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Palm Coast Council Votes 5-0 For New City Hall in Town Center, With Move-In by End of 2015

| November 19, 2013

The Palm Coast City Council's meeting on a new city hall drew an overflow crowd Tuesday and a stream of 38 people who addressed the council on the matter, a majority of them opposed to the proposal. (© FlaglerLive)

The Palm Coast City Council’s meeting on a new city hall drew an overflow crowd Tuesday and a stream of 38 people who addressed the council on the matter, a majority of them opposed to the proposal. (© FlaglerLive)

In the face of intense opposition, but also just as intense support, the Palm Coast City Council Tuesday gave a unanimous Yes to a new city hall. The vote followed more than three hours of presentations, public comment and discussion before an overflow crowd at the Palm Coast Community Center, the largest crowd to turn up for any issue in recent memory.

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The vote was on one of a series of agenda items related to the matter, but that one specific to approving a contract for the design of the $6.9 million initial building, making the project an immediate go. (The architect is under city orders to meet the price or lose the project.)

It was a dramatic vote that reflected a debate that went beyond the specifics of whether to build a city hall or not. The debate served to redefine how Palm Coast residents see their city, its economic direction, government’s responsiveness to public opinion and hopes for Town Center to live up to its expectations as the city’s new hub. Supporters clearly see a new city hall as not only a symbol of the city’s identity, but as a potential economic engine for Town Center. Opponents see it as an unnecessary use of public money at a time when the city faces other, more pressing needs.

But for the council, the long-term “vision” of the city and the proposal’s seemingly favorable financial terms were prevailing factors.

“We’re being called upon to make a fiscal decision that is in the best interest of our residents,” Palm Coast Mayor Jon Netts said.

“From a fiscal point of view, it makes sense,” City Council member Jason DeLorenzo said.

“I’m not worried about my reputation, I don’t have one, I just want to do what’s best for the citizens,” Council member Bill McGuire said, not opposing the proposal so much as favoring a referendum first. “I just don’t want to feel as though anyone is being disenfranchised by this.”

Council member Bill Lewis said he and other council members were delegated by the public to “bite the bullet and make the right decision.” And Council member Dave Ferguson, saying he’d tried to evaluate the matter without emotions, referred to “the trust factor” from the public as a guiding factor to make his decision. “Sure I guess it’d be great to have 51 percent of the people say yes,” he said, but the nature of the discussion “is going to disenfranchise somebody, somewhere.” The vision, he said, matters. And going by the numbers, he said “it’s a wise thing to do.”

Unlike 2005, unlike 2010 and 2011, when opposition to a new city hall was overwhelming, the opposition this time was strong, but far from unanswered. The difference is the organized support key organizations marshaled for the plan in the last few weeks, tackling the issue as if it were a political campaign. The Flagler County Chamber of Commerce, the Flagler County Association of Realtors, the Palm Coast Observer, and of course the city administration itself, using social media and its own considerable power of the pulpit, prepared the groundwork with compelling arguments of their own.

It paid off. A sizeable portion of the people who turned up for the council meeting Tuesday morning was in favor of the proposal, though for every favorable argument, the opposition had counter-arguments of its own. Of the 38 people who spoke, 23 were opposed (though that opposition included support for studying the matter longer and exploring other options), 14 were clearly in favor, and one was neutral.

More people spoke on this issue than on any issue since the city planned a new utility tax in June 2012. The public turnout for that issue caused the council to do a 180-degree turn on the matter and kill the proposal.

“I’m really amazed at the number of people who showed up at this meeting, and amazed at the number of people who spoke,” one man—who did not identify himself—said. He went on: “I see a significant problem is, and the problem is, the scientific method of problem solving has not been utilized to come up with a solution” to the needs of a new city hall. “I don’t see any developments of alternatives that the solution that’s being proposed is the same old tired solution to city halls.”

“Palm Coast is a big town, 70,000 population, and it’s growing,” another man said, speaking of its good planning, “maintenance” and its low taxes. “The logic and the financial analysis should demonstrate that not only can we build now, we should build now.”

Before members of the public spoke, the administration went through its various presentations, restating the proposal’s basics: a plan to build a $9 million city hall in Town Center, in two phases, with city offices going up in one building first, to be occupied by the end of 2015, and another building including community and government meeting rooms going up by 2018 or so, possibly sooner (the money for that portion is not available). The city actually has just $1.2 million in hand, but it would refinance a loan to the Town Center redevelopment zone and realize a $5.8 million repayment of that loan to the general fund, thus providing the initial $7 million required to build the first phase.

But one of the facts brought out by today’s meeting severely weakened the city’s claim that it could “save” $250,000 a year in rent money by building a new city hall. The reason: that $5.8 million loan to the redevelopment zone is generating $285,000 a year in interest to the general fund, more than compensating for those rent payments. That interest income will be wiped out of the general fund once the loan is “repaid,” and used to build city hall. The flip side to that argument, Chris Quinn, the city’s finance director, said, is that the Town Center redevelopment zone is paying that interest, and should look to end those repayments, especially as the zone’s lifespan is not endless. (The Town Center redevelopment zone is scheduled to be dissolved in the early 2030s.)

“This proposal does not add an additional line on the tax bill,” Beau Falgout, the city’s senior planner said, repeating a claim many opponents of the plan don’t take at face value: while taxes may not be raised now, they may be raised in the future, when they might not have been, because of the absence of the cash used to build the city hall—cash that could have been used as a hedge against higher taxes, as has been the case in recent years, when the city had the reserves to do just that. The city’s reserves are virtually non-existent at the moment.

“You are determined to shove this down our throats regardless of our wishes,” Vicky Hartley, a 13-year resident of Palm Coast, said. “Quite frankly, I’m tired of having your boot on my neck. This is an act of socialism on our people and we’re not going to tolerate it.” Hartley did not explain how the proposal had anything to do with “socialism,” a term tea party activists have taken to slinging, however inaccurately, at virtually any government proposal they don’t favor.

“It’s a different time and a different place now,” another resident countered, referring to the 2005 referendum in which 82 percent of the voters rejected what was then a much more elaborate city hall plan. “I believe the time is right to do this project. It makes sense financially. It will be a magnet in the Town Center to draw in new developers.”

John Walsh, the publisher of the Palm Coast Observer, gave the meeting one of its rare touches of humor when he acknowledged: “Yes, I am a used car salesman, a former used car salesman.” But, he said, he also signs 25 paychecks a week and spoke of “the right thing to do,” as a new city hall would spur economic activity in Town Center.

Mari Molina described the city presentation of the proposal as “a good cartoon tow watch on Saturday morning at 8 o’clock,” and said she’d stopped attending city meetings because she got the impression that the council would end up doing whatever it wished regardless of public opinion.

Doug Courtney, a frequent candidate for local office, said he wants to support the proposal, but has issues with it. “We need a place of pride where we as citizens can point and say this is our city,” and it should not be in a strip mall, he said. “The question you haven’t answered is, where else, what else?” Courtney said that while he supports the concept of a new city hall, there should be other options for locating it other than in Town Center. One of his proposals was Roma Court—another strip mall. “I want to support this, we need a city hall, but you haven’t given me the answers yet.”

Earl Scott, a Palm Coast resident, wondered why the city didn’t put together a commission to study the matter and involve the public, and what measures the city has taken to ensure that City Marketplace won’t become a “ghost town,” among other objections to the current plan.

The member of a business group that had held a meeting gathering 30 small businesses said that one of the members—many of whom are members of the Chamber of Commerce—were supportive of the proposal. He said the city currently relies on its small businesses, and therefore should listen to its voices.

In the end, the council decided that the long-term vision of the city transcended immediate voices–even if immediate voices see it differently.

If we pass this, these numbers are carved in stone,” McGuire, the council member, cautioned.

The council passed it at 12:34 p.m.

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70 Responses for “Palm Coast Council Votes 5-0 For New City Hall in Town Center, With Move-In by End of 2015”

  1. Rocky Mac says:

    “Build it and they will come.”

    • Genie says:

      @ Rocky – Not with Section 8 housing right there in the middle of Town Center, it won’t. Would you invest your business in a certified public housing area if you expected it to succeed? And would the banks lend you any money to invest in a low income housing area? The answer to both is NO.

      What’s the next big bailout project in Chuimento’s portfolio that we’re going to be paying for?

      And finally…the reason the Mayor, Manager and Council conducts business like this, without your input or voter permission, is because they know you won’t even show up to vote. Yes, they count on that and it’s working.

      Do something different this year, please. Show up and vote for the first time. You can put them all out of office if you’re willing to do that.

      If you’re not, look for our taxes to be going up to pay for all this.

  2. blondee says:

    “Build it and they will leave.”

  3. Ace Dead Eye Johnson says:

    LOL…..a local version of “Obamacare”……mark my words the residents of Palm Coast will be paying for this in the end one way or another…….mark my words……be prepared for sticker shock!!!!!!!

  4. Mario says:

    6 people decided the fate for 70,000. This is NOT a democracy. This is NOT America. This shall NOT be forgotten.

    • Will says:

      Mario – it’s a representative democracy, in which the voting citizens elected those 5 people to make decisions on city matters for them. This is America. That’s the way we do things here.

      Look at county, state, and federal legislative bodies. That’s why our delegates to those three deliberative assemblies are called representatives.

      Every person doesn’t get to vote on every issue. If enough people don’t like the representative, they can vote to replace him or her in the next election.

      • Genie says:

        @ Will AND Mario: When less than 10% bother to show up and vote, you can forget democracy. They just want to see your checkbook.

        Sadly, I suspect the voting problem here may be because many of PC citizens have NEVER voted and it that is the case, this is unlikely to change anytime soon, if ever. Democracy only works with everyone voting. They’d rather complain than participate.

        We have a lobbyist for the builders on the Council. Why should this vote surprise anyone? PC has been raped by developers.

        • w.ryan says:

          @Genie: In some respects you are right. But the 10% percent has spoken and said NO! Seems to me that the ones that have little worries about a roof over their heads vote. The rest of them struggling to keep up with the day of the week. One question to ask yourself , what is government doing about getting out the voters? and what are we doing to make voting a civic duty? I don’t see any bbq’s or free concerts series in the park or coupons for a free tree!

      • Charles Gardner says:

        Or they can “recall”.

        • Rob says:

          @ Charles Gardner
          Yes recall is an option. One man began a recall effort of the Mayor and it died. Recalling all five would take both money and an organization. Then and only then could that vote be turned back.

      • Mario says:

        This was not just one of those “things”. The was a $9M + decision that deserved to be decided by the tax payers of OUR city. We do NOT trust these individuals to make significant decisions on our behalf. Voting a person out during the next election will be easy. Dealing with spending $9M + dollars of OUR tax money on this unnecessary structure and the ongoing costs associated with operating and maintaining this building will impact all of us for decades to come.
        So again, we did not place these people in their positions to make decisions of this magnitude by themselves. We the people deserve to be heard and we shall be heard one way or another.

        • Mike says:

          @ Mario, Decades to come? This is where you maybe wrong; if we get the correct loan (bond) structure we could position the city for growth and prosperity. When we continue to have to pay rent for the next 30 years this will be and economic burden that can go on for ever, we pay the building off in 20 years and we now cut our budget for future generations. Remember it is not only about us the here and now, it is about helping the future generation of Palm Coast residents, and we will not grow if we have no true city structure. City or town halls are in almost every city, we need to get up to speed and start to grow our city or suffer the consequences of further business loss. If we cannot attract some new business to this city we the home owners will pay the price, our taxes will soar since we will need to pick up the tax burden void left by no industry or business in our city. Palm Coast is a great deal for tax reasons only right now, sure taxes are low but what do we have to show for it? No real community centers, no real youth programs, not an established city area as the anchor of our town. Taxes are a part of life, they go up just as prices at the store or car dealerships go up, costs rise as a part of doing business. They made the decision and now we all need to get behind them and support the project, if they screw it up (budget wise) vote their sorry ass out of office, but taxes will go up, I am okay with that as long as we the people get some thing back or some thing to show for it.

          • Mario says:

            The only thing we “need” in Palm Coast, are good paying jobs. Everything we do should be focused on getting companies to invest here. If we had one large manufacturing/assembly company or large Tech company, who could employ thousands with reasonable salary & benefits, then the rest would happen naturally. This company would give us money in salary and benefits and stabilize our property taxes by contributing strongly to our tax base.

            We have a huge area in Palm Coast Center that should be used for attracting that one large company who could employ thousands. We live in the Sunshine State, so why has it been so difficult to get that one big company in here? The PC Center is a perfect location for this company as it is centrally located to two major airports and can handle freight from the I95 and US 1 corridors quite easily. Having a company there would grow the area with other businesses who take our money. This would occur naturally.

            Our property taxes have increased substantially throughout the past 5-6 years. The people who handle this just play with #’s to create the tax burden, but we are paying most of the taxes here in our City. This cannot continue. We must have businesses support our tax base if we are to survive.

            We also cannot support any additional businesses that take our money. Retail, restaurants, etc. all take our money and as we all know, we have much less money to spend since our local unemployment is dramatically high and there is nothing in the forecasted future that would help reduce this.

            Building a $9M+ City hall is not the answer to any of our problems. This will only create new problems for us. They will spend our money and it will be gone. Then, they will spend more of it, because as we all know, the $9M will become $15M. Then we will have to support this building with recurring costs while they add additional employees and more employee benefits and in return, we get a really nice looking building in an almost vacant Town Center, with yet another huge tax obligation.

            The bottom line here, is that those 5, 6 or 7 people that were behind deciding for themselves that we needed this, without allowing us to vote, should be tarred and flogged. We can vote them out, but that is not going to change the significant damage they have forced upon the 60K or 70K residents of Palm Coast who still have no real jobs to look forward to, will be $9M + poorer and can look forward to an increase in property taxes.

  5. From the cheap seats says:

    Landon and Chiumento have been further empowered to run your city……..

    • Angela says:

      Landon threatened the last council 4 yrs ago…got a new set of groupies in there to support him this time around.
      Fire “Don” Landon and the syndicate will fall apart.


    Great job! lets get construction started.!!!!

  7. m&m says:

    It was voted down in prior elections so the council says screw the people and their opinion we’ll do it anyway.. Remember this at the next election..

  8. Rob says:

    The people in charge of this city have a very high opinion of Palm Coast.
    The reality is that this is a working class/poor town with a median income of less than $24,000 per year and household of less than $48,000 or around $11 per hour. I would guess that the majority of people who attended this meeting and who are favor of another one of Palm Coast’s ventures are retired, with pensions or other incomes and healthcare.
    Do they really care about the working stiff, probably not? The same can be said of the town council. They are either locked into the business community of the city/county or retired and not worrying about income or healthcare.
    Tell the people who work for a living would they rather have a building they can be “proud of” or a secure job with benefits and upward mobility. I am not speaking of Wal-Mart, or anyone of these restaurants.
    Yet these people calling the shots have tunnel vision are seem to be more concerned with image that substance.
    An analogy is these people think of Palm Coast as filet mignon, lobster or king salmon. The reality is anything but when you have 60% of school children on subsidized lunch.
    The town council finally skirted around the voters and bulldozed through another capital expenditure. Within two years we should see all kinds of new buildings going up in Town Center. And contractors hustling and bustling with their cheap immigrant labor and the city officials feigning ignorance to the practice.
    Let’s see if the voters follow up and move these people out of office, I bet not.

    • Genie says:

      @ Rob: The people in charge if this city have a cozy relationship with developers and we have the failed projects to prove it.

      I’ll take you up on that bet. The voters will not forget.

  9. PC Mad says:

    We all heard the NO from the citizens but yet they do what they were going to do all along. SPEND MORE OF YOUR MONEY. We the citizens DID NOT get a vote in this……….Palm Coast is a CESSPOOL of political corruption and thieves at the HIGHEST levels .

  10. Geezer says:

    Vote was 5 – 0….
    5 people are richer today.

    70,000 taxpayers are poorer.

  11. Carol says:

    No to building a City Hall, soundly NO. That 9 million dollars should go back to the residents of Palm Coast.
    Obviously, the city is way overcharging it’s residents for the services and property tax. Besides that, we don’t need any more vacant buildings that become an eyesore and dilapidates our neighborhoods. NO to building a City Hall.
    At best, purchase an existing building.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I say vote everyone out next election and the new city council can fire the city manager.

  13. w.ryan says:

    Yakov says it best…”What a country”.

  14. Steve Wolfe says:

    I am a new resident of Palm Coast. I don’t know all of the players or anyone’s history in local politics. I am becoming acquainted with many citizens and listening to all sides. I grew up in Northern Virginia, and as such I witnessed the constant din of construction for infrastructure, homes, office and retail space, and businesses of all kinds. To me, Palm Coast is still a relatively sleepy little town, and I like that. I am thankful that I can finally study all the mechanics of civic life and structure on a smaller scale, and I will become more educated over time. The basis of my interest in local politics begins with an understanding that we have a representative government, not a true democracy. I think that what the council did today was within the bounds of their duties and responsibilities as duly elected representatives, as Bill Lewis alluded to. But underneath that, I can see that the Council came prepared to win their argument this time, based on the spanking they took on their previous attempt to build a city hall. They built a case for a cheaper building, to be constructed in phases (which softens the perception of the true costs), they addressed the source of the funds with the key wording, “will not impact taxes.” They put on a presentation that was about as sophisticated as what you might see for a high school project, and they had all their aides well-versed in the language that would present a focused agenda (even though they were unable to address some very cogent queries). It was enough to help them assemble a group of people to argue in favor, most of whom seemed to say the same things about presenting a pretty face for the city, in addition to spurring the economic development in Town Center that failed to appear from earlier planning.

    So, the fellas got what they wanted this time. Groundbreaking soon. Never mind that the city will now incur the costs of maintaining a new property. We will create another furniture budget, acquire new employees, and add traffic to Belle Terre. There will be a new environmental impact that doesn’t currently exist. The placement of city hall in the Town Center will realize new needs for infrastructure, such as widening Old Kings Road, which will accelerate the plans for such. I also believe that the current location of the city offices will not be completely abandoned, but used as an annex for the city government. (“You want a building permit to erect a dog house? You need to go to City Marketplace.”) Government always grows, it never shrinks. So will this one. It is the nature of government, just as it is the nature of politicians to increase their influence and businessmen to seek more market share. So the citizens will soon also be supporting new salaries and benefits (expect no office space to go unused, and soon enough be found insufficient), and we will feel new regulations that will come from new departments. It’s kind of like letting the Genie out of the bottle. I have seen much, much worse in Northern Virginia, where I grew up with rampant growth. I expected it like the sunrise. Now I get to witness growth on a much smaller scale, and I get to observe the players and characters up close. I will be watching, and I will exercise the powers of the pen, the voice, and the vote.

  15. agnese says:

    Ya’ll payin’

  16. DMD Liberty says:

    It was a good day for our community. No more wasting out money on rent. Regardless of your position, we must ensure that the project comes in under budget and is done with as many local companies or workers as possible.

  17. Charles Gardner says:

    On the bright side, this will be a new building which is unlike the County which has a preference for worn out properties.

  18. BOB S. says:



  19. Ben Dover says:

    Gee I wonder what one of their contractor friends will build it , how many materials will disappear and have to be re-bought on our dime , these filthy thieves must have gone to the Bush and Cheney Fleecing Academy, we gotta vote these immoral , lying , thieving turd knockers out come next election, wish they still Tar and Feathered crooked people in Government, we could do it in Central Park, then chase them out of town throwing bottles of their bath tub gin at them

    • Ben Dover says:

      Well I noticed in today`s news journal our thieving counsel members are getting themselves a nice year end bonus , building some bogus storm water drain system over in Indian Trails have lots of friends and a family memeber over their that say they have no flooding problems, but I guess our counsel member`s and Mayor Netts and lets n ot forget their favorite contractor and kickback buddies Cline Construction will all have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year while the rest of us in the city out of their loop go to churches for handouts , where we`ll share a meet and greet with all Cline`s Mexicans workers, who have more money then us , cause they have all our jobs , Hope these lying thieving bunch of hoodlums running our town and their cohorts choke on their rum cake , when doers it end???????

      • Ben Dover says:

        oh yeah forgot to mention its $489,0000 dollars for this rip-off, nice little bonus wouldn t you say , again Iv`e worked on these weirs myself when ITT was here , all we did was sandblast all the loose concrete off them , skim coat over any cracks and spray them with a water proof coating maybe a 5000 dollar job at best

  20. Marissa says:

    How do we start a referendum? Take back our City now!

  21. Art says:

    The decision as to whether or not millions should be spent on a new city hall, especially in this economic environment, should be left to the people, the tax payers, and not five people on the city council seeking self aggrandizement. Furthermore, this notion that a new city hall will bring industry, business and jobs to Palm Coast is just plain nonsense.

  22. Joseph Pulitzer says:

    Now that they are going forward with the City Hall, it would be nice if the local contractors and builders would benefit. Hire Local people and its a lose, win situation. The public loses but the local builders win.

  23. Born and Raised Palm Coast says:

    How about this to help our economy, lets use local contractors to build a new city hall, so the money goes back into Flagler County and not outsourced to companies that are based out of Jacksonville, Atlanta, Orlando, etc.

  24. confidential says:

    Out of all the present in today’s meeting 38 spoke on the city hall, 24 against and 14 in favor and City Council anyway approved the building of the City Hall..!

  25. Anonymous says:

    Let the new TAX INCREASES begin! Another honey pot for PC politicians has been created!

  26. Rocky Mac says:

    Genie: My statement was just a quote and nothing else. Not sure yet how I feel about this new city hall. I voted no prior. FYI, you don’t know me but I have been voting for the past 40 years. I never miss an election, not even local primaries. I am an officer of one of the political parties. So I know all about voter apathy. It is a shame about the low voter turnout in this town. And the ones who complain the loudest are probably one of these non voters.

  27. Magicone says:

    What did I tell you, these clowns need to go Mayor Netts could land a job in Sarasota as the ring leader, the rest of the council can be hired as clowns. Landon needs to be shot out of a cannon !!!!

  28. A.S.F. says:

    The Republican political contingent seems to have no problem spending taxpayer dollars on real estate transactions. But they get hot and bothered about any increases that might go to our educational system. Yep, sounds like forward thinking to me. I’m sure it has nothing to do with what might be in their own personal interests, as opposed to the interests of the community at large…because, you see, in their particular narcissistic way of thinking, what’s good for them IS what’s best for the community. And the rest of us better damned well accept that fact!

  29. Joe says:

    It all boils down to one thing, they lied to you when the were campaigning and stole your vote, now that they are in they have their own agenda! Elections do have consequences and if you don’t like what is happening, then VOTE!!!!!!!

  30. BW says:

    I was very surprised to hear a 5-0 vote, but glad to see that as well as it shows that one local political group that is typically against everything the Council does may be showing signs of being reasonable. I’m wondering why Dennis McDonald has been quiet on this one?

    But I’m happy to see it moving forward. It’s a positive move for the area.

    I do wish I would have been their live to hear the “Put on your big boy pants” comment though. That had to have been the award winner for best public comment.

  31. Donna Heiss says:

    5-0 vote in favor when the majority of the public has said no? Who are these council people representing? Silly me, I thought we elect them to be our voice. Not one council person listened to the voice of the majority? This is not so much of a question, this is more of a statement.

    Although we will not always agree on decisions made by those we vote into office, I do expect them to be our voice. Not 1 had the backbone to stand with the majority, regardless of their personal feelings on this matter. When will they realize it is not about them?

    Listen to the people and vote what the majority wants. It is what you were voted in to do.

  32. Sloop John B says:

    Somebody file a lawsuit to stop this. This Council thumbed their nose at us. We won’t forget this when election time comes around hell or high water. We must all do our duty and vote every one of these 5 Councilmen and Mayor out. We shall not forget this! And, the people we do elect must not renew Landon’s contract as their first agenda.

  33. Rob says:

    This town council is very predictable. The town hall was a given AFTER the elections.

    Next on their agenda?

    Listen for the rumblings of a police department to surface once again. It would be one large and ever increasing expense.

  34. joe joe says:

    Good! This city needs to stop paying rent and needs a real city hall. Almost everyone I have spoken to is for this it seems except for the same 5 or 6 people in here that complain about everything.

    Funny thing is even is there was a vote, 10-15% of the population would show up as usual. People like to talk, but when it comes to actually getting off their couch they don’t do it.

    • Genie says:

      @ Joe Joe: They voted AGAINST IT loud and clear in the past. Can’t disagree with you re the usual turnout numbers.

    • w.ryan says:

      joejoe: The voters that elected these Council Men said they don’t want a new City Hall. What have you been reading? If there are people outside of these voters then they should come out and vote their opinion! It was a “NO” to a new building!!!

  35. Gracile says:

    Then tell me Joe Joe why didn’t the school tax referendum pass. Voters did come out and vote that’s why this city council doesn’t want a repeat defeat by denying voters the right to vote down a new City Hall. There will be retribution at the polls come hell or high water.

    • Joe Joe says:

      It didn’t pass because the voter turnout was sadly low for that tax vote and most of the demographic that voted are for lack of a better word cheap. Something like only 15% of the population voted, and it was mostly retired and over 65 year old people who could care less about the schools turned out (well most of them seem to feel that way that I speak to). I spoke to many, many younger and working people who unfortunately didn’t even know about the vote, or couldn’t show up and would have voted yes. That was such a small increase and would have helped the schools, it just showed me how cheap some of the people in this city are…if people want to vote down city buildings well fine, but we should not let anything effect the education of our children…

      • Genie says:

        @ Joe Joe: Couldn’t show up? The polls are open for something like 12 hours and it takes just 2 min. to vote.

        Didn’t know we were having an election? You just proved my point.

  36. Winny says:

    I’m sorry, but think our elected officials just told the citizens of Palm Coast to F&%$ yourself. I am not opposed to this concept either way. But, to take the matter out of the voters hands, just to ram it down our throats is wrong, and further shows the character of these individuals to be flawed. Pretty low game you just played Mr. Mayor, Council, and City Manager. I hope you have made enough money while you were in office to support yourself s after the next elections. Because I honestly believe you just commuted political suicide.

  37. Cypress Grand says:

    Building City Hall in the Town Center will bring new jobs because other businesses will now start to build, bringing jobs. I see this as a positive action.

  38. Rob says:

    I just read the PC Observer with five captions on the front page.

    Funny thing is they liked what the voters said and did when it was time to count the votes that elected them. They had no problems hearing then.

    All of a sudden they became deaf and forgetful.

  39. jp says:

    Backward! The town center is not even developed of private businesses, no shops, restaurants, lacks everything. You build revenue, not by speed cameras, but by development. build a Mall, nobody likes going to Daytona Mall (Daytona is a dump), and Orlando is to far. The younger crowd head to Lake Mary or Orlando for entertainment. These leader are most likely uneducated leaders and don’t understand research and studies of what this town needs. 6.9 million would be better spent on development, not new offices for fat cats….bad uneducated move….

  40. MORE BUSINESS? says:

    If it will bring more business, development, and restaurants to Town Center why not? Palm Coast is one of the worst counties in the nation in unemployment. We need more jobs and more entertainment in this town. How long has that land been sitting there undeveloped. That’s not helping our economy. It will be nice to see something anything being built there that will help this county generate some money and also hopefully help some local construction companies.

  41. Will says:

    I’ve said it before – the 2005 vote is not relevant now in 2013. First of all, the basic question is different. Secondly, the electorate has changed with some earlier voters no longer with us, more new voters in town, and a different mix of people voting.

    Respectfully to the folks digging in their heels, times have changed.

    • justaperson says:

      Even if you believe that’s the case, they still should have put it up for a vote. NOT bulldozed their way into getting what they want.

  42. Florida Native. says:

    This commission won’t be around long enough to enjoy it lol.

  43. Enough says:

    This is a smokescreen to divert your attention away from the Red Light Cameras.

  44. Anita says:

    This is how imminent domain got started in New Jersey and many other states-voting against the will of the people. The city government started ceasing homeowners property near the shore line and building condominiums. Their reasoning-For the good of the people and taxpayers. The Palm Coast Council is heading in the wrong direction and voting against the will of the people that elected them in. What’s next? My husband & I will remember on Election Day and vote every single one OUT that voted against the WILL OF THE PEOPLE.

    • Genie says:

      @ Anita: This council has used Eminent Domain here, for the property located across from the high school on Bulldog Drive. They have yet to do anything with that land.

      Look for it to be used again, just as soon as a well heeled developer shows up and decides to remake this city. Your property rights are only good until then.

      Builders and developers ALWAYS WIN.

  45. justaperson says:

    I see all these posts about them paying rent and saying this is better than paying rent. NEWSFLASH – the City HAD a building that they owned. Oh how quickly we forget that THEY CHOSE to sell it and move into their current space to force the hand of the voters into giving them a city hall. Since that didn’t work they have now shoved the voters aside and decided to build one anyway. VOTE THEM OUT!

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