In a shocking end to this evening’s Palm Coast City Council meeting, Council member Victor Barbosa, citing nebulous claims of being “targeted” by City Manager Matt Morton and referring to a dozen errant emails and city documents, called on the council to fire Morton for “corruption.”
Barbosa’s motion failed for lack of a second.
The after-meeting then briefly got raucous, with Mayor Milissa Holland having to be escorted out to her car for her protection as members of the so-called “Flagler Liberty Coalition,” a group of anti-maskers who have disrupted local government meetings and who were lending Barbosa support, got loud and intimidating. On the other side of the building, as Morton and Council member Eddie Branquinho were heading to Branquinho’s car, Morton and Barbosa exchanged a few words, with Morton reportedly telling Branquinho that he might be facing legal action, presumably over Barbosa’s accusation.
For almost eight minutes Barbosa read from a prepared statement that cited numerous code enforcement issues, Morton allegedly tracking him, listing his name as the complainant then telling him there was no way to track code enforcement complaints by name. The documents Barbosa submitted show him around mid-March to be a copious complainer as he goes around the city, noticing unkempt yards or lawns or driveways overrun by vehicles. Barbosa then tells Morton of the issues, presumably expecting code enforcement action. Barbosa’s complaints follow closely on code enforcement’s own action against him over the truck he kept in his driveway, with its “Man Cave” insignias showing, in violation of city policy. (Barbosa owns a barber shop called “Man Cave.”) His case was about to be taken to the Code Enforcement Board before the city found him in compliance, and dropped it. But Barbosa had been upset by the case having made it that far.
Nothing in the documentation he submitted remotely points to anything that could be defined, even by the most liberal interpretation of the word, as “corruption.” But the word echoes a similar smear during the election campaign that Barbosa and his acolytes repeated frequently about City Hall in general and the mayor in particular.
“I think he needs more proof than that,” Branquinho said after the meeting, “and my advice to him, is if he thinks there’s corruption is go to the feds.”
In a March 15 email, Barbosa complains about a house with six cars on Smith Trail. He sent Morton a picture and wrote: “You told me that you didn’t want Palm Coast to look like surrounding City’s your just clearly not looking around here I have many more homes to go.”
City council members are not supposed to act as code enforcement officers, though like anyone else, they’re free to forward complaints. Currently complaints to code enforcement are filed anonymously, though a bill pending in the Legislature this session would require the complainant to be identified. There’s nothing in law that forbids the administrative agency from keeping track of certain complaints by name, internally: in Palm Coast specifically, the late Bill Lewis and then-council member was a notorious code enforcement stickler, driving around town and noting violators.
The gist of Barbosa’s issue appears to be an email Morton sent Barbara Grossman, the code enforcement manager, telling her to “make sure that every one of these that I forward from Victor are coded from him being the complainant–as he is. I want to be able to keep track.” The statement appears to apply to the emails or directions Barbosa was sending him about code enforcement.
Barbosa then wrote Morton, asking him why that was the case. The document is undated, and veers between hectoring and baiting Morton: “I am not directing staff to take action,” Barbosa wrote Morton, “however I am directing you to take this information to the correct department when necessary for proper action. I just received your text that has me Councilman Victor M. Barbosa directing staff. I think we have an issue. The issue is either you or code enforcement are not following their own policies and procedures. Unless I’m wrong counseling upto discipline and or termination maybe required for not following procedures.” (Barbosa’s text is reproduced here as he wrote it and submitted it for the record. I want a complete detailed report as to what’s happening here, I want it before the next City Council meeting where I may be bringing this up for discussion.)
Barbosa then put in a request for any code enforcement complaints that may bear his name. Virginia Smith, the city clerk who handles public record requests–and who would have had no idea about Morton’s request to have Barbosa’s emails coded–replied as she would to anyone, suggesting the search parameters might be very broad and bear some cost, as she is legally required to advise requesters. This evening, Barbosa misinterpreted that as an attempt to keep him from the information he was requesting. “As of today, there are many violations out there with my name fraudulently listed on it as a complaint that I did not complain about,” he said tonight, as he addressed the council, saying his name was being tarnished. “He wanted to charge me to figure out what his staff had done. Another clear sign in which he was attempting to hide this matter,” Barbosa continued.
“If you don’t vote against corruption,” Barbosa concluded, “which I have clearly shown proof, then you, you’re in favor of corruption, and mismanagement in our city. I’d like to make a motion to terminate City Manager Matt Morton.”
Council members stayed silent. Council member Ed Danko, no recent friend of Barbosa, suggested taking the time to study Barbosa’s claims. But his motion to table the motion was sidetracked by a procedural issue: City Attorney Bill Reischmann said it would have to be an amendment to the motion already on the table. But Danko’s proposal, too, did not get a second. Holland was not interesting in entertaining the debate. “We’re not doing this,” she said.
The mayor then turned to Danko’s own closing comments, which had to do with possibly changing the scheduling of meetings and the proposed tennis center expansion, which he’d favor reconsidering at a subsequent meeting “to discuss it further.” That motion got no second, and the meeting ended.
Morton marks his second-year anniversary with the city Thursday.
Our city council is such a joke.All you hear about is finger pointing going on at these meeting.Why don’t you’ll start acting like Adults & Handle Palm Coast Real Problems.Thats what the people of P.C. voted for you too do.
Just me, but I think Victor Barbosa’s sole purpose for being involved in government as a councilman is deeply rooted for a self serving interest here. He apparently is a frequent/habitual code violator. I mean for a recently elected official, that seems to be his focus, to take aim at dismissing his own scofflaw behavior over warnings & citations that he’s received. I think his ultimate goal is to eliminate code ordinances & violations altogether. His motives are too obvious here. Seeking to have Morton fired ? Sounds like a personal vendetta when he doesn’t get his way ?
The ordinances are in place to keep the community free of the clutter & constant bombardment of advertising. We all live by the same ordinances and the internet makes advertising unnecessary. Man Cave, his barbershop is a top hit for a google search engine, it’s unnecessary for his vehicle to have banners all over it & parked in the view in any neighborhood. Park the vehicle in the garage. Then it’s not a code ordinance violation ? That doesn’t stop him or anyone else from going to work and driving thru any neighborhood and advertising that way.
Entitlement at its finest! You are absolutely correct. Very well said! And, its too bad Barbosa can’t be fired. SMH
Roger Podacter says
All he has to do is either keep his truck in the garage or put a cover over it. Bam! Problem solved! Nope! We waste time and energy going on a personal witch hunt. This place is doomed.
Monte Cristo says
Morton and his Code Manager need to go. Morton is the worst City Manager we have ever had. His lack of leadership, now disrespect for City Council members shows us how bad he is. He’s laughing in the face of Barbosa was yet another sign of his lack of maturity to mange our City.
Danko and Branquino ask for proof of mismanagement and corruption. Well, here you go. They did nothing to continue the discussion. Danko tried to table it, but our sleazy lawyer procedurally shut him down.
The Mayor said nothing as she wasn’t giving up her Godfather like strings on Morton to anyone especially Barbosa.
Here’s what I got out of it, let’s spend $6 Million on pickleball, build thousands of apartments, not hire enough cops by misquoting of the Federal standard of police per thousand, keep bad garbage service and keep hiring bad City managers.
Morton needs to be disciplined as Barbosa said.
I’d fire his ass…..
David S. says
Sounds like the prior Trumpee administration.
I have been with the city for a couple of years now and work with Morton regularly. The man is incompetent and ineffective. He wouldn’t make it in the military or anywhere else that requires a coherent thought. Morton sees himself as a visionary leader but is probably the poorest example of one that I have ever worked for. Barbosa is most likely correct.
Sandra Sites says
Says someone afraid to speak under his real name. What a “patriot” NOT.
Roy Longo says
My guess is a patriot who can’t afford to loss his/her job. If anyone in county or city government speaks out in a public forum like this will be fired in a heartbeat. They have policies against that.
LOLOLOL, yeah right! Patriot? More likely insurrectionist. FLC no doubt.
Every day I see more and more evidence that we live in a true Podunk!
If it weren’t for the Local C.C’s, ……….. “Crazy Christians and the Criminals”,…. there would be nothing to write about.
Settle down children. Where are the grown ups in this group? Slowly destroying g PC with uncontrolled growth. We need new leadership.
Fatty Matty says
This article felt to mention that his name was written directly on the complaint forms of houses he never complained about. I believe it’s my understanding that they went down the entire Florida Park Drive ticketing everyone and writing complaint is Councilman Victor Barbosa on the bottom of the ticket. He had only submitted a complaint about four homes on that road and yet they made the decision to smear his name down the entire street and write his name on the actual tickets handed out. Then when I asked why is my name on tickets that I didn’t file a complaint on and what tickets are there with my name on them they refused reduce them saying they couldn’t track them even though Matt Morton states that he wanted his name on there so they could in fact at them.I think he should get a lawyer and sue them.
I think you and Barbosa are one and the same. Perhaps you should proofread your comments before submitting. SMH at those thinking they’re entitled. If you don’t like it here, do us all a favor and find somewhere else to live. Its that simple! Those of us who love it here is due to Code Enforcement doing their jobs and not letting our city become one littered with junk!
Percy's mother says
1. Barbosa STILL doesn’t know how to wear a mask properly.
2. Barbosa, 3 months into his city council term, filed to run for county commission in the 2022 election. So 3 months into his present term as a city councilman, he was already looking for greener pastures and a seat on the county commission with Joe Mullins. It was decided behind the scenes that Alan Lowe would run for Barbosa’s present seat.
3. The Barbosa family name is already mud in this county. If you will remember, Maria Barbosa claimed to be a licensed mental health “Christian” counselor. Maria Barbosa also claims (claimed) to have a PhD. Maria Barbosa lied to the public about being a licensed mental health “Christian” counselor, putting the public at risk. Maria Barbosa also NEVER HAD a PhD, even though she continues to call herself Dr. Maria Barbosa. Victor Barbosa’s father is a bully in all respects having practiced voter intimidation during several past elections. The whole family is unfit for any type of political office.
Victor Barbosa is part of the Joe Mullins followers who also include:
1. Ed Danko.
2. “Pastor” Jearlyn Dennie
3. Alan Lowe (failed mayoral candidate) now running for Victor Barbosa’s present seat on the Palm Coast City Council.
4. The Flagler Liberty Coalition, the group that sent 2 busloads of Flagler people to Washington DC for the January 6th event. It is believed both Joe Mullins and Victor Barbosa were in Washington DC on January 6, 2021.
5. Janet and Dennis McDonald.
Many in the above-noted group have “shady” pasts.
The above-noted group (including others not mentioned yet), have broken away from the moderate long-term Flagler Republicans (called Flagler GOP) and have formed their own new Flagler Republican Group called . . . “Flagler COUNTY GOP” under the direction of “Pastor” Jearlyn Dennie. The “Flagler County GOP” is NOT the “Flagler GOP”, it is a fringe group named to deceive the public that it is one in the same as the legitimate “Flagler GOP”
Again people, the newly formed “FLAGLER COUNTY” GOP” is NOT the legitimate Flagler GOP. The Flagler County GOP is a breakaway group from the mainstream moderate Republicans in Flagler County, and is under the direction of Jearlyn Dennie.
Just a caveat . . . be careful who you vote for, AND always look beyond appearances.
David Schaefer says
Wow these people are nothing but Trumper Humpers. How in the world did any of these clowns get elected in the first place…..
Tim Mcauliffe says
Odious isn’t a good word to use for a graduate of Barber’s college
John Stove says
Barbosa is a tool…
Don’t want to be written up about having a commercial vehicle parked in your driveway? Then dont do it as it is clearly specified in the City Codes that you cannot do so. What dont you understand Barbosa?
Anyone….including sitting Council Members requesting historical information from a government which causes staff to have to research data and then copy it for submission to the person requesting it has to bear the costs, (look up the FOIA, Freedom of Information Act). What dont you understand Barbosa?
You submit code enforcement complaints directly to the City Manager, he in turn submits them to code enforcement staff and instructs them them to track them by using your name as the person who submitted them is not anything more than a City Manager ensuring that he has a way to track your issues when the time comes that you say “he hasn’t done anything about it”.
What dont you understand Barbosa?
Barbosa needs to go to some Public Administration classes and then maybe maybe he can sit with the grownups.
In the code book a commercial vehicle is defined as anything over a 1 ton pickup. I don’t see tickets being written to every owner of an f250. Palm coast has its own definition of commercial vehicle. What’s the big deal if I park a service van in my driveway, there are plenty of ugly non “commercial” vehicles in driveways. The same people that complain about service vans are probably the same people that will call me at midnight for service, they want their stuff fixed but don’t want the serviceman to be their neighbor.
Charlie Ericksen Jr says
The real ” fun” came after the meeting in the parking lot. Many of us were entertained by the pushing, shoving and foul language between council members. The sheriff’s office members , moving back and forth, kept the contact down. .and told them all to go home. Could have been even more interesting, if they were not there..
Ben Hogarth says
I haven’t worked with Mr. Morton, so I can’t speak to his quality or his work ethic. However, from the facts presented in this article and the statements quoted herein, nothing Mr. Morton did in his emails violated federal, state, or local regulations. In fact, as an “officer” of the City of Palm Coast, Mr. Morton and other employees have a duty and obligation to the people of Palm Coast to act in all cases where they may be made aware of a wrongdoing. To not act once made aware of a code violation or other legal impropriety would, ironically, be the very “corruption” that Mr. Barbosa is alleging against Mr. Morton.
It’s easy to point fingers, it’s harder to present evidence and do so in a manner consistent with law. Perhaps Mr. Barbosa, who is not a career public servant or public administrator (yet), should do well to educate himself in law and administrative procedures before levying accusations, particularly those that defame character.
Mr. Morton has a legal and ethical duty to act upon wrongdoing’s or violations against city code. And if Mr. Barbosa is the individual presenting Mr. Morton and city staff with such information, then he is the “complainant” de facto – whether he likes it or not. If Mr. Barbosa would like to remain anonymous with such complaints, then all he had to do was submit such anonymously via the city’s system periodically. But to demand the city manager “not act” upon a specific wrongdoing in the community because Mr. Barbosa doesn’t want to lose votes in the future for being a “tattle tale” is not tantamount to a malfeasance or misfeasance on Mr. Morton’s part. It just isn’t. Period.
If I were on the City Council, I would note this in my next deliberation or comment period… If not for the sake of truth, then for the sake of protecting Mr. Morton’s character and certainly the people of Palm Coast for any legal liabilities resulting from misstatements of one other council member.
I’d also like to indirectly “scold” the other commenters who levied their own opinions here against Mr. Morton and city staff without any sense of legal propriety or professional experience. Perhaps they too, should take the time to become more educated on public governance and law – particularly areas surrounding “libel” claims and statements of defamation resulting in injury. Your statements, while safely levied here anonymously, would result in actions that are inconsistent with professional ethical codes and I would shutter at the thought of anyone of such line of thinking being responsible with the public trust.
So for the good of Palm Coast, just stop the nonsense.
This is what you get when the party of trump tries to run things.
These people don’t have one molecule of the business sense or common sense Trump has. Who voted for these whack jobs?
Yeah DJT 31 Golf Resorts and Hotels hemorrhaging money due to C19 that He lied about and denied how deadly it could be causing his own demise, genius.lolol. A REAL World beater alright He and Cool hand Luke LMAO
It is shameful to see these dysfunctional adults like Barbosa and Flagler Liberty Coalition traitors infecting our county. The mayor had to be escorted to her car, what?? Was FCSO there and were these nincompoops arrested for threatening citizens? Outrageous. Sheriff Staly should address this pronto!! In the meantime, I have looked up all their businesses and will make sure to steer clear!
Come on Flagler County, we can do better than these losers. We have to take back the county in 2022 and put adults in charge for starters, good grief.
Bring back Landon. He has been the one to put us with all the streets , six lane Palm Coast Pkwy etc. etc.
FPC is ground zero for more Drama Queens than I have ever experienced in my life. What gives in this place. Never ending episodes of the same Soap Opera by the same characters OMG Its a wonder anything ever gets done
More drama than a bus full of drag queens on the way to a wig sale.
Nicholas S DeSantis says
My prospective on last nights Palm coast council meeting by the way there were plenty of empty seats.
First of all although I don’t like a few of the council members and Mayor I do believe we must be thankful for their services thats about it on that.
The meeting was as boring as watching paint dry. Nonsense on top of the greedy builders pushing for more apartments and house development which means besides being very unsafe and not enough security and policing the one big factor missed is the awful traffic issues we have now. Imagine when these projects get started we will be living in a California state of mind sitting in traffic jams. And my biggest problem with this all is the destruction caused to our once beautiful natural environments.
The meeting took a turn very late when Councilman Victor Manuel Barbosa brought up corruption and despicable actions taken by City Manger Matt (useless) Morton (a nonelective official). Victor gave an outstanding presentation with an enormous amount of proof it was excellent. Councilman Ed Danko brought up a motion to review the evidence and the other clowns sitting there went into absolute silence. It was a disgrace to see the cowards bow their heads in silence and the Mayor skip over it to slap more embracement on the others and herself.
But folks it got better after the meeting with an exchange between Victor and the Bozo City Manger in the public parking lot to a point where he laughed in Victor’s face and threaten to sue Victor and acted as if he is UNTOUCHABLE in front of me and other witnesses. Hopefully video will be out soon.
If I didn’t see it and hear it, I must say it be hard to believe how disrespectful the City Manger treated our elected official. I for one do not like to boycott but in this case I think we all in Palm Coast should demand action and remove this corruption, staring and laughing in all our faces.
This was my preceptive why don’t all of you come out and see for yourself our elected officials clown show
You sound like a paid shill, lol. Name calling is not reflective of an adult expressing a valid concern. You are one of the blind followers obviously. I would laugh at the ridiculous behavior of an elected official too. We’ve been here since the 70’s when honorable people like the Mayor and City Manager were more evident in leadership. Come on 2022 we will get rid of all the posers.
Edith Campins says
Your comments are incoherent at best. Whenever comments devolve into name calling, as your did, they immediately looses credibility. Mr. Barbossa had no actual proof of anything.
PC Resident says
Isn’t it interesting that most comments are about how immature the council seems to be and three are specifically insulting to the city manager? Looks like our code enforcement complainer needs to make it not so obvious that he is using the comments section to make more complaints under different names.
Joe Festa says
Barbosa is nothing more than a cry baby,he had many code violations against him, Just suck it up and follow the codes Cry Baby,
Michael Cocchiola says
It’s not Matt Morton. He is doing his job and doing it well. It’s not the mayor. We don’t pay her enough to take this abuse. It’s not the institution of the city council. With exceptions, the council works well for our city. The problem is hostile radicals like Victor Barbosa, Ed Danko, and the Flagler Liberty Coalition. They carry the stench of neo-Trumpism everywhere they go. They work to tear down, not to build for the future.
These folks – and you must include Alan Lowe and Joe Mullins – do not know how to govern nor do they wish to learn. They are cultists and they seek office to only feed their personal demons and spread their delusions.
Flagler and its cities… we must prepare for the next election. We have to soundly reject the madness of these disaffected “bomb throwers”. Only then will our beautiful county and cities return to the ambiance and character that drew us all here.
David Schaefer says
Agree. These people and the group that you talked about need to be thrown out of Flagler County for good . Please do your homework when the next election comes up………
Jaii Hein says
Looks to me like a uninformed procedural council member got his feathers ruffled. I printed the marketing material to develope Palm Coast. I don’t live in Florida anymore, but reading comments etc. looks like you guys have your hands full. ITT-CDC did a better job of running the development that was to be 250,000 homes. Why not go back to their blueprints. The public needs caring council members that follow correct procedures, and pay your darn fine, suck it up.
Jane Gentile-Youd says
OMG .. Are we grown adults or 3 year olds masquerading as adults? Everything seems to be about ” he said” “She Said”. Where has the civil, responsible ,proud aura gone in local government? County has to watch the “me me me” shows paid for, written and produced by none than Joe me me me Mullins and now Palm Coast has to watch a sequel? Or is this waste of precious time and precious Taxpayer’s money thus failing miserably to address the real issues, the real concerns, the real wants and the real needs of its citizens? Come on voters – do your homework. Don’t just make your decisions because you think someone is nice, or cute, or has more people waving signs in the street ( very very few sign wavers work for less than $10 am hour). Contact the candidates; make zoom meetings with your neighbors and the candidate; watch county and all city meetings: Bunnell, Flagler Beach, Palm Coast, Beverly Beach… and please don’t make pre-determined decisions based on what political party the candidates belong; many are in independently minded regarding local issues . Lack of street lights is not a democrat or republican issue; positive growth and density control are not democrat or republican issues. The voters put people in office; we can only blame ourselves when we make mistakes but we should learn from them.
Land of no turn signals says says
We should double the code enforcement staff.Wadda you what Waste management trucks parked in residential driveways?
Concerned Citizen says
I expect an apology from all involved to us their constiuents. For wasting time and for the ridiculous behavior.
Victor Barbosa is an aggressive bully with severe anger issues. And it won’t be long before he ends up in jail on an assault charge. He recently cut me off on Palm Coast Pkwy then stomped on the breaks and kept going. Not the first time he has acted reckless in his little manhood overcompensating truck.
His truck is a marked vehicle advertising busniess. Therefore it falls under guidelines regulating as such. And he is not exempt from parking regulations. This is the second or third issue with this man regarding this. I know because I got several notices from the city parking a marked security vehicle in my driveway that I was required to bring home.And had to get an attorney involved. So a lot of research was done. I finally ended up moving out of Palm Coast because of it.
It occurs to me that Flagler County likes to rule by intimidation. The whole step outside mentality is laughable. I’m curious as to why arrests weren’t made if pushing and shoving were involved. That’s assault. And you or I would go to jail
The Voice Of Reason says
Flagler County, the USA and especially the Republican party has a sickening disease. It’s called trumpism. It acts like a cancer on our democracy. During election time, research your candidates. DON’T rely on the amount of campaign signs that you pass along the road. If your don’t do your election homework, STAY HOME on election day. This especially goes for longtime GOP voters. Just because it has an (R) it does not necessarily deserve your vote. There are still good caring Republicans. Vote for them. Avoid the trump cult members like the plague. Vote them out!!!