A week ago while going door-to-door in his campaigning for Alan Lowe, Palm Coast City Council member Ed Danko claimed Milissa Holland had resigned as mayor not to take care of her daughter, but because the governor had threatened to have her criminally charged if she did not. The governor refuted Danko’s claim as a complete fabrication. In the same campaigning pitch, Danko told the constituent that Holland’s daughter was not that ill and was working at a restaurant in Flagler Beach–also falsehoods. Holland’s daughter, who has not spoken publicly since her mother’s election in 2016 and through numerous controversies into which her name was dragged previously, does so now.
By Tori Holman
Hello everyone, I’m Tori, and it appears that I am being brought up by people whom I have never met, let alone had a conversation with, just so they can use me in their campaign tactics. My mother has been a huge part of Palm Coast since before I can remember, and while I find that amazing and honorable, I also have seen my fair share of hate come at her, especially in ways that no one should ever have to walk around with.
I would just like to clear the air.
No, I do not currently have a job. I have not had a job since my transplant. I would love nothing more than to go to work, to go hang out with my friends, grab a bite to eat from a restaurant without having to have it delivered. But the fact of the matter is — I can’t.
My mother has done everything in her power to make me as comfortable and happy as possible given the situation I am in. She has given up so much for me and I can’t express the amount of gratitude and love I have for her. This has even brought her to step down from being mayor, which is something I think I will always feel a little bad for, given the amount of love, respect and dedication she has for the city.
As for those who will tell her that if it were the “real reason” than she would have stepped down sooner, I say: I would never have let that happen. I have known I was sick since I was a senior in high school. Which by the way is not the best way to spend your last year. I have struggled with my health being in and out of hospitals since then, but I was always someone who, like my mother, did not want that to define me. So I would rush out too quickly to try and live my life to the best I could before I knew I would inevitably end up back in a hospital room.
But circumstances change. Needing a liver transplant and actually getting one are two completely different things. My mother was able to work a lot more beforehand. I had long hospital stays, but nothing like when I was in Miami. When I was there, she worked as much as she possibly could virtually, but occasionally had to be in Palm Coast physically. She would drive the five hours home, just to turn back around immediately after attending to business to come to Miami and be by my bedside the entire way through. Which is something I couldn’t imagine was easy, and a lot stronger than anyone I know could do.
So as far as Mr. Danko’s comment stating I “can’t be that sick.” I am. Which also shows you the type of character you have when it comes to making light of such a traumatic thing I have to live with for the rest of my life.
I also just wanted to touch on two more things. Those are to express my absolute gratitude first to Java Joint, the Flagler Beach restaurant Mr. Danko claims that I work at. (By the way I’m sure all of the research that went into that was looking on to my Facebook which I still have listed on and could have easily been cleared up by even stopping in and asking, but I digress). It was mentioned in the article that Java Joint organized a fundraiser for me during the time I was about to receive my transplant, and I want to confirm that they did. I don’t think I have ever felt so loved at a job in which they knew about my health and constantly cared about it every step of the way. I could never repay them for that and I hope that once I am able to return to work, I can go back there. I also would love to promote them, as their initiative on my behalf shows such outstanding character and love they have for our community. They are an amazing place to eat with top notch food and people working there.
Secondly, I couldn’t be more appreciative of all the thoughts and prayers that you all have all given not only for me but for my mother during this ordeal. The love shown is a prime example of why my mom does care for this city and always has, because of how you all came together like that, in spite of the politics.
My mother has resigned. She has given so much to this city. She has without a doubt made her father, my grandfather Jim Holland, proud. She has without a doubt made me proud.
I am 25 years old and the amount of immaturity displayed in this campaign is embarrassing. To Mr. Danko and his detractors, Stop bringing my family into this mess to try to boost your votes. Stop bringing my family into this at all. To the rest of you, thank you.
Tori Holman is a Palm Coast resident.