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Captain’s BBQ Sues Flagler County, Alleging ‘Politically Motivated’ Breach of Contract

| June 11, 2019

Captain’s BBQ co-owners Mike Goodman, center, and Chris Herrera, right, with one of their lawyers, Jay Livingston, at a County Commission meeting on Captain’s in January. The commissioners in the foreground are Charlie Ericksen, left, and Greg Hansen. (c FlaglerLive)

The owners of Captain’s BBQ at Bing’s Landing filed a four-count lawsuit against Flagler County government, alleging breach of contract and seeking damages in excess of $15,000. 


“It was expected,” Dennis Clark, leader of the Scenic A1A Pride Committee, said. The committee has opposed Captain’s plans at Bing’s. Clark is also involved in the Hammock Community Association, another opposition group. Though one of their attorneys had on several occasions said Captain’s was not looking to sue, restaurant owners in recent weeks changed tactic and clearly signaled that they would file suit if some agreement was not reached with the county, namely because they felt the county was breaching the terms of a lease the county commission had approved in November only to reverse course two weeks later–an alleged breach Captain’s calls “politically motivated.”

Despite a negotiated agreement with the county administration that had originated in February 2018, the complaint alleges, “it is now apparent that the county does not intend to perform under the terms of the amended lease. In addition to the action taken on December 3, 2019, county officials have made proposals for the commission unilaterally [to] vote on proposed changes to the amended lease without [Captain’s] approval and consent. Such actions or resolutions by the commission would be an unconstitutional impairment of [Captain’s] contractual rights.”

The complaint overstates and confuses two separate matters: a local government may follow all the recommendations of its administration and make unilateral decisions if it so chooses. A commission’s vote is unilateral by definition. What it may not do is impose that decision on the business it’s leasing to, outside the scope of an approved lease. Captain’s is arguing correctly, on one hand, that the commission approved an amended lease at its November 2018 meeting, then rescinded that approval. On those grounds, Captain’s clearly has a legal case to argue.

On the other hand, Captain’s goes on to claim that the commission had no right to make further decisions on subsequent recommendations that led to last week’s vote, which is not correct: the county could take any decision it pleases, at least on the assumption that it was operating within the scope of the original, un-amended lease, and as long as it was not forcing Captain’s to comply with terms the original lease would not permit. In those regards, commissioners did not feel they were in breach. For Captain’s case to stick, the restaurant will have to convince the court that the rescinding of the amendment was illegal. If it succeeds, the county’s subsequent decisions are nullified. If it doesn’t, Captain’s claims are set aside, and the restaurant will have to comply with terms the commission approved last week.

“It’s one of those things where it’s kind of inevitable though I don’t think they’re going to get much good publicity on this,” Clark said of Captain’s lawsuit, “especially since the county is trying to lean over backward to give them some place that gives them business without interruption.”

The complaint was filed in Flagler County circuit court Friday (June 7), four days after the County Commission voted unanimously to reject Captain’s involvement in the financing, siting or construction of a new building at the county park, should a new building be deemed necessary to house the restaurant. The county hasn’t settled that question yet.

Captain’s had sought to finance a building at its own expense, and to locate it on the “peninsula” a few dozen feet closer to the Intracoastal from where the restaurant is located now. Captain’s and the county agree that the building, county-owned and leased to Captain’s in 2011, is in need of serious repairs. Captain’s believes the building is past its useful life, though the restaurant owners were prepared to occupy it for up to three more years before moving to a new structure.

County officials have sent mixed signals, depending on who was in charge. When Craig Coffey was the administrator, Coffey thought the building irreparable. Since his forced resignation in  January, county commissioners have been willing to further examine whether the building could be salvaged, at least until 2026, when the current lease with Captain’s expires. 

Current lease, of course, is a bone of contention and one of the issues at the heart of the lawsuit. To Captain’s, what the county considers the current lease was supplanted by a county commission vote approving a new lease, on Nov. 19–at the last meeting attended by then-Commissioner Nate McLaughlin. McLaughlin two weeks earlier had been voted out and would be replaced by Joe Mullins. Coffey’s scheduling of the vote on Nov. 19 meeting was, of course, itself politically motivated: he knew that the lease likely would not win approval if it was delayed to the next meeting. 

Mullins had asked commissioners to await his seating before making a decision on Captain’s proposed lease, which by then had become a community-wide controversy, just as Coffey’s tenure was becoming. Commissioners went ahead with a vote anyway: 3-2, with McLaughlin the deciding vote. At the following meeting, the commission voted 4-0 to “sidetrack,” or essentially rescind, the vote on the new lease. If Captain’s believed that the county was in breach of the lease, it could have sued then. It did not do so, instead continuing negotiations with the county. 

Captain’s wanted to expand its 98-seat restaurant to 150 seats, with wording in the lease for a liquor license. It would have built a new structure and turned it over to the county while assuming a $1,000-a-month rent, insurance and maintenance costs. The rent would have remained at $1,000 a month for the first five years of the new lease, then it would have increased by 3 percent a year. The lease would have run through 2046, by which time the rent would still be below $2,000 a month. 

The Hammock Community Association-led opposition was not against keeping a restaurant at the park, but it was opposed to a restaurant verging on a 5,000 square foot footprint, opposed to a liquor license, and opposed to Captain’s moving to the peninsula, preferring instead that the existing building be repaired. Failing that, the association would concede to construction of a new, 2,500 square foot building, but only at the county’s expense, and not quite on but nearer the peninsula. The peninsula would be reserved for the pavilion that the new restaurant building would replace. That’s the approach the county voted for last week

“The commission’s actions on June 3, 2019 degraded and disregarded a year’s worth of negotiations and preparations taken by Captain’s to construct a new building, and continue its business operations under the express representation and agreement that the county could not fund the repair of the old building or construction of the new building,” the complaint reads. 

Lawsuits’ initial complaints can be as much legal argument as editorial posturing as they attempt to frame an issue in the light most favorable to the plaintiff and most damning to the defendant. It isn’t unusual for such complaints to turn into crafty exercises in facts cherrypicked or silenced, and assertions made without supporting evidence.  

What the  complaint does not say, for example, is that Coffey’s representations to the restaurant about the building’s viability had been only cursorily documented, if at all. It had not been seriously vetted by the county commission. The complaint then charges that “the conduct” of the county in its reversal on the lease “is politically motivated, and aimed to target and harm an otherwise viable and flourishing local small business.” The charge is contradicted by the record, which includes statements of support for the business by every commissioner. 

The complaint also leaves silent all context relating to Bing’s park as county land secured through the county’s taxpayer-supported Environmentally Sensitive Lands program, and blames the commission for reversing itself on the lease “under pressure from an outside public interest group and a minority of private citizens.” The Hammock Community Association, however, has been an integral part of the Hammock community long before Captain’s began operating at the park. The association claims to have gathered more than 2,000 signatures in a petition supporting its aims. The petition has not been independently verified. Captain’s conducted its own petition, though it did so online and with the help of many “outside” patrons who had dined at the restaurant at one time or another. Captain’s own political motivations are documented through its owners’ financial contributions to county commissioners past and present. Mike Goodman, a co-owner of Captain’s with Chris Herrera, was appointed to the county’s planning board last fall, with Coffey’s backing, and just after the board had approved Captain’s site plan at Bing’s. 

Within days, the county will answer the complaint with its own version of events and counter-arguments.

The Captain’s complaint is revealing in other ways as it narrates details of Captain’s negotiations with the county that weren’t publicly known until now, including how then-Administrator Craig Coffey “dictated” where the new building would go. He rejected ideas put forth by the restaurant that may have diminished opposition to the project from the outset: Captain’s, the complaint reads, “proposed several options for a location to construct the new building. However, Mr. Coffey dictated the location of the building,” planting it in the center of Bing’s Landing, where it would have required the uprooting of trees and would have blocked sights of the Intracoastal. Coffey, the complaint states, “rejected all alternative locations proposed by [Captain’s], including a location on the peninsula at the south end of Bings Landing.”

The revelation may help the county’s case, in that it clearly states that Captain’s was not as interested in the location the county, or rather Coffey, forced it into accepting by the time the November vote was taken on the lease amendment. Captain’s wanted other options. The rescinding of the lease gave Captain’s those options–but not the size Captain’s was looking for.

The complaint also states that Coffey and other county officials agreed to upgrade the septic system and parking “which was not immediately necessary for the restaurant’s use.” The complaint includes that parenthetical about parking likely to denote what became another flashpoint in the opposition to Captain’s, again seemingly caused by a Coffey tactic: the administrator was using the restaurant’s project to improve or add parking, even though it was not necessary to the restaurant. But that only bundled more public resentment–not against the county, but against the restaurant. 

County Attorney Al Hadeed informed county commissioners of the lawsuit, filed by Jacksonville’s Casey Arnold law firm (as opposed to Captain’s local attorney, Jay Livingston), late Friday afternoon. The county is referring the lawsuit to its insurer “for a coverage determination,” Hadeed said. Meanwhile, the two sides, one commissioner said, will likely continue negotiating, with the lawsuit giving Captain’s some leverage to win a settlement more favorable than the plan the county adopted last week.


51 Responses for “Captain’s BBQ Sues Flagler County, Alleging ‘Politically Motivated’ Breach of Contract”

  1. Percy's mother says:

    True motives / intentions eventually are unveiled.

    At this point, Captains has expended all goodwill in this community.

    Let the nastiness begin . . . as was expected.

    They were getting a lot for nothing, and now they want to continue to get MORE than a lot for nothing, and aren’t happy that they’re being stopped from taking the taxpayers for a ride.

    This was all to be expected. Let the Karma unveil itself gradually with these people.

  2. John C says:

    I enjoy eating at Captain’s and do so regularly. However, as a citizen and taxpayer in Flagler County I find it offensive that Captain’s would be suing over this. Captain’s is essentially suing its own customers, who will be required to pay for any damages that could be awarded in litigation, since the funds to pay the damages have to come out of County tax receipts. I think we should all boycott Captains until this suit is cancelled. You can’t sue your customers and expect them to continue to patronize your business.

  3. Steve says:

    So much drama over this OMG stop the madness smh

  4. Hmmm says:

    No matter what the outcome is, stop lining up at the door and you will never hear about this place again. No discussion about taking over the park, or county lawsuits. It will be forced to close down.

  5. Charlie says:

    Time to “demote” Captain to a Corporal for insubordination !

  6. snapperhead says:

    Isn’t the whole lawsuit pointless if it’s never been proven the current building is beyond repair. As far as I can recall no professional in-depth inspection has ever been done or estimates for cost of repairs. It seemed like it was the opinion of Capt’s and Coffey that the building was beyond repair. Perhaps because extensive repairs would close their location for weeks/months which I doubt the lease would make the county liable for lost revenue. So Coffey and Capt’s concocted a plan to avoid repairs and expand the location at the same time while retaining their sweetheart lease.. And how inhabitable could it be if the amended lease would give them 3 years to build a new building. It’s comical as well to use political motivation as a defense in the lawsuit…were their campaign contributions not politically motivated?

  7. Ben Hogarth says:

    Can’t say we didn’t see this one coming, but lets pause for a moment and assess some facts – at least some food for thought. Considering this is now a case that will be determined by a Judge and attorneys, for the benefit of the public, we should at least discuss the circumstances surrounding this decade-long issue.

    1. Bing’s Landing was an acquisition through the County’s Environmentally Sensitive Lands (fund). A copy of that guidance document can be found here:

    http://www.flaglercounty.org/document_center/Land%20Acquisiton/Environmentally%20Sensitive%20Lands%20Land%20Acquisition%20Manual.PDF

    Chapter 7 of the Flagler County ESL Land Acquisition Manual substantially provides that monies set aside for the improvement of lands acquired through the ESL fund consist of PASSIVE recreational uses, public access features, parking enhancements, restroom facilities, and even stormwater improvements. What is NOT listed in acceptable improvements are ACTIVE recreational or commercial uses like Captain’s BBQ.

    From day one, the County’s choice to lease a portion of the park property to anyone through improvement dollars (arguably) violates the legislative intent of the Environmentally Sensitive Lands restrictions. Even the original 2011 Captain’s BBQ lease would certainly violate these restrictions as an intended use of the park facilities via ESL / land acquisition funds.

    2. The Captain’s BBQ lease also violates Florida Constitutional Article VII Section 10 (Pledging Credit). We have discussed (ad nauseum) the context of this provision and its relation to the Bing’s Landing lease in prior discussions and articles. Whether by stare decisis or prima facie language as a case by case merit – the Captains BBQ lease represents a gross violation of Florida Constitutional Law. It was a gross negligence on the part of the last administration to carry out the caretaking (or lack there of) of the public facilities at Bings by negotiating a lease agreement with a private party to the full benefit of the private party with ancillary considerations of public use and quiet enjoyment of the public park.

    Substantially I do not know how a judge could find any of the historic or current lease agreements negotiated with Captain’s BBQ, in Bings Landing to be “lawful.” As a result, I do not know what determination a judge could make… after such finding of unlawfulness. On one hand we have a County that violated State Constitutional Law by entering into this lease agreement… and on the other hand, the County has an obligation to not default on the terms of that contract. One way or another, the County has an obligation to the lessee to redress their many mistakes and it will be interesting to see how a Judge determines what that may look like under these contexts.

    3. It’s clear that “due process” may not have been followed since day 1 (2011). From the County’s failure (under the last administration) to consult the ESL laws and administrative protocols, all the way to the forced renewed lease agreement from late last year… due process was never followed. If we tie these failures in with the violation of State Law, it’s impossible to predict what other details / findings may result during the discovery phase of the case.

    To say the least, this is just a bad situation for the County. And for Captain’s – this is their last means of walking away with “damage” dollars from the County and starting fresh somewhere else.

    However, Commissioners are at least finally acting on behalf of the public interests – and are being advised properly from their current administration. This lawsuit does not change anything about that and should be seen as merely a consequence of 10+ years of county mismanagement.

  8. Jane Gentile-Youd says:

    Bravo John C…… for your recommendations to us ‘defedants’

  9. mark101 says:

    Pay Captains the $15k or $25k whichever and then terminate the lease, give them 60 days to find another location.. It will be cheaper in the long run for the citizens in Flagler County.,.

  10. Jane Gentile-Youd says:

    We defendants have the right to close down Captains for the two blatant lease recent documented violations:
    118 seats – 20 above allowed capacity and meat stored at temperature higher than safety standard

    I do not understand why our brilliant county attorney does not file for 2 lease defaults and ask the court for a Summary Judgment to throw them out. They are a danger to our health, safety and welfare.

    The audacity to ask for a full liquor license with not any liability for any accidents which may result from a drunk leaving the restaurant and causing an accident to someone (s) onto our public land and waterway in addition to not having to pay a dime percentage of revenue to us is criminal grounds in my opinion against Coffey and malfeasance against Hadeed.

    Get a new County attorney, file for Summary Judgment to throw them out – and Motion to Dismiss their frivolous lawsuit. And BOYCOTT them in the meantime. Shame on any attorney for defending these blood suckers.

  11. AB says:

    “Politically motivated…” OMG! Are they serious? Now they are blaming Coffey! I guess the *plan* on a cocktail napkin didn’t go through fast enough. They are now suing the community that patronized them. I believe these people have unbelievable nerve. Let them go elsewhere. Ba-bye!

  12. Coyote says:

    ‘they felt the county was breaching the terms of a lease it had once approved–an alleged breach Captain’s calls “politically motivated.”’

    But, of course, the original lease/deal they had wasn’t ‘politically motivated’?

  13. Agkistrodon says:

    If one lies with dogs, they tend ti get bit by fleas. Perhaps the county should get out 0f the bldg leasing business, before a very real lawsuit is filed….oh wait that happened with the gentleman injured on the stairs……Stop the madness, focus on governing, NOT being a landlord,

  14. LONG TIME LEO says:

    ABSOLUTELY CHARLIE & JOHN C., I SMELL A 🐭, HERE ! THAT LANDMARK BOAT LAUNCH IS PRISTINE & NEEDS TO STAY THAT WAY !! RESIDENTS PLEASE RISE 🙏 !!!

  15. Hammock Resident says:

    Even though it was obvious the Flagler County Commissioners have given a sweetheart deal to Captains, in the past, I was willing, up to this point, to support the business staying in the same building, without ending the lease. It was a disgrace that Flagler County Commissioners singled out this one private business, and gave them preferential treatment. The BBQ place should never have been allowed to be there, in the first place. Flagler County taxpayers paid additional taxes to have that park, not to subsidize a private business.
    How dare the BBQ place now sue the county, and indirectly all the Flagler County Taxpayers.
    This action on the part of Captains BBQ went too far! How dare they insult us, by suing Flagler County?
    I now join the ranks of my neighbors, and hope no one goes there anymore, and they close down, due to lack of business! They had 10+ years of sweetheart deals …. enough is enough.
    You now deserve to go out of business!
    Case closed.

  16. ASF says:

    I repeat if I were the ownership of Captain’s BBQ, I would take my business and go to a community that was less hostile to my presence. And i say that as someone who is a patron of Captain’s and would miss them being in such close proximity.

  17. Michael Cocchiola says:

    I am so sorry to hear this. Captain’s BBQ has been a boon to Flagler. Now it’s come to this., and for $15,000? Captain’s has lost far more than that in goodwill, much of which will never be recovered.

  18. Dave says:

    Nail in the coffin. Capts cant expect to sue it’s own patrons and still remain afloat. Close this joke of a buisness down and get them as far away from our county as possible. Vote 1 star on Google if you disagree with Captain’s way of buisness.

  19. Concerned Citizen says:

    This could have all been avoided to begin with.

    Our BOCC and others accepted bribes “oops I meant campaign contributions” from Captains BBQ. This compromised their ethics and moral obligations to represent ALL constituents. Not just special interests who help them get reelected. This allowed Captains to do whatever they wanted for a long time.

    Once Captains began to “cash in on political favors” A whistle was blown and our compromised BOCC had to start back peddling to save face. Kudos to the Hammock Association and others for making this happen. With the already laughable Real Estate deals they have shown they cannot be trusted.

    I keep hearing Coffey brought up. Coffey is gone and there are others who are involved in this as well. All should be held accountable. We keep letting things go in this county and things never change. Now we are stuck with a BOCC who doesn’t give a damn and is allowing a mediocre BBQ place to have free reign over County/Public land. When does it stop?

    This county is in dire need of a forensic audit and a federal investigation. How do we get it started? I mean if this county goes after someone for tape recording why not be made to answer for shady real estate deals and accepting bribes?

    @

    Mike Goodman and Chris Herrera

    I hope you realize you have pretty much damaged your reputation in this county. With your multi health department violations ( how are you still open?) and your wanton grab of the park Captains is no longer a desirable location. And now you are foolishly suing your protectors . Wow. Can’t say more than that I guess.

    I stopped going after getting sick twice off your food. All of this other stuff just made it easier to not go back I have convinced others to avoid you and patronize elsewhere. I know you don’t care because you think you’re invincible but poor sales will cost you long term. Time for you to reconsider your position.

    Folks I have said this before. Flagler County and Palm Coast needs a major change in leadership. We have elections coming up again. If we refuse to hold our leadership legally resonsible we can at least vote them out of a job. Remember all of this at the polls. I intend to.

  20. MJ Mack says:

    Concur with ALL other comments; cannot believe the 2 Captain’s owner, were assigned to Flagler’s building board!

  21. Ricky Blackwater says:

    Eccl chapter 5 verse 10; A mere lover of silver will never be satisfied with silver, not a lover of wealth with income

  22. John Kent says:

    Vote with your dollars, people!
    Captain’s definitely deserves no clients and should have none. Personally, will put my money where my mouth is.

  23. Old Crow says:

    I’ve followed this story and am genuinely curious as to why Captain’s expanded the building adding more seating and kitchen space as well as upgrading the interior withing the last few years if the building was in poor condition. Maybe it has been discussed in previous articles and I missed it. If so, can anyone fill me in?

  24. Vikki Hardley says:

    THat’s right “privates” II’ve demoted the crew. If you can’t pull this all off the way you want, have a temper tantrum and sue. Let’s authorize the city to pay these peopleoff and take the park back. It would be cheaper in the long run, and noone I know would sign a lease for $1k per month increasing to $2k ny 2045. It’s money management. If Commiissioners all this to happen they need to be recalled for incompetence. End the lease now, let the business, go out get an SBA loan or a mortgage, and purchase property in the area. $2k a month won’t cover maintenance, taxes , construction , parking lot improvements, not even close. The city must have
    had a paper bag over their heads and their hearing aids turned off when they entered into the original agreement. Lesson learned. Take back the park and Captains can row their boat to another location on their own dime.

  25. Optimist says:

    I get it. It’s ok to be bitter, because without that precious property, it’s gorgeous sunset view, it’s just regular BBQ. Anyone would hate to lose that over- fluffed rating with the help of the chamber, no less LOL. I think I read some ridiculous notion in a publication that it was a top 20 bbq joint in the U.S! Lol. Not without the view!! I also get why the locals or anyone reasonable who knows what’s what here would want to preserve that view. Looks like the cheap ride is over and time to buy a property that fronts the ICW and a major scenic highway, and build your own gigantic BBQ emporium, Capt! Oh! and bring your big checkbook.

  26. Optimist says:

    ..*property that fronts the ICW and a scenic highway..

  27. Derrick Redder says:

    All you Yankee Yupies, this is what happens when you want to change Florida to the place you fled from.
    Weren’t happy letting a man make a living. So Instead of following the money that lined pockets. You want Captians gone. Ok Idiots they’re going but now it’s gonna cost us the entire country money. Ya all to dumb. The country will now waste money in a lawsuit that they are gonna settle for with court cost and the plaintiffs legal bills. Who wins? Surely not the rest of the counties property tax paying citizens. Wonder who owns the new bait shop and eatery across the street? Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

  28. palmcoaster says:

    Boycott the BBQ that sues its customers…Greedy men those two. Stupid BOCC, administrators and legal adviser.

  29. starryid says:

    BOYCOTT CAPTAINS! While its so sad to see anyone’s business fail its even sadder to see the taxpayers of Flagler County being taken advantage of!

  30. Sherry says:

    @Concerned Citizen. . . excellent comment! This is only the latest in a long list of legal debacles in Flagler!!! Why does our county attorney still have his job?

  31. Doug says:

    All the more reason to rid Bing’s of any business that has ties to County Government. Disgusting.

  32. Flatsflyer says:

    I hope the County has learned a lesson, have the 3rd grade class at Wadsworth Elementary School negotiate all future leases and purchases of real property. Our elected officials and their employees have on multiple times shown how stupid and ineffective they are, many need to be fired the rest should have their salaries reduced to minimu.m wage.

  33. Alphonse Abonte says:

    Time to put this deal down. Boycott, protest, stop giving these pirates(CAPTAINS) money! Do this and like the previous comments say, will go away. These owners will not prevail! We need to keep up the fight! Send them packing! Transparency!

  34. Rosie O'Donnell says:

    When government picks winners and losers, we the people lose. This stuff has been going on way too long.

  35. Mr. Reese says:

    Captain’s has shown their true colors by suing the very people that keep them in business. Time to take
    our business elsewhere. They have a sweetheart deal to begin with and still want more. Without any customers they will close the doors in short order.The legal drama will play out, and Bings Landing will revert back to the park it was envisioned to be. The Board of County Commissioner’s should then vote to never again use any of our of our park’s for private gain ever again.Time to support the other locally owned restaurant’s that are not being subsidized and are not suing their customer’s!!

  36. Hammock Bear says:

    The recent inspection of the building was accurate or not? Talk about biting the hand that feeds you, applies to Captain’s and every Flagler Co. Taxpayer. Original deal began with a cocktail napkin. Outrageous and sad for Flagler Co. . Get this over with. The Taxpayers deserve better use of their hard earned money than to tolerate this situation.

  37. Alphonse Demoto says:

    Flagler County government doesn’t seem to have great track record in the property buying, building and maintaining business. Maybe the county shouldn’t be in business rather focus on serving the citizens. How about a waste management and recycling plan?

    Regardless of where one stands on this issue, it would be better to let Cpt’s building within the design and environmental parameters to protect the habitat and purpose of the park. The county would be relieved of building responsibility and quality assurance and continue getting rent with no investment.

    We’ve heard too much from both sides. Time to put this to rest.

  38. deb says:

    All these people talk about boycott Captains. Well let me tell ya we that live around here sure we can stop going,, but the place is packed on the weekends by people that do not care about the issues here, the tourist and people that live in other areas. . The county needs to close the business down. Its that simple, cut your loses and move on.

  39. Richard Caudle says:

    I am writing to ask our county commissioners and planning board to please vote AGAINST the rezoning of the John Anderson Highway land which would allow the proposed 3,966 unit mega-development to proceed. As you may be aware, FIVE 6 story condo towers have already been planned and permitted just across the canal from the closed Sea Ray plant on Colbert Road adjacent to the 146 lot development. I’m asking you, please, do not give in to the special interests who are only interested in financial gain. Those of us who moved here or chose to stay and live here do so because of the quality of life. We do not wish to have the crowds, crime, traffic and congestion of a big city. If we wanted our beautiful beach town to be another New Smyrna or Myrtle Beach, we would surely move there.

    To me, this is not a money issue. It is simply a request to not ruin what we have in the name of progress or expanding the tax base. I believe most area residents agree and hope you will support us in trying to keep a good thing going as long as possible.

    Richard Caudle
    Flagler Beach, FL

  40. Scott peckham says:

    Come on cheese cake mike (owner of captains) If you would read you contract it states you are supposed to have a bait shop along with bbq ! You keep taking away the bait shop square footage and turning it into your restaurant! So who is abiding by there contact !!! One more thing your restaurant creates almost all the trash at bings it’s a disgrace ! You also put it on the taxpayers to clean your trash up! How about you put some of your employees on trash duty! You have had a 500.00 cheap lease for yrs ! Step up (cheese cake mike)

  41. Concerned Citizen says:

    @ Derrick Redder

    Not sure who you are calling a “Yankie Yuppie”. I am neither a Yankee or a Yuppie. Georgia born and raised. Proud to have called Flagler home for the past 20 years. Prior military and public safety. Still currently “serving” as an emergency services volunteer with a plethora of deployments.

    Explain to me why Captains deserves such a sweetheart deal. When other busniesses are struggling? That’s Ok I’ll wait. Explain to me why they are still open after numerous health department violations? I maintain pools in the area and get closed down for low chlorine during the summer. And what’s going to happen to the gentleman who fell down dirty unrepaired steps?

    I for one took an interest in this because I care about my community. Bings Landing is a public park bought with tax payer money. The only reason Captain is there is because they bribed our BOCC and County Attorney. And got themselves assigned to the building board. Conflict of interest much?

    I took an oath for almost every job I’ve had my adult life. I took that oath serously and had a good career. Our BOCC members are sworn in. When you take an oath it holds you to higher standards. At least it’s supposed to. I guess nothing matters anymore when money is involved.

    Our BOCC and other leadership in this County/Palm Coast no longer has any morals or knows how to act ethically. They continue to get away with it. I call again for a forensic audit and a Federal Investigation for corruption.

    As stated before if we won’t hold them legally responsabile for malfesence of office then we can vote them out. Rember this at the polls. And get these clowns out. I intend to do my part.

  42. Tim Buckwalter says:

    Once captains BBQ is gone and no longer paying token rent and generating sales taxes, how will the county pay for maintenance of the park facilities? Will there be “launch fees” for boaters? Will the pavilion be rented out for parties/weddings/keggers? Will there be an entry fee as in many other scenic parks??

  43. ASF says:

    The fact is, there IS a legal contract in effect and disgruntled self-appointed “community leaders” can’t just say, “I don’t like it, politicians, so just make it go away.” That’s not the way contracts work. The best thing that could happen is that the parties sit down and negotiate a solution that may not be perfect to either side in the dispute but that is fair to both the owner’s of the restaurant while taking the good of the community into serious account. For each side to try to stonewall each other will cost a lot in terms in tax-payer dollars and court time, building up even higher levels of ill-will for the unforeseeable future. THAT would be a lose-lose.

  44. Sean peckham says:

    Tim just putting it out there ! there are a lot of county parks no entry fee!! Turn bings back to a bait shop bring back the peace and tranquility ! the whole point of a Flagler county park system is enjoy the scenery the facilities and the tranquility ! When you bring in a restaurant, alcohol, trash and A company who just wants to take from their community captains barbecue! There is no positive outcome no matter what tax revenue ! A county park should be a family park no alcohol Little traffic and the only smoke should be from a Charcoal grill ! Family is what the commission should be thinking of ! Not profit! Make Flagler county great again !!!!

  45. Percy's mother says:

    Can someone please enlighten me and/or explain to me how the owners of Captains got themselves “assigned to the building board”?

    Who’s in charge of assigning citizens to the “building board”? Who makes that decision?

    Is there anyone out there who can provide detailed answers to the above 2 questions?

    I would be interested to know who’s in the background on all these goings on who might be profiting financially from this mess. It sounds like a lot of dirty dealings have been going in the background which creates a second and perhaps more important story about corruption and collusion in this county.

  46. Rdale says:

    Watch Captains offer to drop the suit for extending the lease. Wow what a settlement…..

  47. Christopher says:

    Not in my backyard. Captain’s is a great place serving quality food. Send all of the NIMBYS home to cry in their soup. Their behavior and attitudes are disgusting.

  48. John in Flagler says:

    Rental Fees for the pavilion more than support the park. The county spends far more on Captains than the shamefully paltry rent they pay. Bear in mind, this law suite is not for $15,000, it is for AT LEAST $15,000, damages not calculated yet.

    Do not patronize this business. Show them there is still justice in the world.

  49. Sherry says:

    @ Derrick Redder . . . jump to biased conclusions much? As for me. . . born and raised in Florida and Flagler Beach resident for 14 years. BTW, Greetings from Paris. . . yes, the one in France, not Texas.

    @ Concerned Citizen. . . another great comment!
    The ongoing “corruption” in our Flagler county government is outrageous! The county attorney needs to be fired, and the majority of the BOCC need to be voted out of office. The state of Florida will never investigate because many of them are just as corrupt.

    @ Buckwaller- Why not have appropriate “fees” for parks owned by us tax payers? For Profit Capitalism and Privatization is not beneficial for each and every single circumstance. Also, the “fees” would likely cost our tax payers much, much less than maintaining the grounds of a “private” restaurant where alcohol is sold, and where our local government is at substantial risk of even more law suits from possibly drunk patrons of a “private” restaurant.

    Captain’s has evidently broken the terms of their lease. They need to be thrown out and Bing’s needs to be turned back into a scenic “PARK”.

  50. Dale in the Hammock says:

    I liked Captain’s the restaurant, but I don’t like the actions of the owners. The 2018 November vote was during Thanksgiving week with little notice. We know that Captain’s has been exceeding the septic system capacity rating, a violation of the Health Code and possibly the original contract. The questionable 11/2018 contract may even violate the “Pledging Credit” section of the Florida Constitution.

    If the County has acted in poor faith, then Captain’s should be entitled to actual damages. However, the 11/2018 vote was “tabled” at the very next Commissioner meeting. Captain’s certainly could not have been harmed significantly in that time. At no point has the County not honored the original agreement.

    I find it difficult to understand how a building that is in such need of immediate replacement can be fit enough for Captain’s to operate out of for the next 3 years. Perhaps in the future, restaurant businesses should be able to bid on the lease of the building every few years. Let the market determine the lease amount.

  51. just the facts says:

    Captains owners live in Flagler county, He is suing the county, which means Flagler county will have to pay out of taxpayers money. He’s suing himself and all his Flagler county customers! GOOD PLAN, CAPTAIN, GOOD PLAN

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