A few people were defying the coronavirus-inspired order to stay off Flagler’s beaches in the mistaken belief that their were on their own private property, but on the whole people were complying well.
Flagler Beach City Commission
A 45-year-old Flagler Beach police officer has tested positive for Covid-19. In an unrelated development, Flagler Beach City Manager Larry Newsom fell ill and has been in self-isolation at his home since this morning. The police department is monitoring itself but is not in isolation.
Flagler Beach and Flagler County are closing their beaches to the public starting at 6 a.m. Monday, joining a growing list of coastal communities and counties, in Florida and elsewhere, doing likewise in an increasingly strict response to the coronavirus.
The chairman of the Flagler Beach City Commission, the police chief and the parks and recreations director all cited bogus and debunked claims about either saltwater or sunshine’s supposedly beneficial effects against the coronavirus.
By keeping the beaches open, Flagler and Flagler Beach officials are wanting it both ways. They’re sending contradictory messages and enabling irresponsibility. They’re issuing visas to the virus.
Flagler County government is looking for permission from almost 150 property owners along the shore in Flagler Beach to use their beachside properties over the next few months–and in perpetuity–to save the beach in what one official describes as the single-largest public works project ever conducted in Flagler
Flagler Beach City Manager Larry Newsom said the city had nothing to do with the poorly constructed walkovers, blaming the damage on the Florida Department of Transportation’s contractor. Older walkovers have withstood storms for decades.
Ken Bryan, Paul Harrington, Deborah Phillips, and Marshall Shupe, the only incumbent, are candidates for two seats in the March 17 Flagler Beach municipal election. Their appearances at two forums were defined by thoughtfulness, mutual respect and a general consensus on most pressing issues, including development.
The swales will continue to be dug. The project is contracted and paid for. The contractors digging swales may be more sensitive to some of the residents’ concerns, but that’s a subjective possibility.
Flagler Beach officials will hold a meeting Feb. 12 as a result of mounting anger by residents at the south end of town surprised by the digging of swales along South Daytona, but the commission had repeatedly discussed the $500,000 stormwater project and its necessity last year.