The actual cost to the city–and to taxpayers–of the July 27 special election that brought Mayor David Alfin to power cost $127,983.15, compared to an initial estimate of $187,764. A low turnout of 26 percent, compared to the 79 percent that voted in last November’s election, drove the cost down.
In a wide-ranging interview in his new office at City Hall, Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin talked about getting a budget done, getting a permanent city manager hired, and fostering the reemergence of Town Center as an economic, educational, cultural and health care hub.
David Alfin was sworn-in as Palm Coast’s fourth mayor this evening in a simple ceremony and a well-attended meeting in which he made a point of defining his tenure as a service to residents, but also as a mission to bring civility and consensus to a sharply divided council. There was pointed symbolism and a few pointed remarks during the meeting.
The big lies lost. But Palm Coast isn’t out of the woods. Alan Lowe may have been rejected by 73 percent of the electorate, but David Alfin’s 36 percent win, with less than 10 percent of the actual electorate, is hardly a rousing victory for a campaign that won more by default than acclamation, with incendiaries like Ed Danko and Victor Barbosa still on the council.
The Palm Coast Canvassing Board had a quiet and uneventful session today, poring over 81 ballots that had to be judged valid or not. The absence of Alan Lowe partisans suggests their vague claims of a contestable election was nothing more than that.
There have been no direct challenges to the election result that saw David Alfin beat Alan Lowe and four others, but a request for a “forensic audit” of the election and a vast public record request for information about anyone and everyone involved in the supervisor of election’s running of the election have been filed, suggesting more noise than reason.
A 15-month drumbeat of sound and fury over allegations of corruption, cover-ups, cabals and criminal acts, a drumbeat that influenced two elections, a city manager’s career and the mayor’s own, among others, tarnishing the reputation of a leading private company in the county, came down to a minor rebuke over an email misuse Holland long ago acknowledged and apologized for. Nothing else.
Realtor David Alfin was elected Palm Coast’s fourth mayor this evening in a relatively strong win over five other candidates. Fellow-Realtor Cornelia Manfre and Alan Lowe were trading places for second. Alfin’s victory paired with Manfre’s showing is a decisive repudiation of scorched-earth politics represented by Alan Lowe and Council member Ed danko, who’d made his political fortune synonymous with Lowe’s campaign.
The Bunnell City Commission Monday evening appointed Robert Barnes and Tina-Marie Schultz to the commission for the next eight months to complete the terms of two commissioners, Bill Baxley and Donnie Nobles, who resigned in quick succession earlier this month.
Helped by safe, general questions, the News-Journal forum at no point resembled the mud wrestling matches that the Palm Coast City Council meetings they want to arbitrate have become. But the six candidates revealed their personalities, their sincerity, their deep lack of familiarity with the job–or their contempt for fact or truth.