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“Celico Way” Will Have Only Second Billing as Palm Coast Resists Full Name Change

| December 20, 2011

An attempt to replace Kings Way with Celico Way fell short. The Palm Coast Citty Council agreed only to add Celico's name to the sign rather than replace it. The small road passes in front of the Shell Station and Dunkin Donut location where Celico spent many of his daylight hours. (© FlaglerLive)

Kings Way is a small road—a driveway, really, between businesses and into the aging mall at Palm Harbor—that fronts the Dunkin Donut shop inside the Shell Station that was, for many years, the daytime home of Sgt. Frank Celico.

Celico, a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy for 11 years, died suddenly on Sept. 9 from heart complications. He was 33. His funeral drew throngs, and soon after friends and supporters, and many strangers, signed a petition to rename Kings Way in Celico’s honor. Frank meeker, the Palm Coast City Council member, embraced the cause and took it to the council, where it ran into resistance.

Some council members were worried about setting a precedent that would open floodgates to requests for name changes. Roger Chang, owner of the Grand Hong Kong Asian Bistro at 3 Kings Way, found it unfair that he’d have to redraw his advertising and stationery to comply with the proposed new address, though other the only two other businesses along the way had no objection, and the manager of the Dunkin Donuts was quite displeased that the city wasn’t embracing the idea of a name change.

Not a full name, change, anyway. This morning, the Palm Coast City Countil voted unanimously to add the line “Celico Way” below the official name of “Kings Way,” essentially co-naming the street after Celico. The new name appears distinctly in second billing format. And it didn’t happen without several objections from the public, either because of the half measure, or because it was being done at all.

“I know it doesn’t sound right, but what did Sgt. Celico do to merit a street named after him?” Jack Carrell, a near-constant presence at council meetings, said. “Usually somebody does something besides being a nice guy and hanging around and drinking coffee.” Carrell recalled, for example, the time when Shirley Chisholm’s name was proposed for a street name. Chisholm was the storied congresswoman from New York, the first-ever black woman elected to Congress, serving from 1969 to 1983. She retired in Palm Coast and remained engaged in civil rights and as a writer. “She did something,” Carrell said. Yet the proposal to rename a street after her was turned down.

Patrick Delsordo, who’d led the effort for the name change, objected to the sign because it was a half measure. “He spent 360 days thereabouts per year at that location, whether he’s getting Coffey, hanging out, just BSing with the rest of the gang,” Delsordo said of Celico. “He was more than just a cop, he was a friend. I understand that some of you don’t understand the idea or the concept or don’t like it because it opens up floodgates. It does not. We have a wall, we have veterans park, we have everything for our soldiers, men and women of the armed forces. We have nothing for fallen firefighters, nothing for fallen police officers. He is both. He was a police officer and a best friend. We should honor him the right way. Celico Way is a great idea.”

Delsordo was supportive of a short-lived compromise that would have designated at least a portion of Kings Way “Celico Way,” exclusively, without interfering with businesses. That idea didn’t gain support, yielding instead to the double-decked names. “Great sign, absolutely beautiful, it’s confusing,” Delsordo said. “I don’t know if you guys have been out there and driving around Palm Coast at all, but people can’t find their own way home. You give them two names of the same street, they’re going to be confused. Let’s give ‘em one name. Let’s make it Celico Way.”

Carlo Celico, father of Frank Celico, briefly addressed the council to thank the 800-some people who signed the petition, and John Pollinger, also a Celico supporter, proposed that the city revisit its objection to naming streets after people who’ve made a mark on the community.

“Obviously everybody knows I go to Dunkin Donuts on a daily basis. I used to talk to Frankie as well, he’s a great guy,” Meeker said. “But more important to me, he was such a great guy, that well over 700 people were moved to ask the city to do something special. That’s the first time in the amount of time I’ve been here that somebody has come to me with a request for somebody specific, with the signatures and the petitions to make something happen. I know that there are concerns about changing road signs and then having to update GPS units and that makes it confusing when people are trying to find things. I’m not really interested in opening up the flood-gates of name-changes.”

He saw the current compromise as replicating signs across the country, on intersates, where segments of road are dedicated to a particular individual. No other council member had anything to add when Mayor Jon Netts called for a vote, adopting the resolution to “co-designate the street signage for Kings Way by adding Celico Way to honor the memory of Sergeant Francesco Celico.”

Carlo Celico honored the memory of his late son with a tattoo in November. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

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42 Responses for ““Celico Way” Will Have Only Second Billing as Palm Coast Resists Full Name Change”

  1. Heather Beaven says:


  2. angryinpalmcost says:

    I think it is very disrespectful to the Celico family and to the Community, to NOT change the name of the road, why because Hong Kong didn’t approve. Give me a break and show some respect for your fallen officer.

  3. palmcpaster says:

    Probably the Hong Kong restaurant will no benefit much from their stand against the Celico Way naming now, as maybe 800 petitioners may count. City could have resolved the issue by going with the numerous residents signed petition and name it Celico Way and adding below and visible “former” Kings Way.
    I requested in the past to name our current Linear Park, “Jerry (Jerome) Full Park” because our former first city councilman worked so hard preserving our grand fathering right to keep the water front passage of that our park, when developers wanted to encroach it. I think also is well deserving.. Same with our late congress woman Chisholm. As a matter of fact I would go for legislation to name a street in honor of our brave ones given their lives in our wars as well as while serving in law enforcement…Making an easy transition, by adding below the new name “former street name such and such…” When the wishes of the residents will count?

  4. Patrick Delsordo via Facebook says:

    thank you to everyone that supported this change..

  5. Mary says:

    Seriously indeed! 800-some people signed a petition to change a street name just because, but when it comes to pressing issues we cannot get a handful to act (no disrespect to Officer Celico). This is setting contentious precedent though. How about a sign on the precinct station where he worked. Let’s include all the fallen officers’ names including those who died in the line of duty, excluding those who were corrupt and did not deserve to wear the uniform? And why are non gov’t employed citizens not deserving of name recognition? We can’t all become police officers, fire fighters, soldiers, etc. We do need citizens employed in the private sector paying taxes to support these gov’t jobs. See how tricky this issue can get?

    • Elaine says:

      I am so in agreement with Mary. The death of Officer Celico was a huge loss of someone so young, however, he died of natural causes – not in the line of duty. The petition was signed by most because of his popularity and that he was so well liked by many. Well, so are many others who die and get no recognition of their achievements simply because they chose to keep a low profile or they didn’t have hundreds signing a petition. I also think this was done because of his young age. Again, I totally respect the officer, but would this have been done to an officer who died of an illnes who was in his 40’s, or 50’s? I doubt it.
      I DON”T know, but I thought the names of fallen soldiers and firefighters who are listed on walls, plaques etc.were heros who died in the line of duty. All those deceased deserve to be remembered (or not), but let’s do it in a way such as: in your heart, prayer, scholarship fund, an annual memorial service for all deceased including those who die in accidents, are victims of abuse, etc.

  6. Yellowstone says:

    I think Mary is on the right track . .

    In Dallas they have a huge memorial dedicated to all the fallen police officers. Celico certainly is the first, nor will he be the last in the years to come.

    Many southern towns smaller than PC have memorials for their fallen warriors as well as public service officials of all ranks.

    OK, PC – how about a Memorial Garden with a beautiful monument with names and perhaps a brief description of their contribution to our society?

    I know there are many civic groups that would maintain this work for centuries!

  7. palmcpaster says:

    Sorry Mary the request is not “just because” but instead is for the untimely death of a 33 years old police officer, who’s life was cut too short and that is missed because he was an asset to our community. What we call a “real good kid”. Any citizen wether government or private employee deserves recognition when his/her passing takes away from our communities. The sign on the precinct were he worked is only seeing by his co-workers or by those taken in for braking the law and the community wanted to see his name in the place he went by the most, among us. All the fallen while on duty should also have their names on their city streets as remembrance of what they gave for their communities. Do I feel some resentment in your comment? As for new ideas how come none of you started that on a petition..? Now after 800 requested in writing, you oppose it? Maybe because was not your idea to begin with?

  8. tulip says:

    I agree with Mary—if it’s done for one, it should be done for all.

  9. Begonia says:

    I agree with Tulip and Mary. This gets to be expensive to the businesses involved when they have to redo everything on the whim of a group of citizens.

    Put up a monument at Duncan Donuts if you like. And if anybody is interested, I don’t pay taxes so that my council members and police can hang out at the donut shop.

    We DO have a lot of crime in this town. Maybe if we weren’t so busy eating donuts, we’d have less?

  10. celicowaysupporter says:

    I disagree with the comments made in the article. Jack Carrell’s comment that “Usually somebody does something besides being a nice guy and hanging around and drinking coffee.” is wrong. What I think he is trying to say is that unless you lost your life doing something for the communtiy it doesn’t count. Frankie DID impact this community. He solidified a relationship not only as a person, but as a Deputy Sheriff. He let people know it is good to be friends with and trust police officers. As far as Grand Hong Kong is concerned, I wonder how long it will be before your doors have to close……again

    • Begonia says:

      Celicowaysupporter, “doors close again?” Why would you say such a thing because these people said no?

      Is it mob rule in PC now? Hopefully you are NOT a peace officer.

  11. Red USMC says:

    I agree with Mary as well.
    Sad to see any young person pass away. Alot of us have served our country and community, we can’t all get streets named after us for our service.

  12. Lefty says:

    What a petty little city we live in. As far as I’m concerned they should rename Palm Coast Parkway to “Celico Parkway.” Has a nice ring to it, and well-deserved too.

  13. Flagler parent says:

    He ““He spent 360 days thereabouts per year at that location, whether he’s getting coffee (original had typo), hanging out, just BSing with the rest of the gang,”. While I’m sure this guy was probably a great guy and a good cop, according to what I read here he apparently spent most of his time on the beat at a DONUT SHOP (how can that be more stereotypical?), shooting the breeze and drinking coffee. Palm Coast taxpayers paid his salary for that. Am I the only one who thinks that sounds a little slack or improper?

    Yes, it’s tragic that his life was cut short so soon, but this article doesn’t give any reason why he deserved to have a street named after him. He also apparently died of “heart complications.” If he was eating donuts every day, they could have contributed to the “heart complications” that killed him. Why would you want to memorialize that and also perpetuate the old saw about “the cop at the donut shop”?

    Obviously he made enough of an impact that 800 people were willing to sign a petition for this name change, but I agree that if indeed it was going to go through, another street might have been more appropriate.

  14. PJ says:

    Frank is really missed by anyone that ever met him. I only spoke to him just a few times and can relate to the man.

    Ok so why are we all pushing our opinons around to the point of bashing one another . I know we care and have a passion about a person like Frank Celico.

    Here is a simple and a reasonable suggestion:

    Palm Coast could present a resolution that can allow a street name to be added as second billing to a street in memory or respect of a person that has made a difference to the community.

    The resolution should be reserved for people that resided in the area and have made a positive impact to people. As Frank Celico and Shirly Chishlom or our beloved Jerry Full.

    This would not cause a business that may have licenses or stationary not to bear an expense or non-compliance issue.

    Once again I ask someone from the city, our elected officials step up get your city in control and make a difference.

    That’s why we elected you people……………………………………

  15. Joe A says:

    Sergeant Frank Celico was the finest example of a community servant. His untimely death left a void in the hearts of all that have come to know him. His funeral was well attended by over thousand people. But it is not how he died that made him the person he was, but how he lived.

    Frankie as he was affectionely called was a staple at the Olds Kings Road Dunkin Donuts. Yes it is ironic that a cop was at the donut shop. Cops like donuts. But all jokes aside, he was visible in the community. He was a dedicated law enforcement officer who loved doing his job. He loved being a sheriff officer and loved serving the community he lived and served. Frank was instrumental in bicycle safety and according to his foundation website got bicycles for underprivileged children.

    The community is a better place for having someone like Frank Celico.

    As for some of the comments on here, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Some of the comments are irrelevant and disrespectful. For those that are congressional hopefuls, they should know better not to make irresponsible public statements that will come back.

    Renaming a street was at request of over 800 citizens that signed a petition and wanted to honor a community servant. The City of Palm Coast has a Heroes Park where the names of firefighters, police officers and military personnel are listed in honor. The names are local residents who died in the line of duty serving their community and their nation. This is does not open flood gates for everything else but if it does, then let’s rename streets for our local heroes, we have plenty.

    Jack Carrell’s comments at the meeting were spoken with no grace or tact. But some of of the comments here like that of Flaglerparent are done with no respect. I am disappointed.

    I for one support this. Frank Celico was a good Deputy and a great human being. God bless his family and his soul.

  16. dontbesoparanoid says:

    The article is not all telling. He did not spend all his working time there. It’s where he got his coffee whether working or not. It was a landmark in which to summon his subordinates to discuss paperwork or to hand out informtion right there in the open where visabe instead of behind closed doors of the department.
    I was never crazy about the street name change to begin with and think a better idea would have been to name one of our many bicycle trails for him as he was supervisor of the bicycle patrol unit.
    The kid was able to forge relationships everywhere he went it seemed i’ll give him that and it’s not so much what he did to deserve the street name but what he would have done for anyone in this community…what any one of our law enforcement officers would do.
    I believe any soldier from this town who lost his or her life in service (battle or not) also deserves the same in that respect.
    There is such a disconnect between citizens and those in service to them wether it be law enforcement or military. Perhaps small tokens such as this could serve as a reminder of sacrifices that are made inside and outside of this country in an effort to keep peace and security.
    I believe if we could hear him, he would say he doesn’t need the street sign.

  17. Dudley Doright says:

    What about Deputy Chuck Sease? Did we forget he was killed in the line of duty!

  18. Joe A says:

    We have never forgotten about Deputy Sease, the I-95 SR 100 interchange was dedicated in his memory.

  19. Gia says:

    this is all non sense. They should put an cat name. This person was paid to do a job, why so much fuss about it.

  20. Mary says:

    Palmcoaster, not everyone is the self aggrandizing type.

    @dontbesoparanoid who says: “I believe if we could hear him, he would say he doesn’t need the street sign” I believe this young man would have said so too. A bike trail or a beautiful tree with an imbedded plaque would be thoughtful.

  21. John C says:

    As a retired servicemember, I must ask, what is a community, if we dont remember the ones that make it a great place to live.

  22. dontbesoparanoid says:

    Mary, there are plenty of streets named after “non government employed” people and children all over the U.S.
    The name change of Kings Way is/was a great gesture but if it means causing friction within the community, I know he wouldn’t want it.

  23. Ralph Belcher says:

    I don’t agree with what Jack Carral (Carrol?) bleated at the PC City Council meeting this week, but it’s his opinion, he’s entitled to it, even if it is without tact or grace as was pointed out here. He is of the sort (and there are many) that would complain how much the city pays for light bulbs (as compared to the Wal-Mart Retail price) then curse the city for not replacing the same in a traffic signal on the corner of PC Pkwy and Old Kings, if you get my drift. I’m sure somehow he means well.

    In the community I grew up in, we named “Squares”; “intersections” after such folks we hoped to memorialize in addition to some minor degree of street name changes, etc.

  24. some guy says:

    To rename a road just because he died is not a good idea IMO. BUT to consider it or do it for one who died in the line of their duty IS a good idea IMO.

  25. Outsider says:

    I often see signs along major highways that say “So and So Memorial Highway.” This is done without changing the name of I-95. Maybe a sign in that area that says “Frank Celico Memorial Drive,” or something to that effect? It would be larger than the microscopic lettering on the new sign. Maybe a collection could be taken up and a memorial put right there at the Shell Station; with 800 petition signers and the public donating 5 or ten dollars a piece, something a whole lot more meaningful than 50 cents worth of lettering could be constructed. Remember, not only is this being done for the officer; it’s being done for those who wish to honor and remember him in a special way. With his love for bikes, another possibility would be to dedicate a bike trail, as someone suggested, with markers on both ends. It seems like something could be worked out without causing a controversy and provide an example for other young people to aspire to.

  26. The Truth says:

    I have no problem if you are against the idea of renaming the street. It’s a touchy subject, and I understand both sides to the story.

    I do, however, have a problem with you claiming Officer Celico slacked off at the “donut shop” while on duty. This man was a hard worker, he gave his all to this county and risked his life every day. He was on the force for 12 years. I don’t believe that just because he had a “favorite stop” while on duty means that he slacked off. Quite frankly, I think saying something like that when you know nothing about this man is inconsiderate.

    Again, disagreeing with the sign is one thing, but please don’t insult this young mans work ethic.

  27. Robby says:

    Some people have nothing nice to say. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about him and for these people to bash someone’s idea to name a little side road after him. He got coffee there so what. Oh and for the record he was on duty. Sorry some asshole didn’t shoot him to be killed in the line of duty. A lot of officers have died and the great ones get remembered like chuck, Grady, Frankie.

  28. Joe A. says:

    @ Robby – no need to get upset nor stoop yourself to the level of others. The point was made clear that an officer who gave his service and life to the community should be honored. While he did not die in the glory of the job during the performance of his duties rather a cardiac event while on duty, he gave his service up to the last minute of his life. I did not know him, but reading his story and seeing the outpouring support from the community has touched me. I hope his family is comforted this Christmas season with the warmth and love of all those who signed that petition.

    After reading the article here and in the News Journal, I noticed that Sheriff Fleming hadn’t commented on this yet.

  29. JOHN R. says:

    Again our gutless City Council cannot make a decisive decision but punts and votes a compromise that pleases no one. Now that they have five year terms, there will be other such decisions. One business objected to the change and the Council punted. BTW, I will not patronize that business and if it ceases operation, the name can then be changed.

  30. Popo3984 says:

    For all that disagree and have negative things to say about Frankie how about you don’t call us anymore the next time you need us cause we will remember this

  31. Oneofthe10%whovoted says:

    How about everybody calm down. Personally, I think Celico would be embarrassed by how some have turned on others because of this, his coworkers, I suspect.

    Not wanting to change the name of this street in no way detracts from the good works of Officer Celico or any other police officer in this town.

    Popo, you took an oath to protect and serve. If you are having second thoughts, there may be others willing to step in for you. I urge you to reconsider your comments.

  32. wow says:

    IDK who Mary is but she needs to open her eyes to the situation. Sgt. Celico was not only well respected in his career but also a well respected member of society. And there is a Memorial garden on Corporate Plaza for those who didn’t know. Also for Mary to say regular professions dont get recognized is B.S. how bout Dr. Carter Blvd in Bunnell. Why did the street name get changed? Because Dr. Carter was well respected in Bunnell. For the name of Kings Way to not be changed is absurd. But the City of Palm Coast made their decision and i am sure that is how it will stay. Sgt. Celico knows how much he was loved and the fact that the name of a street will not be changed wont change everyone’s love and respect for him. God Bless his family and loved ones.

  33. palmcoaster says:

    @Oneofthe10%. In this case we all signed over 800 of us, that petition. They should have done the people’s wish. Did they ask us the taxpayers, when they named one park Holland Park, Carter Park, Hershel King Park, Watsworth Park, Hammond Justice Center….what do you have to be, “the elite politician or a rich landowner only” to have your name dedicated in this County or cities. Frankie Celico was a young man that grew and dedicated his life since he was a kid, to this community. One of those kids that all the youth around us should take an example from. Always doing his law enforcement duty with a smile and courtesy. He was a family young man that loved his parents and sibling. He even bought a home just couple of houses away from his parents home …just to be close to mom on her elderly years. I know that for sure, as a friend watching Frankie grow and missing him now in our community. I firmly believe probably a genetic issue to no fault of his own, took him away from us because Frankie was always active and exercising and very fit and slim. Just in case regarding the donuts derogatory comments above from some that missed to meet him. Sure Mayor Nets and council will have no problem deciding unilaterally to stuck their names to anything around us when their time comes, just like they did before. Regarding our deputies resentful feelings about this denial, is totally justified, as we should show them too the respect they deserve risking their lives day in and day out, because… is not just another job! Council needs to name Kings Way, Celico Way and underneath a line that reads clearly former Kings Way. That should plenty satisfy the restaurant owner, as the only one that opposes it.

  34. Geezer Butler says:

    People seem very upset that LEO’s eat donuts. Should cops not eat? No lunch break?
    Let them have their donuts, or pizza, or burgers!

    This deputy was highly regarded, and he contributed a lot to our petty little city.

    Some of you need to grow a heart, and not say hurtful things about this man.
    If you have nothing good to say – consider saying nothing.
    Officer Celico can’t defend himself anymore.

    Show some empathy – it costs you nothing.

  35. palmcoaster says:

    City of Palm Coast Council owes us to reconsider and bring up again our petition to the table and notify the 800 plus of us when is the meeting date. Place it on the next meeting agenda…or do we have to Occupy Palm Coast over this injustice too? Because maybe we would if necessary!

  36. pcparalegal says:

    Dep. Celico protected families, neighborhoods and children as a police officer ! That is what he did ! And many times as you were comfortably sleeping in your bed (doing nothing), Deputy Celico was out on the streets protecting others. …who are you to say he did nothing to merit a name change? Why dont you ask all the children that he helped? I am sure with their innocent and caring little souls, they would say..”YES. Make the small change”. But for heartless ppl, they have no idea what Deputy Celico even did. They only care about putting their opinion out there. He was more than a “nice guy”, Mr. Carrell.

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