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Celebrated Emergency Services Chief Kevin Guthrie Resigns, Jolting Commissioners

| February 1, 2016

kevin guthrie resignation

Kevin Guthrie giving first responders a briefing during a large-scale exercise in December 2014. (© FlaglerLive)

Sunday evening Kevin Guthrie, the county’s much-regarded public safety emergency manager since his arrival from Jacksonville in the fall of 2013, was the emcee at a countywide awards ceremony for first responders and others in public safety. Monday afternoon, he sent an email to the county’s first-responder community, announcing his resignation.

“About a week ago I advised Mr Coffey that another county wanted to speak to him about hiring me as their EM Director,” Guthrie wrote, referring to Craig Coffey, the county administrator. EM is emergency management: Guthrie has been, in effect, the emergency management director in Flagler, but not officially so: the county administration bristles–and hurries requests for corrections to local media–when he’s referred to as the EM director.

“Late last week I received a tentative offer, pending their BOCC appointment, for the EM Director.” Guthrie has been offered a $90,000-a-year job as the Emergency Management director in Pasco County, which has a population of 465,000. The decision must yet be ratified by the county commission in Pasco, next week.

Money was not the issue, Guthrie, who earns $82,700 in Flagler, said. Nor has he closed all avenues of conversation, though it appears that no such conversations will be forthcoming from the county administration. “I’m always open to conversation,” Guthrie said in a brief interview, when asked if he’d made up his mind for good. “Money is not a motivating factor in my life. It’s more about us committing to process and policy and procedures and actually talking, getting feedback.”

From the administration’s perspective, however, there is no intention to pursue Guthrie further.

“Right now we have accepted Mr. Guthrie’s resignation,” Sally Sherman, the deputy county administrator, said late Monday afternoon. “It was wonderful working with Kevin and getting to learn from his experience over the past two years. We also appreciate his generous offer to continue to work with us I think until Feb. 26.” But, Sherman added, the county was also “excited that he did get a position that elevated him, and at the end of the day it bids well for our organization when a team member can advance, even when it’s somewhere else. We truly wish Kevin the best in his future endeavors.” Sherman said Guthrie’s salary had increased from around $65,000 to his present salary in just two years.

“When someone has made a decision you have to respect the fact that they made a decision,” Sherman said.

Last summer, when county Airport Director Roy Sieger announced his intention to take a job in Hillsborough County–what would also have been a promotion–the county worked hard to change his mind, and succeeded. There are no plans to do likewise with Guthrie, whose reputation extends more broadly than the airport, which underscores what some elected officials say but only privately: that there was mutual frustration between Guthrie and Coffey–Guthrie not being given sufficient leeway to do his job while Coffey found him less malleable, less controllable.

Guthrie said that when he initially talked to Coffey about his decision, Coffey “said he was disappointed, he said he was upset,” and said he wished he had one to three more years with Guthrie. But there was no effort to query Guthrie about what might keep him in Flagler–the sort of question Commissioner Nate McLaughlin wants to pose to Guthrie.

“I do want to talk to him to see if there’s something we did wrong,” McLaughlin said. “I’d kind of like to know because he’s a good hire and a good manager over there.”

All commissioners had learned of the resignation either before today’s meeting or between the regular meeting and the workshop (some were told between the two meetings). But the matter was not discussed openly at either meeting, though Guthrie was there to talk about the county’s 911 system.

“I know he was interested in taking on additional responsibilities here in Flagler and they just did not develop,” County Commissioner Charlie Ericksen, who was not happy with the resignation, said. “There was talk of him possibly taking over the responsibility above Don [Petito] in the fire department, that Don might be a direct report to him and the two of them would work as a team to take care of that particular area of the county.”

“I’m going to miss the man because I thought he was an up and coming person in the county and he certainly made a difference for the short time he was here,” Ericksen said. “He put his head down, went to work and cleaned up some of the difficulties we had when he first showed up and put us on track that if an emergency occurred in Flagler County. He’d be all over it. His people were trained that way. He added some good people, and got rid of low-performing people, and got us back to a county with a good reputation.”

The resignation worried Ericksen because it takes place as the latest in a series. “I’m not happy with the fact that we’ve lost good people,” he said. “You’d have to go back to, did Craig take all the necessary steps to prevent all this from happening, and I think the answer is, he probably could have taken some different steps.”

Guthrie has been a stickler for written policies and procedures, emphasizing inter-agency cooperation to a degree not seen in many years here. He was brought in in response to pressure from fire chiefs and the sheriff to give emergency management a structure it had lacked. He enacted that cooperation–or attempts at cooperation–through large-scale drills involving numerous local agencies. He played a key role in developing a mass-casualty simulation exercise involving fire departments, police and Florida Hospital Flagler in December 2014 and the active-assailant exercise at Flagler Palm Coast High School last June, which produced an extensive report exposing certain flaws in the county’s command structure.

Guthrie also took the lead on moving or upgrading the county to a network of communication towers to buttress the emergency communications system, and engaged the business community and officials across jurisdictions to systematize what had been a largely improvised or untested infrastructure of emergency response in case of large-scale disasters.

Other commissioners were disappointed. “I’ve always liked Kevin and thought Kevin was the guy to make the effort to cross the bridges that seemed to have been burned between the city of Palm Coast and Flagler County, and it’s not going to happen now,” Commissioner Frank meeker said. “I liked his professionalism, I liked his work ethic. I thought he was very knowledgeable.” Meeker recalled the time when, immediately after the tornado that struck Palm Coast in December 2013, a few months after his arrival, Guthrie headed over to Palm Coast where–as Meeker recalled it–he was asked by Palm Coast officials if he was there to “take over.” Guthrie said he was there to extend help if it was needed, not take over.

“That’s what I wanted to see, what I liked,” Meeker said.

“I know that Kevin came from a much larger community and it sounds like he’s moving to a larger community, maybe Flagler was too small for him, I don’t know,” Commissioner Barbara Revels said. “I know he brought us a long way and he’s laid a good blueprint for getting our certification, and I think we’ll be in good hands following that blueprint.” Revels said that control may have been an issue–that Guthrie likes being in control, as emergency directors tend to do, and that the offer in a larger setting would enable that.

Commissioner George Hanns, for his part, was unperturbed by the resignation, saying he’d never hit it off with Guthrie. “He was doing a good job but he didn’t in my opinion keep the commissioners in high regard as far as keeping us in the loop during emergencies,” Hanns said. “But yet we’re the ones responsible if something goes wrong.” While he liked the job Guthrie was doing–and it would leave a void–Hanns said the division is in good hands even without Guthrie. He cited Bob Pickering, the weather specialist, as an example.

Nevertheless, the resignation was a shock even to Hanns. “When you’re at home and everything is going good and you get a phone call, and oh my god, what’s going on now? It’s kind of like that,” Hanns said.

Jason DeLorenzo, the Palm Coast City Council member who just declared his intention to run for the county commission, called it “a very disappointing loss for the county,” and one that’ll be difficult to replace.

Guthrie’s strongest base of support was within the emergency services, from people who saw his work on a regular basis. One such veteran firefighter-paramedic, who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisals, said: “Guthrie was the only person in Flagler County to bring together all police and fire agencies for training and camaraderie. We have never had the amount of inter agency training as we have in last two years. Last night we had a fire EMS law enforcement and hospital personnel awards dinner. Never would have happened without Guthrie. He is a true team builder.”

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39 Responses for “Celebrated Emergency Services Chief Kevin Guthrie Resigns, Jolting Commissioners”

  1. County Employee says:

    The real problem is Guthrie was to take over all emergency services other than law enforcement. He is always the first one in to work and the last one out. Petito is the last one in and the first to leave. Especially on Wednesdays when he goes to Woodys car show or Friday’s when he meets the FDNY retirees at Steflic park in Flagler beach. Pitiful that Coffey did not do anything to keep him. Maybe Coffey realizes Guthrie is better at the job he is.

  2. confidential says:

    One more case of too much Coffey in the county cup.
    In 2014 we lost Kim Weeks that resigned for the same reason, not able to properly function given the BOCC and administrator micromanagement of her department, denying her small budget increase request, Coffey’s secy taking the minutes of the canvassing board meetings and refusing to provide her dept. funds in time to pay bills. After Weeks left in 2015 FCBOCC quietly approved to her welcomed replacement 4 times the budget increase increase that Weeks request and was denied, plus a full color calendar campaigning her name on every month on an 2016 election year. I thought county witch hunts constitutional officials for calendars printed in election years.
    But looks like they have just selective enforceable policies, depending at whom are directed. Coffey time should be over soon too for the betterment of the county taxpayers and electorate.

  3. Confidential III says:

    Kevin was a competent worker and had grand plans for emergency management that are better suited for a larger community with immense resources. While his intentions were good, many of his recommendations seemed outsized for this community. In addition, he found it difficult to see others’ perspectives as worthy of consideration, he often undermined others (including his boss, Mr. Coffey, Mr. Petito and several county commissioners) to his staff and to others in his community. It is no wonder that the county graciously accepted his resignation. Flagler County will be better off with new leadership.

  4. Justina S says:

    Thank you FlaglerLive- If anyone is able to get the public, the BoCC, and his boss (County Administrator) to realize what a HUGE MISTAKE it would be to let Mr. Guthrie go, it would be you. I for one am convinced it is because of Mr. Coffey and his inability to recognize or support what Mr. Guthrie is doing for our county. As a resident for nearly 15 years, I have seen emergency managers come and go, and no one has been more beneficial for us than Mr. Guthrie has. It is no wonder that another county has offered him a job, and a more enticing one at that, but it would be absolutely and completely absurd for the BoCC and his boss not to even try asking him to stay. If anyone should be leaving Flagler, it should be Mr. Coffey, NOT Mr. Guthrie.

    Perhaps if enough people are as enraged about such a key resource for our community being driven out by “our” county administrator as I am, something may actually change. I emphasize my disdain for the designation of the word ‘our’ because in no way does Mr. Coffey act in a way that I would ever like reflective of our community- Craig Coffey can treat BoCC members like children, renew his contract without discussion, and get himself a substantial raise, and generally act like a bully to the county employees that voice any kind of differing opinion (who would dare dissent when he’s the one pointing hiring and firing fingers!!!). What would Mr. Coffey care about someone ACTUALLY trying to serve us residents of the county when he can do whatever he wants without any kind of accountability.

  5. Another County Employee says:

    Like “County Employee” said, I think Craig Coffey knows Kevin Guthrie is great at his job, and that Coffey cant have someone outshining him. I laugh as I type that because anyone who has worked with Coffey knows that it isn’t a hard feat, you simply have to have a brain!

    I think it is especially infuriating that the deputy county administrator, Sally Sherman, is saying that it bids well for our organization that the best in it choose to leave. Explain to me under what management structure you want your best and brightest to leave. It has always been my understanding that we should seek to bring in talent, not force it to leave. Do County hiring procedures say we are looking for applicants that are the best candidates for the job, or does it say it should be the second best, or god forbid the least qualified, because that is what you are left with when you push the talent out! Especially when you alienate the other productive members of your staff in doing such!

    Note the BoCC members’ responses too; indicative of those that can and do appreciate the county employees that do their job day in and day out to actually maintain the governmental system that they (the BoCC members) claim to provide policy and legislative control of. McLaughlin, Erickson, and Meeker at least understand that the need for a strong emergency management warrants a conversation as to how things can be better, Revels at best has her head in the clouds if she thinks ‘were in good hands’ and at worst is as delusional as Hanns, thinking that anyone needs to be held in ‘high regard’. Perhaps if he paid more attention in the trainings that all county employees have on NIMS and Incident Command System, he’d be more familiar with how things are supposed to, and do, work. I know I learned a lot in those classes.

    All in all, I wish Mr. Guthrie the best if he does indeed move on to Pasco County, but I also cringe and pray for all of us county employees and residents alike if he goes. I hold no false hopes for our safety and security without the guidance and direction of the kind Mr. Guthrie provided. My only optimistic hold out is that someone likeminded from his staff or the region is able to step up, push forward, and continue his movement towards the better. We do not need someone who will cave in to Coffey’s ineptitude and bullying.

  6. confidential says:

    FCBOCC and administrator only want department heads and constitutional officials “manageable” to their likes not experienced and with excellent track records. In few words they want “their puppets” and for sure are get out there to destroy those that would there resist their manipulation. Otherwise ask SOE Weeks and her journey is not over yet…lets see what all her accusers and name callers will achieve in court. By the way as I said it before too much nepotism in this county how many employees of the same family, listed in the payroll?.An so the clicks goes on.

  7. sick of failures says:

    @Confidential III, please provide an example. Your point of discussion is not well supported when you undermine your own assertions. Someone is competent and capable, but that doesn’t work here? How is that supposed to make sense? I’ve found that people do not like change, particularly when it means they are being challenged to work at their jobs at all, much less to do so harder.

  8. sick of failures says:

    @ George Hanns. I challenge you to demonstrate how and on what topics you are in touch with. In everything you do say publically I’ve yet to find any demonstration that you understand what the issues facing the citizens of today are. You spend a lot of time reminiscing about days of old and times long past when making most of your ambling and long-winded responses. While I appreciate your service and the unquestionable gratitude you’ve taken every step of the way to show your undying support for your brothers and sisters in combat I’ve yet to hear you speak at a commission meeting, publicly, or in your own forthcoming campaign of how or why I should see you as a candidate who is relevant. What is your vision? How do you plan to take Flagler County forward when you time and again demonstrate how caught up in the past you are and- most damning- by your own admission, state your left are out of touch?

  9. Dan Skipper says:

    While I agree Guthrie was good at his job, he tried to play politics and aligned himself with Manfre in trying to get the Flagler County Fire Chief Petito fired, so he could be king. He would’ve been successful here, if he didn’t try to build his own empire.

  10. Scott says:

    Let’s see who’s relative replaces him.

  11. Layla says:

    When you have an un-elected Manager running the county with no accountability, he will always look out for himself first, before he will others. Expect more of this.

  12. Layla says:

    I understand that Frank Meeker has requested an audit of the Supervisor of Elections office. Maybe it’s time to audit the entire County?

    How long has it been since we’ve done that?

  13. Got A guy says:

    I wish Mr. Guthrie well he has done a fine job here for Flagler County. As for the comments from County Employee please get your facts straight. Petito may meet with FDNY guys but its once every 4 months and if you check the records he takes a P/L day all legal under county policy. The last time a checked the Fire Chief does not punch a time clock, on call 24/7.

  14. Are the county commissioners inept, corrupt and not concerned about the direction of Flagler County? says:

    County Commissioners Revels, Ericksen, Meeker and McLaughlin all say they regret to see another asset to Flagler County leave….yes another….yet they continue to let Craig Coffey run wild and continue to be a disservice to Flagler County and get away with what ever he wants to do. It seems to me at some point the board of county commissioners would recognize they are the employer of Craig Coffey and take charge and stop him from running the county in the ground. Let us not forget how Craig Coffey is one that wants his employment contract renewed before its time and moves to get it renewed before the elections. Is this because he wanted to secure himself financially in case incumbents were not reelected? Time and time again we hear the voice of the public agree that Coffey needs to be replaced yet we have county commissioners who give him praises and allow him to stay. This tells me we don’t have a board of county commissions that are working for us and they are not in charge. This is an election year and we can do something about this if we elect new faces (not shuffle those like DeLorenzo from Palm Coast City Council to Board of County Commission) to the position of Board of County Commission in 2016, and not reelected the incumbents. We need a board that will represent us and what is best for the county as a whole. The current board of county commissioners are an embarrassment to Flagler County. It is no wonder there are so many complaints filed against them and the county attorney. We need not forget Barbara Revels was fined the largest fine in history by the Ethics Commission in 2015 and she is up for reelection in 2016. We need to elect those who will work for us! There is no excuse for the current board of county commissioners to sit back and recognize our loses and allow Craig Coffey continue to run this county in the ground and not do something about it. it speaks volumes when Sally is the spokes person and Criag Coffey is silent. News reporters need to be asking questions directly to those involved and do away with spokes persons who spin stories. Craig Coffey isn’t talking for a reason and we need to hold our board of county commissioners accountable for what is happening here in our county.

  15. Perspective101 says:

    Since we all know the Commission reads this forum let’s put things into perspective. First, Kevin Guthrie is the best Emergency Director this county has ever had. His professionalism and integrity are also second to none. Flagler is often so lacking in resources, it’s incredible we even manage to draw so many talented applicants for senior positions like Kevin. His leaving I am sure includes a desire to excel. If he has to go elsewhere to succeed, what does that say of us and this county? I would argue this county does not deserve Kevin or anyone with his level of professionalism as it is clear we haven’t earned it.

    I’d like to put the Commission on notice for the benefit of this county’s future. Every other elected constitutional office hires and fires as needed yet there is this stigma with administration and the commission that only the administrator and his deputy have employees. Yes, policy is drafted this way yet policy can be changed – by elected officials only! If we continue to lose respected and admired senior leaders then how many must we lose before the commission realize it’s time for a leadership change. The commission may be easily forgiving of administrative oversight, failure, and mismanagement, but I wonder if the voters are as forgiving?

    Elections are coming this November and if we do not have a commission with the stomach to ask the difficult questions and make the harder decisions – perhaps it’s time for a new commission. I’m sure there are at least a few other county governments that could use a reset, but we must be at the top of that list!

    Kevin, I wish you nothing but the best wherever you may go. I hope wherever that may be is deserving of your expertise and is open to new ideas. Flagler clearly is undeserving and how tragic for the rest of us.

  16. Dave says:

    its a pure example of Coffey and yet another reason Coffey needs to go, the man loves himself. Good luck Gurthrie I’m sure you will do an excellent job down is Pasco Cty.

  17. confidential says:

    Now maybe FCBOCC Meeker will order a financial forensic audit of Kevin’s Department, as he just did to the SOE office geared at the past SOE Weeks years. What a pathetic ridiculous waste of taxpayers funds. A forensic audit cost of a government department and depending what is audited will cost us all taxpayers thousands and thousands of dollars. A request coincidentally now that Meeker still has an ethic complaint alive a well against him and also falling on the eve of Mrs. Weeks and all the subpoena FC commissioners, attorney and the retired investigator that served the FDLE warrant for files and computers in Week’s office while she was the SOE. Not only wasteful, vindictive and astronomically expensive but also very peculiar request to say the least now and after well over a year of their current SOE operation? Took Meeker and Hans a long time of suspecting “lingering questions” , didn’t it?

  18. tulip says:

    Where do I get a copy of this full color calendar that is mentioned?

  19. flagler resident says:

    Losing Kevin Guthrie is a huge loss and mistake for this county. What is sad is that the Commission had an opportunity back in October to right this sinking ship of county employment and did not listen and wrote off the emails as sour grapes from former employees. The only fault Kevin Guthrie has is that he is too professional, too honest and too ethical for a County Administration that exemplifies none of those qualities and does not see those as admirable qualities to hold. Confidential III – you are obviously someone either in County Administration or related because anyone who knows Kevin Guthrie would never describe his management as “undermining” or as “difficult to see others perspectives”. He is the most open manager that believes in empowering his employees vs. micromanaging which is what Craig Coffey is well known to do. Yes he wanted to do great things for Flagler County and so did I. Why is that so wrong? Just because Flagler is not a large county why should we settle for anything less? It is small minds and managers that are happy with the status quo and just want their big fat paycheck that think that way. Those of us that care about Flagler County and want to provide the best for this community do not settle and will not bow down to the regime in office just to keep their jobs. Isn’t the idea of doing what is right matter to the public anymore? Or are we all too corrupt in this county that we are okay with the behind the scenes mismanagement of county government so long as we can claim plausible deniability. There is a systemic problem in county government and it begins and ends with the administration.

    Now to respond to some of the comments/facts in the article. Kevin Guthrie is not leaving simply because it is a better paying job and tried to shake down the county for more money. On the contrary Kevin was given a healthy increase (as of October 1) this fiscal year. This is something Craig does every year…he waits for the budget to be passed and then gives “some” of his staff that are loyal to him an increase beyond the % approved by the Commission. Kevin Guthrie was happy working for Flagler County but hit too many brick walls with the administration and when expressing frustration to commissioner’s a couple claimed they wanted change and even met with Kevin in violation of the sunshine laws. At least three of these Commissioner’s knew over the weekend that Kevin had resigned. This was their opportunity to ask those questions that Nate McLaughlin claims he would like to ask. So why did you not ask when you had him on the phone? Barbara Revels comment about Kevin Guthrie being controlling is like the pot calling the kettle black. No Ms. Revels Craig Coffey and Sally Sherman they are controlling, micromanagers and we need to put a lid on that pot before you lose many more “great” managers/leaders/employees. What can I say about George Hanns. A wonderful man that has good intentions but believes whatever administration tells him. Kevin Guthrie held all in high regard from his volunteers, to his staff to those above him but especially the commission. It is terrible that you would tarnish his reputation by making that assertion.

    So here is where we stand as a county. With a commission that would sooner close their eyes to the inner workings of the administration to get what they want done and an administration that is more concerned with keeping their jobs than making Flagler a better place to live and work. Congratulations Flagler County you have arrived! The train of great employees is leaving the station and what you will be left with is mediocrity. So Flagler County if you want change you have an opportunity so get out and vote. I know I for one will not vote for any incumbents.

  20. One Voice says:

    Just another example of the citizens of Flagler County paying the price of Good Ole Boy Politics. We need leaders that will do what is best for the community not their friends and family. It’s time to step up people and take our government back and quit accepting that “they” are in control.

  21. jus me says:

    Good luck and best wish’s t Mr Guthrie. On a side note I cant believe that ANY still look to weeks in a good way???

  22. Used tax payer says:

    Sick of failures–George is along for the ride. Politics has been source of income most all of his life. His military career and carpentry career were brief. I hardly consider George as a Veteran in the same regard I consider others who have served our country. I’d like to see A full story about his military experience. I don’t believe it is possible for George to think for himself or for him to have a vision. George stays on top of the fence. Let us not forget George is so disengaged is why he is out of the loop.

  23. Tired of it says:

    It is unfortunate that we are losing a professional like Mr. Guthrie and for some unknown reason, with the exception of Mrs. Petito being so well liked by County upper management, the County Manager keeps an incompetent Fire Chief like Petito. Petito doesn’t play well with the other Fire Chiefs in the county and has a complete disregard for his employees and for that fact the citizens of our county. I can only hope that Mr. Coffey doesn’t allow Petito to take control of Emergency Management.

  24. Anonymous says:

    @ Dan Skipper, It was Manfre who also helped to drive Troy Harper out.

  25. john mac says:

    county employee that was such a ignorant attack against chief petito. chief petito is the most stand up firefighter in this county. when i converse with him he is the closest person that i have met down here to a qualified chief of his position you should get your facts straight before attacking someone of his caliber.what you said is untrue and should be glad you have him as your chief. retired firefighter

  26. Jack Howell, PhD says:

    I have known Kevin for several years as we worked together at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Academy. I can attest that Kevin Guthrie is a “stand up guy” who wanted to bring the Flagler County EMS program to high standards. Kevin and I attended many NIMS/ICS classes together and I know that he is one of the best Subject Matter Experts in the field.

    Kevin, I wish you nothing but calm seas and following winds my brother!

  27. confidential says:

    Tulip, a copy of the calendar is available in the Taj Mahal lobby county (government administration building) off Moody Blvd. That is were I picked mine up…probably if you ask new SOE Lenhart she should give you one. Hopefully they didn’t discard them after the discovery.

  28. Flagler resident says:

    @ Dan Skipper you need to get your facts straight prior to making comments. When Kevin Guthrie was hired he was told by Joe Mayer and Craig Coffey that the plan was to eventually reinstate the Emergency Services Director position and place him in charge. There were some issues that the administration felt needed someone like Kevin to oversee. He took the position thinking that there was upward mobility available. Kevin never wanted to fire Chief Petito. Did he want to be Director overseeing all of Emergency Services? Surre he did and why not? Isn’t that what we all want to move up in our careers? Unfortunately Craig Coffey along the way changed his mind and even though he received pressure from Commissioner’s to make that change he boldly and outwardly refused and told Mr. Guthrie that would never happen. After all Craig is the Teflon King nothing can damage his armor. Even with all of that Kevin Guthrie continued to do an excellent job and to always go above and beyond. He didn’t align himself politically rather Kevin believed in a unified command and that everyone and every entity within the county played a role in emergency management. He tried to bring all stakeholders together and for awhile was successful but unfortunately pride and ego by those in charge ruled the day! So please before you make comments that will tarnish someone’s reputation make sure you have your facts straight.

  29. tulip says:

    confidential: Thanks for calendar info

    I looked at the Flagler election site and there are 3 new candidates running against Ericksen
    one new candidate running against Ms Revels
    one new candidate running against Haans

    So, there is hope of getting new people on the BOCC

  30. someoneintheknow says:

    This is hilarious to me. I have been a life long member of the Storm Spotters ARES group here in Flagler, its a complete and total joke. Then we have another member of ES putting out facebook posts and twitter messages regarding current late breaking details on weather, he puts his face on it and all, very disturbing in my opinion. Many of the early posts mean nothing when it comes down to current weather. This department is a complete and utter joke. Maybe they have done something but keeping up with weather and whatever else they do seems like a waste to me. We have the NWS to keep us informed here in the county. I think its time to restructure these high salaried people and find a permanent solution. Thank you for your time!!

  31. Layla says:

    Best wishes and we thank you for your outstanding service to our community, Mr. Guthrie!

  32. confidential says:

    Really shameful to loose a EMS official in Flagler county with these credentials: Multiple certifications in the field of emergency management and has been presented with numerous awards, including the Chad Reed First Responder Award from Florida Governor Rick Scott and the Presidential Call to Service Award from President Obama, according to the Flagler County government’s online.
    Further shame to loose him over micromanagement and BOCC collusion against him with the bad culprit called Coffey county manager.

  33. confidential says:

    Layla the candidate running against Revels is Jason France a FB resident and a young Navy Veteran as I understand he is, a Republican and eager to govern for us the county taxpayers and not special interest.
    I hope this time my support will not be in vane like when I supported Revels back then.

  34. DeeDeeDee says:

    Someoneintheknow is clearly not, just saying. Most of the positions within the emergency management department are funded through grants not to mention the fact that the departments focus is on far more subjects then giving you a weather update. All of this information can easily be found on the flagler website, but again you would already know that if you were really in the know. Also In a real emergency those Twitter and Facebook messages you find laughable are made to reach out to a public that is connected to social media and disconnected from the reality around them. It speaks more to the changes in our culture than to an alleged mismanagement of the department.

    I have learned one lesson from all of these comments and I think it speaks volumes to where we are. First, the incumbent commissioners all need to be voted out as that is the way we will see any kind of positive change. Then in the next election in two years, vote those commissioners out as well. It is painfully obvious they are unwilling to make necessary changes and prefer to represent in the most passive manner possible.

    Hanns while always well intentioned is no longer representing the will of the people. His time has long since passed and we could certainly use a fresh face who may actually take notice that administration actively blocks information from reaching the public. You can see and hear it from all of the employees and would have to be blind deaf and dumb not to.

    As for Revels she is always so disengaged from the rest of the commission and out of touch with the residents that her time has also come to move on. I think the candidate running against her is a perfect match and I hope is elected instead.

    Ericksen I believe will be voted out, but from his comments it’s painfully obvious he is not happy with this management team. I just think he has a good political way of saying it without saying it. But does he have the fortitude to make any difference? Doubtful. Very doubtful

    I also had hope to see more from Meeker and Mclaughlin but they have also blown with the wind here. They are always happy to voice their opinion but are still clearly blind to the mismanagement in the county government. Maybe they are comfortable and complacent and that’s enough for them. It’s just not enough for Flagler because we deserve better!

    My advice is just vote every incumbent out this year and next election. It’s obviously the only way things will change here

  35. Anonymous says:

    DeeDee Dee- Your post is spot on. With three seats on the county commission up in 2016, and fresh faces running, hopefully it will be out with the old and in with the new in 2016! It is obvious Hanns, Revels and Ericksen don’t represent us the tax payer. Time for them to be weined.

  36. Ghee Whiz says:

    It is sad when county commissioners are elected to best serve us and fail at their jobs by letting good people go elsewhere for employment. It seems as though their attitude is that they don’t care and anyone is replaceable. When good people with years of experience leave it seems to be the commissioners should be asking questions and stopping this from happening over and over again, and they are not. I noticed too that Craig Coffey was letting Sally Sherman doing all the talking… she the fall gal? I would like to hear Kevin and Craig’s uncensored comments and statements. But’s that’s politics to make the public think everything is roses and to keep the truth hidden.

    These county commissioners have no regard for how our tax dollars are spent and dream up things to spend money on and then let valuable experienced people get away. Craig Coffey needs to go, and so do the current county county commissioners. I won’t be voting for Revels, Hanns or Ericksen in 2016 and hope you will not either. Enough is enough!

  37. Justina S says:

    All of these comments about the commissioners are relevant and appropriate for discussion given the circumstances, I think more attention needs to be drawn to Mr. Coffey himself.

    On the County Administration page it says, and I have literally just cut and pasted this:

    Flagler County’s Administration Department directs county operations and acts as a liaison between county staff and the County Commission. The County Administrator:
    •Provides professional administration for the implementation of policies and objectives formulated by the Board of County Commissioners
    •Develops and recommends alternative solutions to county issues for board consideration
    •Plans and develops programs to meet health, safety, welfare, and organizational needs of the county
    •Manages the day-to-day affairs of county government

    I personally do not feel Mr. Coffey is providing for a professional administration. I don’t feel like he is implementing policies and objectives of the commission. I do not feel he is developing solutions to county issues, I do not feel he is planning or developing programs to meet the health, safety, welfare, and organizational needs of the county. And I do not feel he is effectively managing the day-to-day affairs.

    If those are the responsibilities of his department, and subsequently his position, he has failed to live up to them and should be held to the same standard any other employee is held to; meet the requirements, or be let go.

    It is time for him to be let go. And it is the commission that needs to do it.

  38. DeeDeeDee says:

    So let me guess this straight..

    Meekers wants to audit the SOE office, but can’t seem to find the inadequacies within the administration right under his own nose???

    Oh yeah, I’m sure this had broad public support. Let’s draw attention to another problem rather than solving the biggest one right here within the commissions own purview.

    These have to be the stupidest smart people we know. Then again, maybe they are smarter than that and have more to hide or protect than even we could imagine.

  39. Anonymous says:

    You are absolutely correct in your analysis. Craig Coffey has failed in his job performance for years. Commission Holland moved to fire Coffey a few years ago but only she and Commissioner Abbott stood strong; the others including Peterson had their head in the sand. The first and second questions asked publically of each commission candidate for 2016 should be “will you retain Coffey, and why”. We already know those commissioners will retain him as they recently renewed his contract so none of them should be reelected! Hanns, Ericksen and Revels needs to go in 2016. Hopefully voters will vote for change in 2016!

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