Business droned on as usual at the Flagler Beach City Commission meeting on February 28, with near total silence about an alcohol scandal that gutted this quaint oceanside city’s Fire Department. Neither city staff, nor elected officials talked about the firing of five Fire Department personnel after an independent investigation.
Flagler Beach City Commission
Flagler Beach City Manager Bruce Campbell fired the fire chief and four others while retaining Acting Fire Chief Bobby Pace, who falsified records, after a three-day suspension. Volunteer firefighters were hired in the others’ place to ensure that the city remains protected.
The Flagler Beach City Commission Thursday was offended by the shoddiness and ill-mannered presentation of Dick Holmberg, who’d received $50,000 for an analysis of the shore’s erosion problem, and as a first step to a $10 million solution he was proposing. The city decided to cut its losses instead.
A 42-page report by Dick Holmberg analyzing the Flagler Beach shoreline for potential installation of his “undercurrent stabilizers” to rebuild the beach’s sands drew severe criticism from city commissioners, who called it lacking, and not reflective of a $50,000 job, which the city was to pay for with county dollars.
With the withdrawal of Oceanside Grill owner John Lulgjuraj, Jane Mealy and Steve Settle were automatically re-elected to the Flagler Beach City Commission, making the March 5 election unnecessary.
Four Flagler Beach firefighters, including the fire chief, broke the city’s zero-tolerance policy on drinking on the job, but the independent investigation broadened to find a severely dysfunctional fire department riven by cliques, lacking authority and pointing tio disturbing acts such as record falsification.
Flagler Beach government could make up to $3 million over 5 years by turning its streets into revenue-generating parking slots, but the city manager’s proposal faces stiff-but not unanimous–opposition from local residents and businesses, who fear jeopardizing the city’s charms and its appeal to tourists.
Flagler Beach government, eager to replicate Palm Coast’s method of making money from special events, would take over July 4 festivities run until now by the chamber of commerce, but city commissioners are uncomfortable with a complete take-over.
Flagler Beach City Commission incumbents Jane Mealy and Steve Settle are being challenged by John Lulgjuraj, owner of Flagler Beach’s Oceanside Grill, in the March 5 election. Two of the three candidates will win.
The Funky Pelican in Flagler Beach, a sister-restaurant of the River Grille in Ormond Beach, replaced–after protracted negotiations with the Flagler Beach City Commission–what had for years been the Pier Restaurant, which had long been in decline.