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Palm Coast Council Shocked, Shocked To Hear It Ever Had $10 Million for City Hall

| August 3, 2011

It was not originally presented to the Palm Coast City Council as a pie in the sky, but as a concrete project. Jim Landon now says the city never had the $10 million. The chart is from his staff's presentation to the council last year.

It was not originally presented to the Palm Coast City Council as a pie in the sky, but as a concrete project. Jim Landon now says the city never had the $10 million. The chart is from his staff's presentation to the council last year.

There were all sorts of name-dropping references at the Palm Coast City Council Tuesday evening, with Mayor Jon Netts quoting Shakespeare (of course), a tea party member scornfully quoting Joe Biden and a mayoral candidate, not without grandstanding, quoting Clara Peller, the late actress known exclusively for the three and a half words that made her fame in a 1984 Wendy’s commercial: “Where’s the beef?” All three instances were related to tax money, real or imagined, and higher taxes, real or imagined. The only missing quote was Claude Rains’s celebrated shock in “Casablanca.”

City Manager Jim Landon provided that one by other means when he sounded incredulous at the notion that the city had ever had $10 million to build a new city hall.

Last year’s graphs showing the $10 million’s breakdown, Landon’s presentations to the city council pressing for the project (“Why now? I think you all know this, but timing is very important,” he told them in the context of one of those presentations),  his road show to various community associations across the city and his repeated assurances to the council and to community members along the way that unlike the 2005 city hall proposal, this one was different: it was as if all of it had been like Bobby Ewing’s year-long death in “Dallas”—a dream. (Landon’s roots run deep in Texas.)

Rewind to June 2010

“We are not proposing that additional tax levy, or that tax levy be increased to pay for this. The concept is that this building will be paid for out of existing funds,” Landon had told the city council explicitly during a June 2010 workshop, when he was seeking the council’s approval to move forward with that concept’s equally explicit timeline, and which the council endorsed.

The plan was to use $10 million in existing funds as outlined by Landon and his staff, in that chart presented to the council (see above), calling back a note to the Town Center Community Redevelopment Agency (essentially, a subdivision of the Palm Coast government, headed by the same city council, but under a separate taxing scheme), using $2 million from the sale of the Commerce Boulevard city hall to Palm Coast Data, and additional dollars from the utility and building fund.

“Some people say I’m crazy,” Landon said last year, “but I’m really looking forward to going out and having the conversation with the community and start to, when we do presentations, whether that’s staff, whether that’s city council, etc., having presentations, saying, OK, this is why it’s different than five years ago, this is what the plan is and get that dialogue started. Is everybody going to agree with it? Absolutely not, but that’s true with just about everything we do.”

The Missing Beef

Landon had those “conversations.” Many of them. So it’s not a mystery why people in the community have been asking the salient question: where’s that $10 million now? Two people did again Tuesday evening, before the council. One of them was Charlie Ericksen, who’s running for mayor against Jon Netts and who—like three other candidates for city council seats this summer, did not miss an opportunity for camera time Tuesday evening. He’s the one who brought up Clara Peller’s beef.

“I thought I’d be her replacement this evening,” Ericksen said after mentioning Peller’s death (albeit not at the hands of Brutus). “So I ask City council, where is the $10 million that you have set aside for a new city hall? You have told us repeatedly over the past two years that you’d accumulated the necessary funds to be able to build and pay for it up front. Since the city hall is, if I read the newspapers correctly, a no-go, at least at present, let’s use some of that $10 million to cover that $1.9 million shortfall, and give the hard-working and unemployed residents of Palm Coast a break on this year’s taxes. Budgeting I realize is a tough job, and it has to be complete and accurate, but I’d like to know just why we can’t use those readily available funds to make up that shortfall instead of increasing the millage rate.”

At the same meeting, the city set its preliminary tax rate for next year at 4 mils, or $4 per $1,000 in taxable value, an increase from $3.5 per $1,000. Doing so would ensure that the city would take in almost as much revenue next year as it did this year, making up for the more than $2 million loss caused by another big drop in property valuations. Most taxpayers would not see an increase in their tax bills. In fact, most tax bills are certain to drop next year, driven down by the school board’s tax rate, which equates to roughly a 14 percent tax cut for most property owners. But most property owners’ math stops at “millage increase.”

Ericksen was proposing to use a fraction of the money once pledged to city hall to defray some of that increase. Cue Capt. Renault. Or Bobby or Pam.

“First of all,” Landon said in answer to Ericksen’s and an ex-New Yorker’s question on city hall, “we don’t have the $10 million, never said we had the $10 million. More importantly, I want to keep stressing is that even if you have dollars for capital, if you use your savings account to pay your day to day bills, it’s not sustainable and it just causes problems in the future. And that has always been a key, is you don’t use your savings account, if you will, for that. But with that said we do not have the $10 million in the bank, never had, but I’m going to ask Ray to give the details as to where the $10 million proposal was coming from.”

Of course the money was never in the bank. Cities rarely operate based on what’s in the bank. But last year’s financial plan, before the verbal shell games, had laid out how it would be secured.

When One-Time Uses Are Unwise

Ray Britt is Landon’s finance director, who summarized the origins of the $10 million plan, and said: “At this point in time the CRA does not have the ability to borrow that money.” He added that, regarding the rest of the $10 million, “only a portion of that was in cash. Some of that was coming from other funds that cannot be used for the general fund.” Ericksen and others who’ve made the argument about using a portion of the funds haven’t focused on the CRA money, but on the cash generated from the $3 million sale of the old city hall, which can be used out of the general fund—if that money is, in fact, there: the city’s reserves are at their lowest in its existence, and it’s shuffled money around for the past two years to cover its expenses.

And the city may have used up the money last year to ensure that the tax rate would stay where it was then: the city zeroed out the dollars it was devoting to capital projects in order to subsidize the general fund and not raise the millage rate of $3.5 per $1,000 in taxable value.

Last year, Britt was clear about the source of the $10 million, and the availability of those funds: “The biggest bulk of the funding will come from repayment of the CRA note from the general fund, which currently stands about $5.8 million,” Britt said in June 2010. “The CRA would either borrow that money or possibly would have some cash built up that could be used to repay that loan. And this has been part of the discussion for a while, that may be what that money would be used for.”

The Old City Hall’s $3 Million Windfall

With the portions of money from the utility and building fund chipped in, Britt said, “That would leave us needing about $2 million, which would come from the capital projects fund. That $2 million, most of it is coming from the sale of the building on Commerce Boulevard.”

It was actually $3 million. Council member Bill Lewis asked Britt for clarity on the matter directly.

“We still have that $3 million locked up somewhere?” Bill Lewis asks.

The question elicited laughter and jokes about the money being “under the mattress” (council member Holsey Moorman) or “locked up in my desk drawer” (Britt) before the finance director clarified: “There is money in the capital projects fund, yes.” He adds: “The money moves around, so we’re saying yes, there’s two million in the capital projects fund, and that primarily came from the sale of the old city hall.”

“So that money will be available when it’s needed?” Lewis.

“Right,” Britt said.

He specified: “Currently you’ve got money in the CRA fund, and we will have, the design phase is estimated at about $1.2 million, the CRA fund will have additional money coming in in December [2010], and that money can be used as a partial repayment to the general fund, and we’ve covered the design cost. The other $8.8 million is not going to be needed probably until late 2011 and on into 2012. So by that time we would go out, borrow the additional money for, or the CRA would go out and borrow the additional money to repay the general fund, and we’ve got the $1 million in the building fund and the $1.2 in the utility fund.”

Landon himself specified, too: “Two other key points, one of them is that the CRA is paying interest to the general fund right now, so it’s just a matter of moving the money to fund the project. Secondly, a lot of people don’t understand, well, where does the CRA gets its money, well it gets its money from all the new construction in the Town Center area.”

“Also I want to stress we can do it now without increasing the tax levy,” Landon continued. “The sooner you get started, the sooner you get jobs. You wait a year or two from now, the concern will be that construction costs will go up.”

Brutus, Antony, Caesar, Netts

Landon’s next steps, flashed before the council at that meeting last year, were also clear: request for qualifications for architectural and engineering services (a step he fulfilled: the city hired a firm), include the project in its capital projects plan for the following year, negotiate a lease extension at City Market Place, and conduct those “community outreach” meetings, all of which were done. Landon’s direction was clear.

“Thank you and we will proceed with the next steps,” Landon told the council at the end of that meeting.

The backtracking was never as explicit, though it was complete by the time, in mid-June, Netts conceded that there would be no city hall absent a referendum, because there could be no city hall with city cash, as previously proposed. It would have to be paid for with bonds, as was the case with the 2005 proposal.

Netts’ Shakespeare quote Tuesday evening was made in reference to a brief speech by Louis McCarthy, a regular at council meetings, supporting the council’s decision to increase the tax rate if necessary.

“I can’t resist Mr. McCarthy. The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.”

Someone chimed out, correctly, that the quote was from Julius Caesar. No one chimed out the words preceding the lines—“I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him”—or following the burying of the good: “So let it be with Caesar.” Or city hall, as the case may be.

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33 Responses for “Palm Coast Council Shocked, Shocked To Hear It Ever Had $10 Million for City Hall”

  1. blondie says:

    Forget the new city hall building!!! The way things are going over at PC Data, they should be able to move back there soon enough.

  2. Jack Howell says:

    Once again our city council shows its ignorance on fiscal matters. Where do we find these elected officials? Instead of quoting Shakespeare, lets get our act together and show me you know how to manage our (taxpayers) money! It appears that politicians are attempting to remove two words from the dictionary. Want to gues which ones? Lets try ACCOUNTABILITY and RESPONSIBILITY. By the way,I have quote from Robert Frost…”Forgive me my nonsense, as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense.

  3. palmcoaster says:

    I been myself in a 220 units condo association board as a treasurer in 3 different times! I always demanded clear financial’s detailed to the penny with monthly statements, bank accounts balances showing all transactions, all invoices for services, supplies and utilities paid. Status of our reserves on each bank account and how much were our monthly contributions to the reserves. Is a very complicated follow up that took me several hours of work every month specially around the time of new budget plans for the next year. I was the only treasurer in that condo association making sure that my demand, that all financial’s were provided to all owners via e-mail or copies in the meetings. Some could understand partially those figures, the least, will fully understand them. But they could always ask and get a clear answer form the prints on their hands. Council should be provided with the same financial statements in a monthly basis and ask Mr.Landon their questions.The complexity of the way the CRA works, should be properly clarify to the council and us tax payers footing the bill..There is not complexity that can’t be properly detailed and clarified. I am so glad that we relentlessly opposed the new city hall. Would have been 10 millions plus more in debt now in this pathetic economic times.
    We learned from the county as we can see the 2 lines under the county tax district how much we are still paying those loans for the Taj Mahal and the King Hammond Justice Palace…meanwhile our residents are being kicked into homelessness by the banks that since Bush 1st and Obama 2nd, we were forced to bail out and residents that are unemployed! What is going to happen when the banks will start demolishing those homes to get a tax loss right off, pay tax on the vacant land only and avoid then maintenance cost? What is going to happen then with that lack of revenue? Probably have us, the remainning residents to foot the difference. So stop the waste right now please. Use your heads, not your greed.
    Like I said is very tempting and easy to build one selves palaces with other people’s monies. By the way is the time to stop the waste on the following also;
    110720_Coquina_Coast_Business_Teleconference_Summary_R1.pdf I18N YGP.SaveAll
    Forgive my type errors…as I am frustrated.!


    Boy oh Boy…that money ( any money) is burning a hole in their collective pockets!
    …when will they learn how to SAVE money for when it may REALLY be needed !!!

  5. Ella says:

    Actually they show their intelligence. Moorman made a nice speech last night about what happens when they give in and cut taxes or don’t maintain service… Have you ever had to call the sheriff’s office or the EMS? Sometimes they quote to lighten the mood in a tense situation, especially to make a point. These people get paid peanuts to deal with all this c..p and put on a nice face. This is my first budget year and whew, RELAX PEOPLE! They are doing a good job trying to make it work for everybody.

  6. palmcoaster says:

    Same financial follow up should be done by the county commissioners as I always hear that our just “media designated #2 busier small airport in the nation is not only self sufficient but generates revenue”. Something that as a county tax payer would like to have it documented. As we all should know at this time that he super sized hangar dumped by Ginn loan, is paid by us aka the county. So that is no revenue. Also the structure .5 million for Cakes Across Our Pockets is being also paid by us. Is hard for me to believe that the aircraft fuel sold in the airport generates enough revenue to prevent us to pay for those blunders. Who owns the vacant structure just built on the airport and up for sale us or who?
    Now in our #2 small regional airport in the nation
    they plan to move one runway to rebuild it in another location and longer to accommodate larger aircraft, at a cost of 6.5 million and the FAA, defunct by now is coming with 95% of the cost thanks to Mica…that with his GOP vote causes the FAA shut down. Then who is going to pay the traffic air comptrollers and the new fancy tower maintenance if the FAA shut down? .
    The other 4% to be paid by the FDOT and the 1% = $65,000 force footed by us… I sure don’t have the money for a private arcraft much less an oversized one, so then have them wealthy fly boys pay for it! My elected representative commissioners need to get a reality check and ask the airport financial’s to the penny, as I suspect is hidden sustained unfairly by the county taxpayers. That airport is for the wealthy and corporations only and I refuse to fund it! What part of NO the commissioners don’t get?
    In this economy? Give me a break. Stick to the current runway and stop the fairy tales. No wonder county proposed to raise the taxes in my home by $150 or more as proposed.
    Where is the Tea Party on this one?
    Ella, are you checking the county proposed taxes above too?

  7. PalmCoastPioneers says:

    Mr. Ericksen – a question – If elected, what will you do to Re- Redress us back the Federally Ordered, as ‘Consumer Redress’ for us more specifically, and just one item of so very many Amenities/ Features/ Acreage/Improvements , the ‘….Multipurpose Office Building…suitable for tenants…to attract new Industry…’ as stated within and as per the Federal Trade Commissions’ ‘Consent Agreement’ C-2854 and Federally Ordered ‘Compliance Report’ with Exhibits A and Exhibits B?
    Thank you.

  8. PalmCoastPioneers says:

    PalmCoaster – from an earlier question –
    When the Federal Investigators were here, ( not the ‘The Palm Coast Predicament #1 when the State of Florida Attorney General Doyle State Investigators were in Palm Coast) the Federals and I.T.T. came to a ‘Consent Agreement” – C-2854 and a Federally Ordered 15 Year / later add’t 5 year ‘Compliance Report’ to ensure that I.T.T. was indeed offering the many Amenities/ Features/ Acreage/Improvements, etc., that they promised –
    Federal ‘Consent Agreement’ C-2854 listed many many Amenities / Features/ Improvements/ Acreage/ etc. as ‘Consumer REDRESS” ordered for us and of course would have benefitted present Palm Coasters.
    Amongst them was that ITT was required to build ‘…a Multipurpose Office Building….suitable for tenants…to attract New Industry..’ to Palm Coast. Inc.
    We also refer to it as the Witteman Building…knowing that when Witteman left, I think Canthal came in… anyway…its origin and its intended use was to bring New Industry…and JOBS ….so when One Business appraised their Need…they would use it until they built another Building of their own in one of Palm Coast FOUR Industrial Parks…which we allege were also Federally Ordered….then once that Business/ Industry vacated the Building…another New Business or Industry could be attracted to Palm Coast and settle in that building until they built their own…and on and on…for JOBS…
    The Building in the Palm Harbor Shopping Center that you speak of was *donated* to us by I.T.T. To bad it is now commercial…it would have been an excellent building say for a resonably priced *day care* for the struggling families with children , like the very reasonably priced day care that the School Board ran last Century, which helped the families then; or…it could have been an excellent Arts / Cultural Building…oh well…

  9. Justice for All says:

    I had to reread the responses to Charlie Erickson’s question twice and get more confused each time. . If Lewis was told there was $3 million available from the sale of City Hall then why is only $2 million being used, according to the chart? What pot of money holds the remaining proceeds from the sale of the old City Hall? And why is there “profit” in the utility and building funds that can be applied to a City Hall? How about lowering the exorbitant water rates? Why does the building fund have a $1 million profit? Are we now subsidizing a desalinization plant?

    There isn’t enough transparency to the City’s budget. What is being discussed is the millage rate can’t be lowered without cutting into services that the City Council doesn’t want to cut. Really? Can we see for ourselves? Without playing a shell game?

  10. palmcoaster says:

    What is a CRA and in general how it works for our city council and residents to read next:

    I totally believe that our Town Center CRA location did not configure a “blighted area or slum” with any of the community threats or danger, required to create a CRA. Please correct me if I am wrong.
    The properties bought out by the city in Bulldog Drive and 100, neither fit the slum areas. As were working businesses and still are. One owner of the last property to be bought by the city is also costing us legal fees as the owner is fighting expropriation thru public domain. Those properties are far out away from Town Center and east adjacent to the school.
    Now we contributed 5 million or more to that CRA, councilmen? As I see 5,800.000 in the pie chart now.
    Another question under which condition were spent 6.5 million for the failed red carpet for Walwart. Was all that revenues saved from our utility company mentioned, funding the lanes widening and beautification of the South Old Kings Road starting at 100 all the way to the corner with the Town Center access? Can the city administration disclose that funding if not to all “yesing councilmen”, to us the ones that foot the bill? Now that Walmart is not coming who will pay for that new faraway from the center of Palm Coast infrastructure maintenance? These are the questions that our elected ones should have presented when this costly proposals were presented to them.
    We better stop county commisioners and city councilmen spending our money’s via loans and bonds.
    Some of the businesses brought in on the Town Center CRA compete or put out of work many of the local restaurants and other local businesses in this area affecting their workers jobs as well.
    I also can see most organized meetings by Flagler Chamber and others are only held at the new CRA Town Center Hilton. What about being fair to the other hotels as well? Maybe because Hilton’s Mr. Grimes is on the TDC Board? Or maybe the other hotels do not offer their facility for that. Doubt it on this economy.

  11. Dennis McDonald says:

    A Palm Coast Voter says….
    Here is the question we should be asking ourselves….if it was 1999 would a majority of us vote to incorporate Palm Coast….I believe 75% or more would VOTE NO. Take your tax bill out and see what the City does for 4 mils. The few items they provide were shifted from the county. This is the problem with ALL of our governments. In a word….OVERLAP…that provides only a larger tax bill. The current council circus can be resolved by changing the leadership job description. Change to a Mayor elected every two years that is NOT A FIGURE HEAD, she/he runs the City [salary 90k] with the input of the council. Eliminate the City manager position all together,why because all off these people are professional lifetime bureaucrats. If you consider what works well in PC now its the Sheriff,Tax Colllector, Property Appraiser, all the positions that the person we VOTE for does the job. They are responsible to the taxpayers directly at the voting booth every two years. The one resource that PC is rich in is the talents of its many residents who have had a life time of management experiences in running for profit companies. Offering to run for the Mayors position and be elected would be true public service. Contary to the present ‘faux’ system where a city manager gets paid $30,000+ more than the Govenor of the great State of Florida.

  12. lawabidingcitizen says:

    The Community Redevelopment Act and its “red-headed stepchild,” Carter’s crack-brained Community Redistribution Act are part of the grand design to move our culture from “equality under the law” to equality under socialism where we are all reduced to faceless, nameless cogs in the vast machinery of the state where the elites can direct every facet of our lives for our own safety, for the children, for the environment, for the ozone levels, to save the polar bears, stop the ice caps from melting [insert your favorite myth here] ….

    Is it too late to reverse the trend? After the RINO’s in congress caved and gave Obama a blank check by raising the debt limit, I seriously think it is. You are now a ward of the state– get used to it.

  13. palmcoaster says:

    The problem is that our elected officials do not properly control, evaluate or get documented on the proposals of these managers being for county or city and yes to it all. Like now County Manager Coffey proposing to fund 70,000 plus 242,000 in salaries to this local Flagler Chamber of Commerce Outsourcing, to promote Economic Development. Commissioners are already applauding.Give me a break! They know very well what they are doing….just funding greedy elites, while digging their hands in our taxpayers depleted cookie jar.

  14. Anne-Marie says:

    When I heard Jon Netts last night at the Flagler County Republican Club ( ) candidates night say that there were no existing funds for the city hall, I was very confused. I had previously been told in private conversations with council members that we had “use it or lose it” money that had to be used to build a new city hall.

    So, it would seem, according to this article (and quotes used), that the person responsible for creating such long-held confusion is the city manager, Jim Landon. The city’s website indicates that Mr. Landon only implements what the council decides, but this is clearly not the actual case if the council was mislead into thinking there were funds. I have heard numerous complaints about Mr. Landon in the past few years about his “managing” of Palm Coast, but with him not being elected to his position, “who” is he responsible to?

    I think it is time for the city council to evaluate Mr. Landon’s performance. Maybe this will happen following the upcoming election when new members are seated. I pray that whomever is seated to these positions will end this council complacency in regards to the position and performance of Jim Landon.

  15. jim says:

    lets put it on the ballot once and for all. unincorporate palm coast and go back to being flagler county.
    we can save over a million in four years by elimininating the city govt wages. they have turned our beloved palm coast into a ghetto. no one wants to stay here.

  16. palmcoaster says:

    Jim lets do it the other way around and City takes over county, that have done many more blunders than this city and takes double the city takes that we pay!

  17. lawabidingcitizen says:

    Jim, unfortunately, you can’t go backwards, but you’ve hit the nail on the head by noticing that Palm Coast has become a slum. In fact it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. They established CRA’s to improve non-blighted areas (even totally undeveloped areas like City Center) and then turned them into blight.

    Things are only going to get worse as more and more people are going to be put into the position of renting to Section 8 people and/or walking away from houses they can no longer afford and the city turns them into welfare housing because they’ll get money from the feds for doing so — at least while the socialists remain in power.

    That’s what happens when elected officials listen to the siren song of economic development.

    Nice going guys.

  18. some guy says:

    @ palmcoaster i like how ya got your dig in for the airport!! The County airport IS run by $$ made on the airport grounds that is fuel sale and land/building rents t hanger and ramp space fee’s or rent. The old ginn and cake buildings are paid out of that income. The cake building has a new tenent. what is YOUR beef with the airport. It has a advisery board maybe you should go to one or more of its meatings?? The staff at the tower is paid for by faa funds.So in short OUR County airport is NOT paid for out of OUR tax $$$

  19. some guy says:

    Once again palmcoaster gets her shot in at the County airport. What is her beef with it?? Her un-truths about how it is funded it does NOT operate off the County TAX role> It is self funded by rents land lease T hanger lease ramp fees and fuel sales. may be she should join or go to its public meatings held 1x per month.

  20. palmcoaster says:

    some guy can you denied that the county is paying the loans for the oversized Ginn hangar that he dumped on the county and walked away? Whom do you think is paying also for the failed Cakes Across airport half million grant facility back to the state, as Cakes side of the contract was not fulfilled ? Can you document these two, at least, that we all know?
    I have documented my facts, can you please document yours? What makes you guess if Palmcoaster is a he or she watching how our taxes are spent? Looks like you did not read the news links. You need to contact county manager Coffey and find out.

  21. lawabidingcitizen says:

    The Ginn hangar and the Cakes Across America building are owned, I believe, by one of the many county CRA’s which are, “wait for it,” paid for by us, the taxpayers. Shocking eh? Aren’t we generous? Someone with more energy than I should really look into the layer upon layer of nonsense perpetrated in the name of economic development.

    As for the airport, with the number of touch and goes by students and flying low over the high school, the new hospital and a large swaths of residential areas, you know the odds are high that when, not if, there is an accident, I just hope it will veer off into the woods like the one at the Ormond Beach airportlast month.

    [Correction: The county airport is not a CRA, nor does the county have CRAs.–FlaglerLive]

  22. some guy says:

    The County Airport is run as a enterprize fund the old gin and the cakes buildings payments come out of the Airports revenue from as I said fuel sales and other lease/rents. YES it is County owend BUT the funds are not from our tax $$$. The problem with the “oversized” ginn hanger is that County officiakls had the building built out of Airport funds to make more $$ in rent from Ginn over letting Ginn lease the land and building them self as THEY wanted to do in the first place. If the County BOCC did not have it done that way the Airport would not have been on the hook for it!! As for the Cakes building it now has a tenent that I think pays more then cakes did. Also as for the School hospital and homes that have planes flying “low over” them ( you need to be low to take off or land just how it works) maybe they should not have been built under the Flyt pattern of a AIRPORT.

  23. Art says:

    To lawabidingcitizen

    I totally agree with your assessment of airport operations and the very real hazard they pose to the surrounding areas. Flight paths can be adjusted to avoid the areas you mention, while still allowing planes to take off into the wind.

  24. palmcoaster says:

    The fly students are not supposed to do maneuvers over residential areas as per the FAA. They have a fly pattern to follow…and kind of stray from it often. As replied in the past when the FAA was contacted regarding abusive and dangerous maneuvers done very often over our Palm Coast homes. Off and on restarting engines, stunts etc. That was greatly resolved lately. So is not that the pilots can do what they feel like. Also the friendly attitude from them towards the residential areas on the ground is portrayed by the airport that tries to have it observed and enforced..
    Some guy…could you document the airport financial’s as is a government entity and as such subject to public records scrutiny? Seems to me that you know where and from whom to get the information. Otherwise maybe Pierre can get it for us, the residents tax payers.

    • FlaglerLive says:

      The complete line-by-line breakdown of the airport’s revenues and expenses is available here, pages 51 to 73. It down to the staples and paperclips. It can be difficult to decipher, but all the numbers are there.

  25. lawabidingcitizen says:

    palmcoaster, I’m aware of FAA rules, but apparently you and I are the only two people in Flagler County that ever heard of them and it’s not only stunts that are problematic, but touch and goes are not supposed to be within 10 miles of residential areas and I would guess schools, hospitals, large malls, interstates, etc. would be included.

    Don’t you feel safer with all these federal agencies with multi-billion dollars budgets looking out for you. s/off

    Art, the airport’s located right in the middle of extensive residential areas. To be fair, most of them were built long after the airport was already in existence, but at the time, it’s unlikely anyone thought it would become the second busiest touch and go airport in the country!

    I don’t complain about flights which take off to a destination and land upon arrival from somewhere. It’s the flight training schools which are a constant annoyance both because of the droning noise of the motors at tree top level and the real fear of one if them dropping on our heads.

  26. some guy says:

    Palmcoaster/ L A C call the FAA if they are diong something against their rules. Our county air ports Tower only has control of planes that are within 4/5 Milles of it and ones flying 1500′ or below in it. Thanks FL for the Airports $$ matters to much to look at now. Palmcoaster why dont you go to their monthly meatings as I said if it is that much of a unsafe thing going on or if you feel our TAX $$ are involved and should not be. go to the airports web sight it says that it DOES NOT get $$ from the Countys General fund. IF planes are flying around at “tree top leval” get their tail ## and call the FAA.

  27. lawabidingcitizen says:

    You don’t have to get their tail numbers while they’re in the sky. They proudly had photos of the four planes used by students in the paper last week.

    You ever try to get a federal agency’s attention? I don’t have enough energy or brain cells left to take them on. That’s for you younguns to do.

  28. NortonSmitty says:

    Where in the hell do you people get your information? LAC it may be the second busiest T&G in the COUNTY, not the Country! And there is a Flight Pattern that is required in the Ariport control Area that varies depending on the Active Runway which varies according to the wind. No deviations are allowed from this pattern unless an emergency is declared. Such as a loss of engine, fire or something, and the paperwork required after that is something that is avoided by pilots and tower avoid for anything less than a life-threatening crash.

    And all of you whiners that bought your Stucco Palaces without considering that you were under the pattern of a local airport, isn’t it a little late to do Due Diligence? And statistics here show you have a better chance of dying from a rattlesnake bite or a home invasion by crackheads than you do being hit by a plane here. As far as I can find, the first two have actually happened in this county. The airplane thing, not yet.

  29. NortonSmitty says:

    Palmcoaster, as a Pilot that keeps current on training way above that which is required by the FAA, I’m pretty sure that the planes you think are shutting down their engines over populated areas are actually pulling them back to idle to simulate an emergency engine loss. It sounds about the same from the ground. The instructor does this unexpectedly to a student pilot to test his competency in an emergency. It is no big deal to find a field to put down in if you are traveling cross-country at a safe altitude. But losing an engine on approach or takeoff over a populated area is more of a stressful test, and frankly one we all should insist any pilot can handle before our government grants them the right to levitate aluminum and gasoline at any level above dirt. I bet there is an instructor that does this at the most critical point on approach to the shortest runway at FAP and unfortunately it happens to be over your neighborhood. Don’t worry, if it was even slightly dangerous, he wouldn’t risk his life, his students,m your life, or most of all his license doing it.

    They should hold the same standards for moving it at 70 miles an hour on four wheels whether your sixteen or seventy, but that ain’t gonna happen.

    Lawabidingidiot, I bet you pulled that ten mile touch and go statistic out of your old wrinkled miserable ass same place you got the stats about the unions and Democrats breaking the country. And it doesn’t exist in reality either.

    But I do want to congratulate you on learning a new word and that RINO seems to be taking the place of Mudshark, sorry, I mean Union Thug in your vocabulary. (Thank you Mr. Zappa)

  30. palmcoaster says:

    First of all thank you Pierre for the very informative airport link.
    I will read it tomorrow as I arrived late from an airport picking up a relative that is visiting.
    Norton Smitty don’t be so angry at our comments on the airport. Sure we do not intent to rain in your party or mean any illogical further regulations for pilots like you. We just would like that the rules of safety, at least for us in the ground be observed. I thank you for the clarification between engines idle above, versus my incorrect off and on engines, you seem to know your stuff. You can tell I am no pilot. I neither own a stucco palace…just a stucco nice home and I am over 6 miles from the airport and in the past the low flying aircraft and the noise proved unbearable. After the FAA was called the issue was in good part resolved.
    Up in the air just like in our roads will always be speeders,violators etc. No different. We sure complain about those, not about responsible pilots like I think you are. LAC is not the only one ever complaining about take off’s and landings many other’s over the years have as well. I can’t speak for it myself as I live 6 miles or farther from the airport. And yes when most people bought around the airport were probably unaware of it or never thought would become this busy as the #2 in the nation;
    If the friendly attitude of all pilots with residential areas, as suggested in the airport policies would be observed, then complains would be nil.

  31. lawabidingcitizen says:

    Norton, why not tell us the FAA mileage regulations for touch and goes over residential areas. I was given that info by a long time pilot for both the military and a major US airline and please leave my nether regions or any other parts of my body or that of others commenting here out of the discussion.

    I’m surprised our host permits your vulgarities.

    I live near the FB bridge and if you doubt my observations, spend some time over here and see for yourself.

    You may not be convinced that the lurch towards socialism is what has brought down our economy, but the financial markets are responding to it in the only way they can, by tanking. You may have your nest egg secure and don’t care about others, but once our capitalistic freedom loving country goes full third world, you’ll be brought down with the rest of us.

  32. lawabidingcitizen says:


    Per N-J article:

    The Flagler County Airport is soaring near the top among airports in its class — ranked second busiest in the nation based on take-offs and landings and it is the only airport in the county, not the second second busiest in the county.

    I hope you’re better at flying than you are in reading comprehension.

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