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.
Palm Coast’s process, guided by charter, requires the appointment of a citizens’ redistricting commission, which then crunches the new population numbers, draws the new boundaries and submits its results to the council. The council then approves the end result. The commission has 120 days to do its work.
Classifying a law as a voter suppression, as a voting restriction or as a tightening of a rule for voting involves judgment. It anticipates the future effect of a law, and it concludes that the law will have a negative effect. Some new laws do that. But many are ordinary rules of election administration that simply don’t merit those labels and likely have no discernible effect, much less a negative effect, on the right to vote.
The audit of the July 27 special election for Palm Coast mayor showed 100 percent accuracy, though partisans of Alan Lowe, one of the losing candidates, have continued to make baseless allegations of irregularities.
During the 2018 midterm elections, President Trump’s endorsements helped Republicans he endorsed raise money, but ultimately were more detrimental than helpful, leading to an increased vote share going to the Democratic opponent of the candidate Trump endorsed.
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.