Theresa Pontieri is a candidate for Palm Coast City Council, District 2, running against Sims Jones, Shauna Kanter and Alan Lowe.
The District 4 seat is also up, with Cathy Heighter and Fernando Melendez vying for it. But since only two candidates are running, that race will only be on the November ballot, along with the potential candidates in a runoff from the District 2 race.
As in 2018, both races are for open seats. Victor Barbosa, who was elected to a two-year term to complete the term of Jack Howell, resigned the District 2 seat in March. Eddie Brabnquinho chose not to run for re-election in District 4.
With the 2018 election, the entire council had turned over in just four years. With the 2022 election, three more seats, including that of the mayor, will have turned over again, leaving Nick Klufas as the council member with the most seniority, and the only council member to have won re-election.
This is a non-partisan, at-large election. That means all registered voters in Palm Coast, regardless of party or non-party affiliation–Democrats, Republicans, independents and others–may cast a ballot for Palm Coast council elections, even though the district winner ostensibly represents that particular district.
Palm Coast council members serve four years. Until November, they were to be paid $9,600 a year, $11,400 for the mayor, not including a monthly “telecommunications” allowance. In April, the council voted itself a 151 percent raise. Starting with the first paycheck after the election, council members will be paid $24,097, plus health benefits (not included in the 151 percent calculation), plus the telecommunication allowance of $910 per year, plus a car allowance of $1,196 per year, for a total pay of $26,203 per year, plus a subsequently automatic 2.5 percent increase per year.
FlaglerLive submitted identical questions to all candidates, with the understanding that additional questions might be tailored to candidates individually and some follow-up questions may be asked, with all exchanges on the record. Interviews of candidates who competed in the primary ran in July. The Live Interview’s aim is to elicit as much candor and transparency as possible. We have asked candidates to refrain from making campaign speeches or make lists of accomplishments. We have also asked candidates to reasonably document any claim or accusation. Undocumented claims are edited out. Answers are also edited for length, redundancy, relevance and, where possible, accuracy. If a candidate does not answer a question or appears to be evading a question, that’s noted.
But it’s ultimately up to the reader to judge the quality and sincerity of a candidate’s answers.
|To vote: see a sample ballot here. Early voting is between Aug. 13 and Aug. 20, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at four sites in the county, listed here. You may vote early at any of the four sites regardless of your precinct location. To vote by mail, request your mail-in ballot here. Because of the Legislature's new law, restricting voting convenience, drop boxes are available, but only to a limited degree. The ballot drop box at the Elections Office will be monitored by a staff member beginning 60 days prior to the election, through Election Day. This drop box will no longer be available after office hours or on weekends, except during the early voting period. Other drop boxes will be available at early voting locations, but only during the days of early voting, and only during voting hours. Mail ballots must be received in the Elections Office by 7 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted. If returning your ballot by mail, please allow at least ten days for delivery. A postmark does not extend this deadline. You may track your ballot here. All other election-procedure related inquiries can be answered at the Elections Office's website.
The Questions in Summary: Quick Links
- Method and philosophy
- Needs and wants
- Housing affordability
- Denise Bevan
- Rap sheet
1. What makes you qualified to be a city council member? How have you specifically prepared yourself to be ready to succeed from day one? Tell us about you as a person: your personality, your temperament, your foibles: what character flaw do you bring to the council? Who do you admire most in office today among elected officials in Flagler County—the person you’d consider a model of leadership? Who in the world at large (beyond Flagler), and among the living, do you consider a role model of political or intellectual leadership?
I have had the benefit of experiencing a wide breadth of diversity in my lifetime, and I have overcome much adversity. I grew up poor, but because I was able to get sponsorships as a member of the United States Karate Team, I was able to travel all over the world as a United States competitor. I have seen the beauty of the world and met so many awesome people, and I can say unequivocally that we live in the greatest country in the world. I appreciate so much that we have here, and I recognized at a very young age that even though I was poor by Americans’ standards, we had much to be thankful for.
My mother was raised in an abusive home, therefore, when she was in high school, she was taken in by a Cuban family. They loved her and cared for her like a daughter, and they were my “Abi” and “Abu” (short for abuela and abuelo) when I was growing up. They escaped Cuba, and the stories my Abi would tell me about standing in line for milk, being threatened with a gun put to her head when they ran out of milk and she refused to leave, and not being able to say her Rosary or worship in public will always resonate with me. Her and my Abu would cry every Sunday in mass because they were so grateful to be able to worship with their family. I often cry in mass when I am overcome with that similar appreciation and humility.
I’m relatable due to the diverse experiences I’ve had in my life. My youngest brother is actually my cousin, whom we adopted at age one. I understand the struggles that go with that process and the immense reward that is worth every minute of that struggle. My husband is a firefighter, so I know what its like to worry all night long, praying every day that he comes home to me; sacrificing holidays with family and instead cooking holiday meals at the fire station for our fire family; and comforting him after he’s seen and experienced the worst of what humanity is capable of. I have a brother in the Coast Guard and a brother in the Army, and I pray for their safety daily.
And yes, I’ve been arrested. At a young age, I learned what it was like to go through the legal system and what it requires to not allow that tarnish to become a permanent stain on the person I was capable of becoming. I’m a small business owner and come from a family full of small business owners, so I know the blood, sweat, and tears that are put into starting, growing, and running a business, and to say it’s tough is an understatement. I want to do what I can to help our community’s business owners flourish—especially now, when we see big box stores earning record profits while our small businesses close.
When I look back at my upbringing and the hardships I’ve been through, I think to myself that there is really no logical reason I should be where I am today—a successful attorney with a beautiful home, married to my soulmate who loves me incredibly, and very blessed with a wonderful family and many lifelong friends. My mother only went as far as gaining her Associates Degree, and my father barely graduated high school before joining the Air Force. They didn’t receive the benefits of higher education, but they both worked hard to provide for us, and my father is one of the smartest men I know. I made mistakes when I was in college, but I was lucky to have the God-given strength, grit, and desire to not allow those mistakes to write off my future. I have had to work ten times harder in order to get much of what I have today due to those mistakes, and I thank God every day for every struggle he has put in my past. They have made me stronger, more appreciative, gracious, and humble. I have always said that God will never give me more than I can handle.
I’m proud of the person I’ve become, and I have a lot of passion for the things I stand for. My strong passions—and my lack of fear in being transparent in what I believe in—is sometimes a fault. I try my very best to be very deliberate about what I say and how I say it, but I, just like all other humans, am fallible, and sometimes, my words are not perfect. I’ve said things in the past that didn’t come out quite right, were misconstrued because they were not thought out properly on my part, or they lacked tact. Words are so important, and every day, I’m striving to be more thoughtful in the words I use to convey my messaging.
Regarding local leadership I admire, I’d have to say I greatly admire County Commissioner Andy Dance. His even temperament, creativity in creating solutions, and ability to work well with those on all sides of the issues is exactly the type of leadership we need.
Regarding national leadership, I remember being in high school and admiring Condoleezza Rice. While I didn’t agree with her stance on everything, I recall admiring her strength, her ability to engage in respectful discourse, her incredible diplomacy—both nationally and internationally—and her unshakable poise. She has been attacked and criticized for being a Black, female Republican, however, she remains steadfast in her ideals, and instead of reacting to her attacks with emotion or equally harsh sentiment, her inner confidence allows her to transcend the hate and continue speaking truth, relying on facts, and engaging in respectful discourse.
I am running for office here in Palm Coast because my diverse perspective, coupled with my knowledge and experience with the law and my appreciation for our way of life in this Country, this State, and this County push me to do everything I can to help preserve it. I know there are many things in our lives we can’t control, but we can control our own backyard, and I am proud to say that Palm Coast is my backyard. I want to preserve it and keep it beautiful, safe, and welcoming to people of all backgrounds. I know my own integrity to advocate for the citizens of Palm Coast. I’ve been an advocate and a problem- solver for local residents in my law practice. That advocacy for others, the ability to work with people who hold an adversarial position to me, and the ability to think critically with forethought, and provide solutions that have sustainability and longevity for the future are exactly the virtues and strengths we need on the Palm Coast City Council. Our citizens need a strong voice that is willing to fight for them, and there’s no better person for that than me.
You lay it (almost) all on the table up front, and that’s appreciated. But your answer raises two questions. First, you do not tell us how you have prepared specifically for the council job: how often have you attended meetings, how often have you spoken with administrative staff or council members about the substance of issues in front of them now, to what extent have you studied the current and past budgets, how familiar are you with city debt and the so-called strategic action plan (the current euphemism for “goals”)? Second, you underscore your training as a lawyer, your deliberate way with words and thoughts, and your vast experience with more backgrounds and diversities than most people can claim. How, then, do you explain the tone-deafness (to be kind) of some of the videos you’d posted publicly that led to your forced resignation from the Sheriff’s Office as in-house counsel last year–commenting on Black victims of police shootings as “freaking thuggy criminals,” for example, one of them 16, and knowing the obviously racist code word “thuggy” and its derivatives have become? Conceding that generally employers can be heavy-handed and presumptuous with an employee’s expression outside the office, you were not a half-cocked blogger or columnist, the material wasn’t even from your youth, but was very fresh, and though posted months beforehand, you became the in-house counsel, speaking on matters that could easily be interpreted to prejudice perspective on cases that would come before you: how does that not place your judgment in question? Free expression is free expression, “constitutionally expressed,” as you put it to the Observer. But you took down the items as soon as the News-Journal’s Frank Fernandez questioned them: if you didn’t see them as problematic, why take them down? And do you consider constitutionally defensible speech indistinguishable from responsible speech by people in positions of responsibility, let alone power?
I’ve responded sufficiently to the initial questions. I’d direct people to the previous Observer articles and the transcript from the Observer Forum for my the stories surrounding what I’ve said before–I should have been more tactful in the manner in which I was expressing my frustration with the manner in which the media, many DC politicians, and Black Lives Matter were demonizing police and hailing people committing crimes. It’s a problem, and until we can talk about it openly and honestly, we can fix nothing.
Sally Hunt, District 1
Jill Woolbright, District 1
Lance Alred, District 2
Will Furry, District 2
Courtney VandeBunte, District 2
Christy Chong, District 4
Leann Pennington, District 4
Janet McDonald, District 2
Greg Hansen, District 2
Denise Calderwood, District 2
Palm Coast City Council, District 2
Theresa Carli Pontieri
2. What is in council member’s power, and what isn’t? What is your understanding of when and how, if ever, you may direct or in any way exercise any authority over administrative staff other than the city manager and the city attorney? How would you deal with a problem, perceived or real, regarding a city employee, a manager (not the city manager) or a director?
My most important role as a City Council member is to be a voice for our citizens, with a special focus on my district. I represent our citizens, full stop. Therefore, grounded in every decision I make has to be the question—is this best for our citizens and for the future of Palm Coast? The budget is a huge aspect of what we have control over, and it’s vital that we are fiscally responsible and mindful that those monies are not ours. It’s the taxpayers’ money. We must never lose sight of that. One very important thing I learned in owning my own business is that you surround yourself with people who can do their jobs well and you let them do it. The dichotomy of roles and the recognition that other people have strengths you should lean on and learn from is vital to successful working relationships when you’re working as a team. My goal is to learn what strengths every person I’m working with has—from city staff to my fellow city council members—so that I can lean on them when necessary, defer to them when appropriate, and give them the confidence to lean on me and defer to me when appropriate. That’s what a successful team does!
The question goes more to pedestrian matters of process: what are the primary duties of a council members, what would constitute a council member overstepping authority–and what would you do if, for example, you became aware of an impropriety involving a city employee or a director?
First, I’d internally discuss and ascertain what the proper channels are to address the Second, I’d engage in intense fact-finding to ensure we are not taking steps or making decisions based on false information. At that point, depending on the intent behind and degree and effect of any wrongdoing, I would encourage action that appropriately addresses the situation. I am a proponent of transparency in decision-making, therefore, whatever decision I advocate for based on the facts in front of me, the citizens will know why I made that specific decision regarding that specific situation.
3. How do you describe your governing method and philosophy: how do you (or will you) prepare for each council meeting and workshop, what is your analytical method, issue by issue, and what drives your decision-making? What role do politics, ideology or immovable principles have in your decision-making approach?
I am a very analytical problem-solver and a deliberate action-taker. I make every effort to ensure all words spoken and actions taken have a focused purpose. That takes immense preparation. In my career as an attorney, I have to prepare for hearings, trials, depositions, mediations, and even client and partner meetings on a daily basis, and I don’t go into any of those situations unprepared, without researching legal issues, reading materials, or speaking to necessary parties beforehand. I would treat council meetings and workshops the same way, with intense preparation, review of all documents and packets provided for each meeting and/or workshop, and any research I think would help my understanding of the issues to be discussed. Regarding my ideology, I’m a conservative with conservative values and conservative governing policies—respecting separation of powers, encouraging fiscal responsibility, and remaining respectful to our Constitution and the Institutions upon which our Country is built.
One very important lesson I’ve learned in my 37 years of life is to not armchair quarterback. You can’t possibly understand the details of the X’s and O’s while sitting on the sideline and until you’re in the So, I will refrain from criticizing our City Council, and instead, provide three things I think we can all do better.
First—as City leadership, we must communicate better. There are many misconceptions about the manner in which our City Council is running our city, making decisions, and using the budget, and we can always be stronger at communicating to the citizens as to all of the wonderful things being done and the immense amount of time, energy, and thought that goes into the decisions being made and the actions being taken. We have to communicate better, and one of the things I’ll be advocating for is quarterly town halls so that the citizens can engage with us as City Council members, ask us the questions they want answers to, and actually get informed on what we are doing and why.
Second—ensuring our infrastructure and safety needs are met as we endure the incredible amount of growth that is occurring in our entire state. We have the best Governor and live in the best State in the Country, and Americans from other states are flocking here because of it. We have to be prepared to absorb that growth, while at the same time refrain from growing too big, too fast. Many feel that is already happening, so we need to focus on ensuring we are growing intelligently and attracting the citizens and businesses that will appreciate and contribute to our city in a positive way.
Third—hold ourselves accountable to plans we put in place to address long-term issues that have been plaguing our citizens for quite some time, such as the drainage issues in our swales and the dredging of our canals. While these issues are being addressed in the Comprehensive Plan, we must remain prudent and diligent with regards to our commitment long-term resolutions and fiscal responsibility.
Are you looking to have quarterly town meetings that gather the entirety of the council each time? Or hold town halls as an individual council member, the way the late Jon Netts used to (drawing about two or three people each time)?
Such a cynical follow-up! I would encourage quarterly townhalls with as many councilmembers that can attend.
Note: while it is accurate to say that people are “flocking” to Florida, it is inaccurate to say that they are doing so because of the current governor. Florida’s rate of population growth has been historically robust but steady, and in the details was somewhat more robust before 2000 than since. The rate fell from 2016 to 2020, rebounding somewhat in 2021.
5. Candidates and council members hear the phrase “needs, not wants” from many constituents, usually as a criticism of some specific proposal to spend money on a project the speaker considers a “want.” Please give two or three examples of what you consider “needs” and how you would address them as a council member, and two or three examples of “wants” that you believe are important enough to justify the required spending.
“Needs” and “wants” are very subjective, and I’m only one person, so I’ll speak to what I believe are the needs of all communities and then suggest not the wants, but the secondary needs I’ve heard from citizens as I’ve knocked on doors, been welcomed into peoples’ homes, and had conversations with them while sitting on their couches and at their dining room tables. Needs are unequivocally public safety, to include adequate law enforcement and first responder personnel, equipment, and facilities, safe roads, and safe schools; adequate infrastructure, which includes our transportation, swales, canals, and public works; and good-paying jobs and opportunities for businesses to flourish. These will provide a strong foundation for strengthening our successful community. Secondary needs voiced from our citizens include preserving the natural beauty of Palm Coast from an environmental standpoint and having more family-friendly facilities and activities, so that we can stay in Palm Coast, rather than travel to St. Augustine or Daytona. From a budget standpoint, we need to not only ensure the monies are going in the right direction, but then follow up to ensure they were used in the manner as intended. You don’t write a check without making sure it’s cashed for its intended.
Those are both very long lists. But what are your own two or three priorities–priorities you’ll want in the city’s strategic action plan?
Prioritize safe, sustainable roadways (to include addressing pedestrian concerns), commit to getting the canals dredged, find a permanent, long-term solution to the drainage issues involving the swales.
6. The city’s budget, like all local government budgets, will likely face revenue shortfalls in an expected recession. How will you make up the lost revenue? Where do you stand on property tax increases, including adopting tax rates that are not at rollback (which amounts to a tax increase under Florida law)? Short of new sources of revenue, and if you intend to stick to a rolled back tax rate, which nearly limits any growth in the budget, what city programs would you eliminate and what service levels would you reduce to achieve that?
I’m a firm believer in not blowing smoke just to get elected, and while my transparency may get me into trouble here, I am going to be 100 percent candid with our citizens. As a fiscal conservative, I strongly oppose raising taxes, and I will do everything in my power to not take any actions that would result in a tax increase to our citizens. Rather, I prefer to work within our existing budgetary constraints. However, I also do not want to cut necessary services just so that I can say, “I voted for the rollback, vote for me” in the future. We have strong leadership in Tallahassee through Senator Hutson and Speaker-designate Renner, and we must be thinking outside of the box to look for ways to team up with private companies to furnish services to our citizens’ needs without having to use public monies. That is how we keep both taxes low and services high.
You seem to equivocate on the tax issue. Taking this year’s budget for example, the city administration is recommending keeping the tax rate flat. Council members are likely to reduce the tax rate, but not by much, resulting almost certainly in a rate above roll-back–therefore, a tax increase. Would you oppose that? Landing special appropriations from the state has been very hit and miss over the past decade, with occasional wins for the city for portions of capital projects, and no such funding for the programs funded out of the general fund. In other words, the city must depend on its own revenue sources to ensure day to day services. Can you think of a single program, a single initiative, that could pair public money with private money to underwrite a city service–and is it wise to involve a private business, or a group of private businesses, in the running of city services? Would those entities not expect a return on their investment? You mention involving private companies in some of the cities recreational operations in the question below, but that’s more along the lines of contracting with an outside entity to run a city service, as the city did–with dreadful results–with Kemper Sports for many years, at the golf club and tennis centers. That’s why it ended the relationship. Are you looking to return to such arrangements?
Theresa Pontieri did not answer the question.
7. The city’s golf course, its tennis center and its pool serve a fraction of people, and all at a fee, but are heavily subsidized by general fund dollars, are in constant need of expensive upkeep, and, as in the tennis center’s case, in the midst of lavish expansion. Are you supportive of those amenities? How will you balance spending tax dollars for pools, tennis, golf or pickle ball when so many people don’t use these facilities?
Recreational amenities are a perfect example what a public-private partnership can provide so that our general fund monies are not bleeding into these types of projects on an annual basis. I think the intent of these facilities was well-placed, but the idea didn’t quite come to fruition, and making the decision to either scrap it at the expense of wasting what’s already been expended versus continuing to put more money into it so that the entire project hasn’t been in vain is a very tough decision. We need facilities like these, however, in hindsight, things could have been done better. We must learn from this and make better decisions regarding projects like this in the future. Palm Coast needs to begin a new Parks and Recreation Master Plan process specifically to inventory all parks and facilities, ensure ADA compliance in facilities, and determine accessibility to all residents and visitors by foot, bike, and car. We can then use both our Strategic Action Plan and our long-term Comprehensive Plan to ensure we are preserving the quality of life that our citizens love and appreciate.
8. Palm Coast’s population has grown over 30 percent in the past decade and a half. A certain amount of NIMBYism—not in my back yard—is a recurring theme of existing residents opposing further development, and not just apartment complexes. Do existing residents have a right to close the development gates behind them, when Palm Coast as ITT envisioned it in the late 60s was planned for 600,000 residents? How do you define overdevelopment, and how do you define smart growth, with existing examples in the city. What percentage of our housing stock should be single-family homes as opposed to apartments?
One of the benefits of my presence on the City Council is that I have lived in many other cities throughout my life, and I’ve experienced growth that has occurred too rapidly— specifically in Charleston, South Carolina and St. Augustine, Florida. Smart growth ensures we are balancing our infrastructure with our population, where infrastructure must be in place first; ensuring we have the public facilities in place to accommodate the influx of population, such as schools, police and fire departments, and hospitals; and ensuring we have a sufficient labor market so that when people move here, they can earn a healthy living for their families. I’m the biggest fan of providing the ability to achieve the American Dream—owning a home, having a career, and growing a happy and healthy family. The actions we take must be in furtherance of giving people the opportunity to achieve this. The price of housing today is putting that dream out of reach for too many people, and the main issue is supply and demand. As supply goes down, prices go up. So, we need to provide a little more supply to temper those prices, using the county’s Comprehensive Plan as a guide to reflect future housing, land use, transportation, and infrastructure needs. We must always consider environmental and qualify of life implications that come with population growth as well.
How can the city, which only regulates land use, provide housing supply, or alleviate the current shortage?
A wholistic approach is needed to address housing needs. We need to look ahead at what commercial businesses, healthcare facilities, and educational facilities are coming and then basing housing and zoning approvals on the projected need that those businesses and facilities will create. In making such an assessment, we need to rely on raw data and reliable projections, and compare what similar situations have created in other cities. All of our decisions regarding approvals for housing must be based on the overarching growth plan of our City, rather than just approving for the sake of approving.
9. With the Flagler Realtors Association’s May 2022 report showing median house prices at $400,000, up from $294,000 a year ago, the city faces an affordable housing shortfall. How do you propose to diversify Palm Coast’s housing options? By what criteria would you approve or reject apartment complexes? Would you approve raising the density and height of multi-family, or apartment, structures in select areas of the city zoned for the purpose?
This goes back to the above—we are talking about things in the abstract without seeing actual data as to what our community needs. The prices of renting have skyrocketed as well. Therefore, I don’t feel the increase in housing is the sole reason we should be relying on to justify building more apartments. Rather, apartments will always serve a need in communities, and Palm Coast has simply never had many of them to fit that need. We are creating fantastic opportunities through our partnership with UNF MedNexus, and apartments provide necessary housing to these medical students and young adults. They are vital for low-income families, students, young adults, and those on a fixed income. I grew up in an apartment, being raised in a single-parent home. Our apartment was nice, and some of my fondest memories are playing basketball and roller hockey in the parking lot of the apartment with my friends. Apartments don’t have to come with a negative connotation, but we have to build them with the mindset of keeping in the spirit and beauty of Palm Coast, and they should be built based on data showing an actual need.
10. Palm Coast’s saltwater canals may need dredging. It’s never been done in the 50-year existence of the city and its ITT antecedent. But the canals—like those recreational amenities mentioned above–are limited to a few neighborhoods. If and when it comes to that, who should pay for the dredging, and through what taxing mechanism?
I have invested a great deal of time speaking to engineers and environmentalists on what is entailed in dredging our canals to be fully educated on the process, the costs, and options we have in order to address this necessary issue. First, addressing the canals is currently in the Strategic Action Plan, and I’m committed to keeping this at the forefront of my priorities. It is necessary that the canals are dredged in a methodical and fiscally responsible manner, and it should be something that we keep on our agenda on a regular basis. The canals are an amenity for the entire city—not just those with a home on the actual canals and the cost of dredging them should be a city-wide cost. We can’t start divvying up costs for city services based on where people live. When addressing the swales, people who don’t have drainage issues could then say they don’t have the responsibility to pay for those services. We are one city, one community! That being said, it’s our responsibility to be incredibly prudent when it comes to budgeting for the dredging, and we have to give due concern to the drainage issues that several of our neighborhoods are facing. These are both serious concerns that deserve our utmost attention and commitment to resolution.
The swale analogy does not actually seem to apply: whether a swale is functioning or not, almost all Palm Coast residents have swales, an all swales need upkeep and reconstruction periodically, which the city carries out. Those who do not have swales have stormwater issues that the city addresses in other ways, making the stormwater fee as widely applied as it is–and not applied when, for example, subdivisions have their own stormwater systems. How is a canal an amenity for the majority of people who live, say, in the W, P, R, B and other sections that barely ever see, let alone use or need, the canals, and why should they pay for their upkeep? What city-wide taxing or fee mechanism would you use to pay for the dredging?
Theresa Pontieri did not answer the question.
Bevans was thrown in the deep end of a tough position with a negative stain on it, and she has been fearless in taking over that role. We must continue to work well with her, respect her role versus ours, and ensure the needs of our citizens are being met through her decision-making
12. Palm Coast relies on the sheriff for policing. Evaluate that relationship. Do you consider the steep expansion of the Palm Coast policing force (and budget) justified in a low-crime era? Do you favor an independent police department for the city, now or in the near future?
Our community is the safest community I’ve ever lived in, and I think our citizens feel incredibly safe here in Palm Coast. Sheriff Staly and our Sheriff’s Office staff, deputies, and administration are to thank for that. As our population grows, so must our law enforcement services. As the prevalence of drugs in this country increases, due unfortunately, to an open border, our law enforcement professionals must have the personnel and resources necessary to keep drugs out of our communities, with a special focus on keeping drugs out of our schools. I am not in favor of a city police department. Other communities with similar population and city area pay quadruple for the services Palm Coast receives from the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, so going in that direction would eliminate the prospect of a rollback.
13. Have you ever been charged with a felony or a misdemeanor anywhere in Flagler, Florida or the United States (other than a speeding ticket), or faced a civil action other than a divorce, but including bankruptcies, or faced any investigative or disciplinary action through a professional board such as the bar or a medical board? Have you ever been demoted? If so, please explain, including cases where charges or claims did not lead to conviction or disciplinary action.
I pled no contest to a DUI when I was in college. That DUI changed the entire trajectory of my life, taught me lessons on humility, overcoming adversity, and not allowing a mistake to define me, but rather, refine me. I am thankful that patrol officer pulled me over that night before I hurt myself, my friend who was in the car with me, or anyone else on the road. And I’m thankful God gave me the strength, determination, and love from family and friends to dust myself off, pick myself up, and work hard to not allow a mistake from over 15 years ago be an excuse for why I can’t achieve anything I work hard for. My hard work has paid off, as I’ve been accepted to the Florida Bar, and I’ve been able to grow my career as a successful attorney.
2022 Election Candidates, Flagler County
|County Commission District 2||Greg Hansen, incumbent (Rep)||Janet McDonald (Rep)||Denise Calderwood (Rep)|
|County Commission District 4||Joe Mullins, incumbent (Rep)||Leann Pennington (Rep)||Jane Gentile-Youd (NPA)|
|School Board District 1||Jill Woolbright, incumbent||Sally Hunt|
|School Board District 2||Lance Alred||Will Furry||Courtney VandeBunte|
|School Board District 4||Trevor Tucker, incumbent||Christy Chong|
|Palm Coast City Council Seat 2||Theresa Carli Pontieri||Sims Jones||Shauna Kanter / Alan Lowe|
|Palm Coast City Council Seat 4||Cathy heighter||Fernando Melendez|