you council lady Mrs Shipley!

  65. Patricia Thomasey says:

    Great article! You hit the nail on the head. Beau needs to go,he is Landon’s boy. We need to do an audit on the city books now that Landon is gone. Seems he could always find money for his “projects” but now that we need to make improvements to the Public Works buildings there is no money. Before leaving, he was in a hurry to get the Whiteview project pushed through even with the residents of the area voicing opposition to it. Now they have passed a zoning change to allow the property from the corner of White Mill and Whiteview to be developed. Wonderful planning! Now we will increase the traffic flow on Whiteview while decreasing it from 4 lanes to 2 lanes. Brilliant! Sorry to see Heidi Shipley leave. It seems she was the only one who listened to the residents.

  66. Real republican says:

    That is what happens when you vote for democrats that switched parties pretending to be republicans just so they could get elected. They put their agenda above the community they are supposed to serve. Selfish.

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