Flagler County’s only cold-weather shelter for the homeless moved from its old location after 12 years to Church on the Rock on U.S. 1, where it operated for the first time this year, on Monday and Tuesday nights, with security, privacy from formerly resentful neighbors, and elbow room to spare.
Flagler County Commission
Flagler County’s tourism-tax revenue has gone up three successive months between July and September, substantially so in August and September, in contrast with statewide tourism revenue, which plummeted 30 percent in the third quarter. Vacation rentals, the beach, and vacationers traveling shorter distances account for the county’s success.
The Flagler County School Board and the Flagler County Commission held swearing-in ceremonies for a combined six new and re-elected members. Donald O’Brien was named chairman of the commission, Trevor Tucker chairman of the school board.
A pragmatist and a statesman-like county commissioner for eight years, Charlie Ericksen was a quiet, forceful contrast to some of the more boorish and crude elected officials who’ve managed to win seats in recent years.
The Flagler County Commission at a minute after 11 p.m. Monday approved The Gardens development of 335 homes on the east side of John Anderson Highway in a 3-2 vote, with few conditions, possibly ending the developer’s nearly two-year, three-front battle with county regulators, Flagler Beach government and a community organization that had opposed the proposal. But opponents hinted at litigation several times.
While all but ridiculing the county’s claim that it had broken the law by approving a lease amendment with Captain’s BBQ without putting it out to bid, Circuit Judge Perkins was far more receptive to the county’s claim that the amendment had not yet kicked in, and so could not have been breached. He all but drew a map for the county’s next attempt to dismiss the lawsuit, pending the taking of depositions.
False claims, disinformation, made up fears, “fairy tales” and allegations of government threats are hampering the county’s efforts to secure the necessary easements from a small group of hold-out property owners. Without the easements, the U.S. Army Corps will not proceed on its $25 million portion of the fully-funded project to protect 2.6 miles of beach.
On the eve of a hearing in circuit court that may decide the fate of Captains BBQ’s breach-of-contract lawsuit against Flagler County government Thursday, Captain’s lawyer is asking the court to compel County Attorney Al Hadeed and County Administrator to submit to depositions in a setting where they’d have little control on the questions asked or the ultimate direction of the deposition. The county is objecting.
Flagler County government is actually arguing that since it approved the controversial lease amendment with Captain’s BBQ without seeking bids first, it was an illegal move, so the agreement is null and void. And with that approach, the county is now seeking to have Captain’s lawsuit against it thrown out. That hearing is set for Thursday.
With all early voting results counted, Sheriff Rick Staly had an insurmountable lead to win re-election to his second term, as did County Commissioner Donald O’Brien. Andy Dance, the school board member, also had an insurmountable lead to win the County Commission seat Charlie Ericksen opted not to contest.