Three times in the past 12 months, Florida Department of Transportation projects in Flagler County have foundered on the well-organized shoals of local opposition across government boundaries and fiefdoms.
The unemployment rate locally and statewide appears to be trending downward consistently and finally following the national trend, which has been improving for most of the past year.
The Flagler Beach Rotary’s Cycle Flagler drew the largest number of cyclists and raised upward of $14,000 for the Rotary’s Christmas and scholarship funds. Riders cycled from 24 to 100 miles.
Flagler Beach was going to pay for and build the $50,000 deck as a concession to potential restaurant owner Ray Barshay. Until DEP’s decision, Barshay and the city were very close to a long-term, deal.
The same five “strategic goals” were hashed over again in the third day of an economic development summit, and a fourth was scheduled in May, for yet another $7,000 for “facilitator” Don Upton, bringing his tax-funded total to $30,000.
Palm Coast Data revenue fell $15.7 million in the last nine months, compared with the same period a year earlier as trouble for the company and its parent, Amrep, continue.
Unexpected discussion about breaking the bait and tackle shop at the pier out of the restaurant lease, and inviting others to bid for running it, almost demolished months of negotiations over the restaurant lease.
Flagler County’s January unemployment rate in January rose again to 16% percent, remaining in the same high range it’s been stuck in for a year and a half and bucking the national trend. Florida’s rate is 11.9%.
It was left up to Palm Coast City Manager Jim Landon to remind the assembled that slogans don’t make economic development policy, and unity of message is still far from a given in a county with diverse interests and constituencies.
The consultant Flagler County hired to shepherd local governments through their political and financial obstacles related to economic development has a long record of bracing cheerleading. Dividends are less clear.