The Flagler Beach City Commission signed off on returning the city’s popular holiday-season events and First Friday, kicking off on Dec. 3 and 4. The city will also launch the second edition of Starry Nights, lighting up the pier, Veterans park and participating businesses, also starting on Dec. 3.
Flagler Beach City Commission
The Flagler County Health Department is making it clear to local city and county governments: the department is no longer in the business of telling them whether to hold events or not. That goes for the Christmas parade in Flagler Beach. That was true of the Creekside Festival last weekend. That goes for events at the Flagler Auditorium and anywhere else.
Flagler Beach City Manager William Whitson suggested doing away with the Independence Day parade, an idea that gained little traction among July 4 committee members today, but there was more unanimity about significantly scaling back the parade and eliminating politicians and most businesses from participation.
A town hall-like workshop to give the public a chance to weigh in on Flagler Beach’s proposed purchase of a new fire truck did not change dynamics: a commission largely supportive of the purchase, and a small minority strongly opposed.
Five residents and the mayor make up the committee that will study the continued feasibility of July 4 fireworks, while the city will ask the county’s tourism bureau for twin allocations of $25,000 next year, to pay for both July 4 and New Year’s Eve fireworks.
The Flagler Beach City Commission signed a new agreement with Laverne McNeil Shank, Jr. of Surf 97.3 FM to run First Friday events but a September re-start will be delayed, possibly to December, pending a better covid climate.
Family Life Center Executive Director Trish Giaccone responded bluntly Thursday to criticism from Flagler Beach mayor Suzie Johnston that Giaccone had gone “rogue” by appearing on a radio commercial hosted by an incendiary county commissioner. But it does not appear as if relations between the city and the Life Center will improve.
The Flagler Beach Fire Department is requesting approval of a $546,000 fire truck to replace its 25-year-old Engine 111. The commission is receptive. But as in 2016 and again in 2020, when fire-truck purchases were floated, the proposal is drawing some opposition, some of it intimating (again) that the city should consider consolidation with county fire services.
The mayor was acting on her own, representing herself rather than the city of Flagler Beach. The statement was issued within hours of Gov. Ron DeSantis issuing an executive order banning masking requirements in public schools, and as he has continued to counter efforts by communities to institute more restrictive safety measures in the face of Florida’s (and Flagler’s ) unprecedented surge in covid cases.
The weekly pro-Trump demonstrations featuring profane language in the heart of Flagler Beach has city commissioners concerned about the city’s image and the administration and police eying surveillance cameras they insist will not target the demonstrators, but be used as a tool in case of criminal activity. Others see a Pandora’s box.